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Former House Speaker, FSU President T.K. Wetherell, Dead At 72

Wetherell presides over Florida State University commencement (undated photo)
Wetherell presides over Florida State University commencement (undated photo)

Days after entering hospice care, Former Florida House Speaker and Florida State University President T.K. Wetherell has died. He was 72.

Wetherell had been battling cancer for 15 years and just last week, his wife announced he had decided to stop treatments and enter hospice.

Wetherell presides over Florida State University commencement (undated photo)
Credit Florida State University
Wetherell presides over Florida State University commencement (undated photo)

“His best impact was probably more as appropriations chair than as speaker," Lucy Morgan, former Bureau Chief for the St. Pete Times, told WFSU in a recent interview. "He did not take himself too seriously and he loved Florida and did everything he could for it while he was there.”

Wetherell served in Florida House from 1980 until 1992, his final two years as speaker. Later, he went on to become president of Tallahassee Community College, and in 2003, became president of Florida State University until he stepped down in 2010 and was given the title President Emeritus.

“As a veteran lawmaker, tireless supporter of higher education and then as president, T.K. used his energy and intellect to not only lead FSU through a severe budget crisis but to make sure it flourished in so many ways,” said FSU President John Thrasher in a press release regarding Wetherell’s death sent by FSU.  “He was a remarkable person and a great friend.”

A Daytona Beach native, Wetherell attended Florida State on a football scholarship and played on the 1963-1967 football teams. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate from FSU, and had a life-long career in higher education. He held a number of positions at Daytona State College, was an associate professor of education at Bethune-Cookman University, and previously served as President of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida—an association representing those schools.

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