Burning Spear Society
Burning Spear is a secret society of leaders at Florida State University, founded in 1993, that works to support and make FSU into a world leading institution of higher education. Though not much is publicly available on the dealings of the organization, members often cite the provision of political, professional and financial support of FSU community members and efforts that strengthen the university's traditions as two of their most basic ambitions.
Burning Spear was founded on July 14, 1993 by three student leaders who recognized an opportunity to unite students, faculty, alumni, and community members who all shared a desire to make Florida State University a world class institution. The founders believed that leadership and character of exceptional quality should be recognized, and that all Seminoles should meet and work together on a basis of mutual interests, ideals, and love of their alma mater. By August 1993, sixteen diverse student leaders joined together to charter this new organization, and within one year's time seven additional students would be initiated into membership.
Burning Spear is fully integrated and has a strong history of inclusion of persons of different gender, race, creeds and identity. Burning Spear was rated the Best New Campus Organization for the 1993–94 school year in the State of Florida by the Florida Leader Magazine.
Burning Spear serves as the host of the Clock & Seal annual homecoming banquet at FSU. Former keynote speakers of Clock & Seal include:
- Florida Trend publisher Lynda Keever
- Florida Supreme Court Justice Raoul Cantero
- Former Florida Senate President John Thrasher
- United States Senator Bill Nelson
- Governor Charlie Crist
- Seminole Boosters Director Charlie Barnes
- NFL All-Pro Derrick Brooks
- Representative Ray Sansom
- NFL All-Pro Marvin Jones
- Football Coach Jimbo Fisher
Burning Spear also sponsors the Seminole Spirit Drum, which beats nonstop outside of Doak Campbell Stadium for 72 hours prior to a football game against a major rival.
Most recently the society has coordinated with FSU Head Football Coach Jimbo Fisher's Kidz 1st Fund.
Burning Spear has claimed existence for only eighteen years, but there are dissenting opinions that say the society has operated in one form or another for a much longer time. Their control of campus and state politics has been compared to The Machine at the University of Alabama and the Skull and Bones society of Yale University.
There are a large number of Burning Spear alumni from Florida State now in the legislature and the organization is also said to control a political action committee that gives campaign contributions to candidates that attended Florida State.
Student membership consists of the most elite of student government and fraternal/sorority leaders on campus and never exceeds forty members.
- White, Tiffany (November 1, 2009). "Spirit in the 'Spear'". FSView. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
- "Guardian of the Flame Faculty Award". Burning Spear. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
- "Faculty News". Florida State University. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
- "JOIN THE FIGHT". Kidz 1st Fund. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
- Bailey, Jay (February 14, 2010). "A new 'government'?". FSView. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
- Wilborn, Artevia. "Secret Societies: They Are Not Just at Yale - They Are Running a University Near You". Illumanti News.