In 1972, Public Relations Director Harry Pickup, Jr. decided to take a group of both men and women on an extended trip during May to entertain and talk about Florida College to prospective students. That group’s members were Marilyn Reid, Wendy Wilson, Jeanne Middleton, Kenny Marrs, Bill Partain, and Gary Kerr.
It was that year that Pickup named the group “Friends” taking that name from John Denver’s song of the same name. The song was quickly adopted as the theme song of the group and it has remained at the core of the group’s theme. Both the words and music of that song are a continuing reminder to all that Florida College is a “Friend to Youth.” This idea was expressed first in 1944 when the original board adopted it as the school’s official motto, and it was also expressed through the years in the college’s logo, in its alma mater, in its recognition of special supporters of the school and now in its public relations and student recruitment efforts.
The “Friends” group was formed to emphasize friendship through song and through the lives and words of the young people who sang them. “Friends” is young people, telling the story of a college that is a “Friend to Youth” in words and music that appeal to young people. It was natural to call this group “Friends.”