$1 million estate to fund 20 new FSU Panama City scholarships

Erica Martin

A $932,000 gift from the estate of Earldine Ankiewicz will allow FSU Panama City to award at least 20 new scholarships starting in fall 2018.

Ankiewicz, who passed away Jan. 29, 2016, named the scholarship fund after her deceased son and daughter. The “Alex Alfred Ankiewicz and Lucy Elizabeth Ankiewicz Scholarship Endowment” will award scholarships to students enrolled in majors within Florida State’s College of Business or College of Education.

To qualify, applicants must have a 2.8 GPA and take a minimum of six credit hours each semester.

Ankiewicz’s mother was a teacher who emphasized the importance of education and instilled that mindset in her children. Ankiewicz was one of seven siblings; three graduated from Florida State and she attended the university for two years.

“Her heart’s desire was to leave a teacher’s scholarship in memory of her kids,” said longtime friend Jeannie Cook, who also was the executor of the estate. Ankiewicz documented the endowment in her estate plans in 2004.

“This generous gift to our campus will help students for many generations to come,” FSU Panama City Dean Randy Hanna said. “The Ankiewicz legacy will live on in the lives of the students she has helped to better afford a college education.”

Ankiewicz was born and raised in Washington County in the Florida Panhandle. She loved gardening, reading and shopping at garage sales with her niece, Mavis Hearne.

“She lived so simple; you never would have known she was wealthy,” Cook said.

In addition to the named scholarship, a conference room in FSU Panama City’s Holley Academic Center will be named in honor of Earldine T. Ankiewicz to recognize her generous gift to the university.