Susan Myers Planned Gift Names Learning Resources Center

Lifelong champion of education, philanthropist and community activist, Mrs. Susan Pryor Sloat Myers will link her name to the Northwest Florida State College’s Learning Resources Center with a $1 million dollar bequest.  When asked why Myers wanted to support NWF State College, she stated, “The College has a permanent presence in
 Northwest Florida, with deep roots in the community, much like my family.” LRC

“Mrs. Myers is a true visionary and we are humbled by her generosity and caring spirit,” said Dr. Devin Stephenson, President, NWF State College.  “Her gift will positively impact the lives of NWF State College students for years to come!”

Susan is the great-granddaughter of John Thomas Brooks, a Civil War veteran, and Harriet C. Brooks, the first non-indigenous settlers in the area.  In 1868, Brooks purchased 111 acres of what is now downtown Fort Walton Beach. The Brooks’s built a homestead along the Sound, which became a hotel and business providing supplies and health care to those traveling through the area by boat.

Myers’ grandmother, Sarah Frances Brooks Pryor, was the first non-native girl born in the area in 1877. She married W. C. Pryor, who, in 1915, became the first superintendent of schools in newly formed Okaloosa County. He was the second mayor of Fort Walton and a City Councilman for eight years. W.  C. Pryor Middle School is named in his honor.  Sarah Frances Brooks worked diligently to improve and beautify Fort Walton Beach.  In addition to owning and operating the Indianola Inn and raising two daughters, she served as Camp Walton’s postmistress for 28 years. When she died in 1972 at the age of 95, she was publicly referred to, between here and Pensacola, as “the First Lady of Fort Walton Beach,” a title which one might easily bestow upon Mrs. Myers.

Diana “Billie” Pryor Sloat, Susan’s mother, was born in Camp Walton in 1910.  She met her husband, John G. Sloat, at the Indianola Inn and their wedding was the first held in Camp Walton in 1935.  Captain John, as he was called, was co-owner of a dredging company, which literally shaped the land of the gulf coast by dredging the East Pass and helping dig the Intracoastal Waterway between Choctawhatchee Bay and Apalachicola.

Following in her family’s footsteps, Susan Pryor Sloat Myers, has always been active in the community, serving on the City Council for the City of Fort Walton Beach and many other community organizations.  Recognizing Fort Walton Beach’s economic decline, particularly the original area that once was Camp Walton, she set about redeveloping the area with graciously designed condominiums, office buildings, restaurants, restoring old homes, planting and preserving historic trees, and helping revitalize Fort Walton Beach.  Susan was inducted into the Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women’s Hall of Fame in 2005.

Early in her life Susan took her Grandmother, Sarah Frances Brooks Pryor’s favorite saying, “As we think, so we become”, to heart and focused on her education. She received an Associate’s degree in Humanities from the University of Florida, a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado and a Master’s degree in Industrial Psychology from Southern Methodist University. She was married to M. Scott Myers, a renowned Industrial Psychologist who earned his Ph.D. in Industrial Psychology from Purdue University. Susan and Scott married in 1968. Together they started their own consulting practice and traveled world-wide for 28 years.  They moved back to Fort Walton Beach in 1990 to care for Myers’ mother.  In 1996 Scott Myers passed away after a brief illness from cancer. 

In addition to naming NWF’s Learning Resources Center and as a way to memorialize her loved ones, Susan Pryor Sloat Myers intends to create, through a planned gift, six scholarship endowments honoring Sarah Frances Brooks Pryor, W.C. Pryor, M. Scott Myers, Susan Pryor Sloat, Diana Pryor Sloat, and John Gregory Sloat. This generosity will enable many students from Fort Walton Beach to achieve their dreams of going to college and furthering their education for years to come. The Susan Myers Learning Resources Center and Scholarship Endowments will be established upon receipt of the Susan Pryor Sloat Myers bequest and will memorialize her good works in perpetuity.  She is immensely proud of her late husband and pioneer ancestors for the indelible mark they left on her and the history of Fort Walton Beach. This generous, multi-faceted bequest is a way for Ms. Myers to preserve her family’s legacy.


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