Previous Programs

 Claude Pepper Center, Florida State University

 To provide an endowment for the Claude Pepper Center to support the Center’s budget, construction, furnishings, and donor plaque.

Sculpture for Claude Pepper Center

Prominent sculptor, Neil Estern, was commissioned by the Pepper Foundation  to create a life size bronze sculpture of Claude Pepper that is  located in front of the Claude Pepper Center at Florida State University.  Estern created the stunning bronze sculptures of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Pepper Institute on Aging,  Florida State University

To develop the Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy, provide an endowment for a Professorship in Sociology in 1991 and two Distinguished Professorships in 1993.

Claude Pepper Oratory Competition

To sponsor, along with the Florida State University Speech and Debate Program, the First Annual Claude Pepper Oratory Competition. Students from Florida State University were invited to research, prepare, and present a persuasive speech celebrating the works, achievements, and goals of Claude Pepper

Visiting Scholar’s Program at the Claude Pepper Library

The Pepper Foundation has provided grants to encourage study, in the Pepper Center, on policy areas that were advanced by Senator Pepper and also to study his life and political career. The Claude Pepper Library houses papers, photographs, recordings, and memorabilia of the late U.S. Congressman Claude Pepper. In public life for more than 40 years, the political career of Claude Denson Pepper, spans the period from his years as a Florida legislator in the late 1920s and a U.S. Senator during the 1930s and 1940s to his tenure as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the 1960s until his death in 1989. His commitment to public service spanned the administrations of nine presidents. Claude Pepper had an impact on many significant areas of public policy and these topics are included in the Library’s holdings.

Editing the Diaries of Senator Pepper

The Pepper Foundation sponsored Dr. Fred Standley of Florida State University to work on editing and publishing the diaries of Claude Pepper. Among the holdings of the Pepper Library are numerous diaries dating from the early 1920s when Pepper was attending Harvard University to the early 1980s when he had already firmly established himself as the “Champion of the Elderly.”

Tallahassee Leon County Shelter

The Claude Pepper Foundation has provided support to the Tallahassee-Leon County Shelter’s programs.  The Shelter is a leading provider of services to homeless individuals in the city of Tallahassee and Leon County in Florida. .

Claude Pepper Biogragraphical Film: Eyewitness to a Century

The Pepper Foundation is dedicated to maintaining the legacy and promoting the achievements and contributions to public life of Senator Pepper. As such, the Foundation worked in conjunction with Ronald Goldfarb, Main Street Productions, and Florida State University College of Communications/Seminole Productions to produce a documentary film on the life and career of Claude Pepper. The documentary, entitled Claude Pepper: Eyewitness to a Century, is narrated by actor Edward Asner and includes interviews with Senator Pepper conducted by Ron Goldfarb. The film also features several original photographs and audiovisual recordings from the holdings of the Pepper Library.

The documentary has been added to the permanent collection of the Claude Pepper Library, and is presented to visitors in the auditorium of the Pepper Center. The film has also been broadcast on television stations nationwide and is made available for broadcast by the Pepper Foundation.

In 1987 Senator Pepper published an autobiography, co-written with Hays Gorey, under the same title. Both the documentary and autobiography present an engaging portrait of this important twentieth century statesman by using his own words and the words of those who knew him best.

Miami Rescue Mission

The Pepper Foundation has provided support to the efforts of the Miami Rescue Mission’s Jeffrey A. Tew Education Center by awarding funds to establish the Claude Pepper Scholarship Fund for the Nova Learning Program to educate unemployed persons, increase their self esteem and qualify them for employment. The Nova Program is an innovative computer learning center designed to offer individualized, learning-based adult education and employment programs. The Claude Pepper Scholarship Fund was established with a grant from the Foundation in 1998, and additional funds were awarded in 1999 to be used for costs incurred by the program.

