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2017 Hall of Fame Inductee: Clifford Hinkle, Business Administration '71

Torch Award Presentation Photo

Clifford Hinkle
(1948 – 2015)
Founder, Chairman and CEO
Flagler Holdings Inc.
2017 Hall of Fame Inductee

Clifford Hinkle founded the Tallahassee-based investment banking firm Flagler Holdings Inc., a merchant banking firm in Tallahassee for which he served as chairman and CEO. He also was the past CEO or president of several other successful companies and served on the boards of numerous national companies, foundations and organizations. Hinkle will be inducted posthumously into the Florida State University College of Business Hall of Fame.

After graduating in 1971 from Florida State with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Hinkle earned both a master's and doctoral degree in public administration from Nova Southeastern University.

In 2008, Hinkle was honored by the university with the VIRES Torch Award, which symbolizes moral, physical and intellectual strength. A former member of the College of Business Board of Governors, he served for several years on the FSU Foundation Board of Trustees and was the chair from 1999 to 2001.

He also chaired the Foundation's Investment Committee and its Nominating Committee, and served on its Executive Committee from 1993 to 2003, helping develop two major capital campaigns. Hinkle was a director of the Florida State University Research Foundation for more than 10 years. He served on the board of Seminole Boosters Inc., and the Florida State Alumni Association has recognized his service and achievements with its Circle of Gold Award. He was a visiting professor for the Collins Center for Public Policy, an adjunct professor in the School of Public Administration and Policy, and a guest lecturer in the College of Business, where he served on the Dean Search Committee in 2005.

As the executive director and chief investment officer for the Florida Retirement System pension funds from 1987 to 1991, Hinkle created and implemented a set of investment protection principles, more than doubling the funds under his management.

In 2014, Hinkle’s wife, Lee, who also graduated from Florida State in 1971 and served as the university’s vice president for University Relations from 2003 to 2010, paid tribute to her husband with a $250,000 gift to establish the Cliff Hinkle Executive Boardroom in the college’s new building, Legacy Hall.

Hinkle had a long association with the university: his father, sister and brothers are Florida State graduates. His mother attended Florida State until she began raising a family, and his grandmother was a graduate of the Florida State College for Women. 

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