FGCU launches $75 million fundraising campaign to fund faculty positions, renovations and student programs | SehndeWeb

Library upgrade plans include a creative space, a workspace where students from various disciplines can work side-by-side on projects involving video and audio production, robotics, 3D scanners and printers, and other similar equipment.

Florida Gulf Coast University has launched a $75 million global fundraising campaign. The campaign will help FGCU increase academic excellence by creating new staffed faculty positions, funding opportunities for undergraduate and graduate research, and modernizing the library.

“We are celebrating the past and getting a good start for our future,” says Kitty Green, vice president for academic advancement and executive director of the FGCU Foundation. “What has been achieved over the past 25 years is truly remarkable, but we are just getting started. There are so many exciting opportunities ahead for this university.

Since the majority of FGCU students stay and build their careers in Southwest Florida, investing in the future of the university is also an investment in the region.

Here are the highlights of the full campaign objectives:

Specialized college: The college for high achievers has grown from 532 students in 2015 to 1,250 this year. Campaign goals include moving the college to the Wilson G. Bradshaw Library, where the student experience will be greatly enhanced and staff will have badly needed office space. There are several possibilities for supporters to nominate offices as well as the college itself.



Marieb College of Health and Social Services: Considering Southwest Florida has a large population of elderly residents, it is a prime location to serve as a living laboratory for research and meeting their needs. Marieb College is well positioned to provide a holistic approach to successful living that could become a model for communities across the country. In addition to producing more desperately needed healthcare providers, it aims to create an institute to study and implement ways to improve aging, care delivery and quality of life.

Library renovation: The Bradshaw Library is one of the original buildings on campus and although it has been modernized over the years, it now needs upgrading to meet the high-tech needs of today’s students. Planned upgrades include: Creative Spaces, a workspace where students from various disciplines can work side-by-side on projects involving video and audio production, robotics, 3D scanners and printers, and other similar equipment ; a common research space, where important research and scholarship produced across the university can be stored in one accessible space; and an expanded area for archives and special collections, which has a significant number of priceless collections but requires additional air-conditioned space and secure vaults.

Bower School of Music and the Arts: The school hosts over 150 events in the area each year and educates performers, artists, music therapists, teachers and actors who share their talents with the community. The expansion of the Music Building with more rehearsal and classroom space will allow FGCU to expand this highly successful program. Eventual designation as a museum and the growth of a museum studies program will be possible if the FGCU is able to expand the Wasmer Art Gallery with the addition of larger exhibition areas and a capacity of storage.

Endowed Faculty: Academic excellence begins with an investment in exceptional faculty. Providing the means to create endowed chairs will help recruit the most outstanding national and international leaders in their academic disciplines to become members of the FGCU faculty.

Scholarships: At least 60% of FGCU students work at least 20 hours a week to pay for their studies. Scholarships, paid internships, and stipends make a huge difference, allowing students to focus on their studies and participate in college activities and, in many cases, be able to attend college. The need continues to grow. Not only does this help students while they’re in school, but it gives them a better start when they graduate with less debt.

Autism Community Network: It is an interdisciplinary training resource and research collaboration based in the colleges of health and human services, education, and arts and sciences. The goal is to enrich the lives of people with autism, their families and the organizations that serve them by expanding the programs offered at FGCU.

There are also plans to make WGCU Public Media, already a powerhouse for news and major programs, an even more robust organization, with expanded local programming for radio and television.

As FGCU enters its second quarter century, there is much to celebrate: a thriving institution educating 16,000 students, nearly 40,000 alumni, a distinguished faculty, and a sustainable campus.

The FGCU has become an influential force in Southwest Florida, contributing nearly $600 million annually to the region’s economy. It has created a strong workforce of teachers and health professionals, engineers and entrepreneurs, social workers and scientists.

The Daveler & Kauanui School of Entrepreneurship ranks among the best such schools in the country, and the Marieb College School of Nursing is the best in the state. FGCU’s School of Water focuses on critical issues such as climate change, natural resources, and ecosystem health.

Its track and field teams have won 87 conference and tournament titles in 14 years of NCAA Division I competition. Its musicians, artists and comedians enrich the region’s rich cultural fabric.

To learn more about the campaign, visit fgcu.edu/impact. ¦

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