The Miami Rescue Mission is a leading provider of services to homeless men, women and children with facilities in Dade and Broward counties in Florida. The Education Center is named in honor of Jeffrey A. Tew, who has faithfully served the Mission for over twenty years. Visit the Mission’s web site at

National Academy of Social Insurance, Washington, DC

To sponsor a dinner table at the National Academy’s 10th Annual Conference.

Tallahassee Senior Center, Tallahassee, FL

To help with a program to provide care for Alzheimer’s patients on Saturdays which enables their caregivers to have time to take care of their personal needs.

Florida Disabled Outdoors, Miami, FL

To support the association’s promotion for accessible outdoor recreation for people with disabilities.

Commemoration of the Passage of Minimum Wage Law

To hold a symposium to examine the affect of the minimum wage on employment workers and industry upon its 60th anniversary.

Florida Commission on Aging with Dignity, Tallahassee, FL

To help develop a system of health and long term care that will maintain the human dignity of the elderly and prepare for the challenges younger Floridians will encounter both now and when they retire.

Hip Fracture Prevention Project

The Hip Fracture Prevention Project was a program  of the Pepper Foundation.  The project was a study that included at-risk seniors and incorporated a multi-disciplinary community-based, team approach which addressed each of the risk factors responsible for falls and related, sometimes fatal, injuries.

Celebration of Senior Wellness Event

The Celebration of Senior Wellness was a project of the Pepper Foundation.   It was an event to encourage physical activity and healthful living among seniors. It included competitions for entrants 55 or older, a health fair and door prizes for all attendees.

National Issues Forum Public Policy Institute

The National Issues Forum Public Policy Institute was a project of the Pepper Foundation.  It was a two-day intergenerational forum to discuss the future of Social Security and Medicare.

Social Security: America’s Radar Screen Public Hearing

The Claude Pepper Center at Florida State University and the Claude Pepper Foundation held a public hearing on Thursday, October 14th, 2004 to announce the results of a national poll on the state of Social Security in our country.

What the general public, from the perspectives of the nation and Florida, thinks about this country’s public retirement program for the elderly, disabled, and dependents were discussed from bi-partisan perspectives.

The public’s perspectives were discussed with implications for the future of the current Social Security system and possibilities for reform. The objectives of the hearing were:

  • To share information about Americans’ and specifically Floridians’ opinions about Social Security from findings of a recent poll.
  • To further discuss potential implications of the results of the recent poll.

Watch the Social Security: America’s Radar Screen Public Hearing by click on the following links below. (Note: The free Real Player is required to view the material)

  1. Social Security: America’s Radar ScreenPublic Hearing, part 1
    • Welcome and Introductions by Thomas Spulak, Chairman of Claude Pepper Foundation, Inc.
    • Social Security Poll Results: National and State of Florida
      • Sergio Bendixen, President, Bendixen and Associates from Miami, FL
      • Bob Carpenter, Vice President, American Viewpoint from Washington, DC
  2. Social Security: America’s Radar ScreenPublic Hearing, part 2
    • Social Security Poll Results: National and State of Florida
      • Bob Carpenter, Vice President, American Viewpoint from Washington, DC (cont’d)
    • Reactor Panel
      • Former Representative Barbara Kennelly, President, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare from Washington, DC
      • David Certner, Federal Affairs Director, AARP from Washington, DC
      • Jill Quadagno, Claude Pepper Eminent Scholar of Social Gerontology, Pepper Institute on Aging, Florida State University from Tallahassee, FL
      • William Arnone, Partner, Human Capital practice, Ernst and Young from New York
      • Ptere Reinecke, Chief of Staff for Senator Tom Harkin from Washington, DC
  3. Social Security: America’s Radar ScreenPublic Hearing, part 3
    • Reactor Panel (cont’d)
  4. Social Security: America’s Radar ScreenPublic Hearing, part 4
    • Reactor Panel (cont’d)
    • Discussion with the audience
  5. Social Security: America’s Radar Screen Public Hearing, part 5
    • Discussion with the audience (cont’d)

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