Dick and Barbara Qualls receive Friend to Youth award

February 14, 2011

On Tuesday, February 8, 2011, President H.E. “Buddy” Payne, Jr. awarded Dick and Barbara Qualls the prestigious Friend to Youth award for outstanding service to Florida College.

The Qualls have seen four children and fourteen grandchildren attend Florida College, but their support for the college goes further than paying many years of tuition. They are also dedicated financial donors and Lifetime Charter Members of the newly established Florida College Society, an honor reserved for members who donate at least $100,000 to the college in their lifetime.

When the Qualls see a need, they meet it. Their donations funded tuition for students through the Adopt Program, preparations for the Florida College Academy computer lab, the creation and maintenance of Florida College’s soccer field, recently named Qualls Field, and more.

“Their fingerprints are on everything at Qualls Field,” said President Payne, at the Tuesday evening awards ceremony.

In addition to the Qualls’ financial contributions, Dick and Barbara have also invested a great deal of sweat equity. Dick provided hours of labor to ready the field for FC’s soccer teams, working with his hands in cement for the back-stop poles, cutting back the trees along the edge of the field and clearing the land for fencing on the east side of the river.

“One of Dick’s legendary sayings is that he plans to ‘wear out, not rust out’,” said President Payne.

Florida College is grateful that part of the Qualls’ plan to “wear out” is in service to the college and her students.