I want to offer my condolences to the entire Sarasota/Bradenton community on the passing of former state Senator Bob Johnson, a tireless advocate for the arts, champion of higher education, protector of the environment and dedicated FSU alumnus.
In his decade and a half in the Florida Legislature, Bob was instrumental in securing state support for Sarasota’s arts and cultural institutions, including The Ringling and was a leader in bringing the fledgling New College of Florida into the state university system. He was a tireless supporter of FSU in numerous ways, including his distinguished work on The Ringling Board and his shepherding of the important gifts establishing the very influential Mote Eminent Scholars and Mote Symposia.
While his achievements were many, I know the members of the Sarasota/Bradenton and FSU communities will perhaps miss most of all his wisdom and friendship. He was an active member of the Sarasota Seminole Club, a regular at most events and a donor, and was honored with the Club Ambassador award. I think those of us fortunate to have known him would agree that he represented the very best kind of public servant — caring, selfless and devoted to efforts he knew would make life richer, fuller and better for the rest of us.
Please know that Bob’s family and all who cherished him are in our thoughts and prayers. You will always have our support.
President John Thrasher