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Brett and Cindy Lindquist happy to give back to their alma mater with gift supporting real estate and professional sales students

Brett Lindquist said it took just one real estate course at Florida State University for him to find his passion that set him on the path to professional success.

“My professor was John Lewis, who was very charismatic, and I was totally intrigued,” said Lindquist, who graduated in 1983 with degrees in finance and real estate. “That class, along with my finance, appraisal and accounting classes, absolutely prepared me for my career in residential mortgage financing.”

Thirty-two years later, Lindquist, co-founder and CEO of The Mortgage Firm, was happy to know that he could give back to the college. He and his wife, Cindy Peal Lindquist (MAR ’85), recently made a gift of $125,000 to establish the Lindquist Endowed Real Estate Scholarship Fund, the Lindquist Endowed Fund for Real Estate Excellence and the Lindquist Endowed Professional Sales Scholarship Fund.

“We had no idea that individuals and businesses provided scholarships,” said Lindquist, who grew up in St. Petersburg, Fla., and came to FSU on a swimming scholarship in 1978 and was captain of the swim team. “Knowing that private business could be involved in helping students really encouraged me to become involved."

“Even though I’m on the board of the Seminole Boosters, I am very interested in helping support academics, which don’t get the same attention as athletics. I’m hoping these scholarships will allow students to take advantage of FSU’s real estate and professional sales programs, which are among the best in the country, and will offer students the option to not to be weighed down in debt when they graduate.”

Following graduation, Lindquist immediately began his career in the mortgage industry and worked with several national mortgage lenders as a loan officer. In 1995, he established The Mortgage Firm, which is headquartered in Altamonte Springs, Fla., and has 24 branches in Florida and Tennessee, employing 268 people.

Lindquist, a member of the College of Business Board of Governors, says he made many friends at the college, several of whom are among his best friends and business associates. He has nothing but praise for his two favorite professors, now retired, Lewis and Barry Diskin, who taught real estate appraisal classes.

Though the Lindquists were students in the College of Business at the same time, their paths did not cross until five years after they graduated. She was one of the original members of the popular Golden Girls Dance Team, which performs at all FSU home football and basketball games. They have two children: Kendall, a high school sophomore who plays varsity volleyball, and Cole, an FSU junior who is majoring in professional sales and finance and considering adding real estate to the mix. Cole is also a member of the FSU Men’s Lacrosse Team.

by Barbara Ash