Sept. 7, 2011
Tallahassee, FL –
The Florida State athletic department and Seminole Boosters, Inc. are celebrating two former female student-athletes at the annual Champions Beyond the Game banquet this Sunday morning. The event is being hosted by FSU women’s basketball and the honorees this year will be Dr. G. Jean Cerra and Marla Anderson Smith.
The Champions Beyond the Game award honors former women athletes who have excelled in life after college sports. One of the two Champions is from the era when athletic scholarships were not available to women, while the other Champion benefited from a scholarship.
Cerra, a native of Tampa, FL, graduated from FSU in 1967 with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. While a student at FSU she was a member of F Club and played volleyball and basketball. She continued at the University of Iowa where she received her Master’s in Physical Education and a PhD in Educational Administration. She is a lifetime member of the Alumni Association and a Varsity Club member. In the seventies and eighties she worked to implement Title IX on campuses and create opportunities for women within the NCAA. She was one of ten women who founded the Council of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators in 1979, which became the current National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators. Dr. Cerra was one of the first women to be offered the position of Director of Athletics at a Division 1 school with a football program. She was the first female Athletic Director at Barry University, in the Sunshine State Conference, and the first female A.D. inducted to the SSC Hall of Fame. Under her leadership, Barry University had 3 teams win NCAA Championships within a four year period. Dr. Cerra was also the President of a corporation that opened eight successful TCBY yogurt stores in Broward County. She recently retired completing her career at Barry University as the Dean of the School of Human Performance and Leisure Sciences.
Anderson Smith was a second team AJGA All American, had played in the Women’s US Open at age 16 and played in three US Amateurs and US Junior Championships before she was recruited by Coach Giles and Florida State. During her time at FSU Marla was a part of the National Championship golf team and won the Florida Collegiate State Championship. She completed a degree in Business Administration in 1984. Overcoming many obstacles throughout the years, Marla has become very successful in the banking world. In 1986 she started her career with Barnett Bank in the Barnett Bank Management Training Program. In 1999 she became the City Executive for BB&T in Lynchburg VA, at the time she was only one of five women in the company to hold this position. She currently works with Wachovia Bank/Wells Fargo as Vice President in the Credit Resolution Group in Atlanta, GA, being a top performer in 2010. She is married and has four daughters, Kristina, Jessica, Alexandra (19) and Amelia (16). Other than the US Mid Amateur, she plays golf for business and social purposes. Being a fan of the outdoors since living in Virginia, she has hiked the Grand Canyon and enjoyed rafting six white water rivers in the mid-Atlantic.
Included in the program will be the presentation of the Femina Perfecta Award. Femina Perfecta, meaning “complete woman” is given to a member of each of the nine Florida State women’s teams. The recipient of this award exemplifies the motto on the University seal, which has three torches and the words VIRES, ARTES, and MORES, and the words under the torches on the Florida State College for Women seal FEMINA PERFECTA. This represented the goal of the college for all students. She will not necessarily be the most intellectual, fastest, strongest, top scorer, funniest, etc., but should be the one who is invaluable to the team and who will always make a difference.
Florida State University President Eric J. Barron, FSU Athletics Director Randy Spetman and FSU Senior Associate Athletics Director Allison Rich will all address the banquet guests along with current Seminole athletes Alexa Deluzio, Morgan Bullock and Caroline Smith.