Florida Gulf Coast University
|Florida Gulf Coast University|
Seal of Florida Gulf Coast University
|Motto||"Truth, Knowledge, Wisdom."|
|President||Wilson G. Bradshaw|
|Academic staff||500 total: 336 instructional and administrative faculty, 164 adjunct faculty (2006)|
|Location||Unincorporated Lee County, Florida, USA|
760 acres (3.08 km²), of which 400 acres (1.6 km2) is dedicated as a nature preserve
|Athletics||NCAA Division I, ASC; 6 men's varsity teams / 9 women's|
|Mascot||Azul the Eagle|
|Affiliations||AACSB, SACS, SUSF|
Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) is a public comprehensive university located just south of the Southwest Florida International Airport in unincorporated Lee County, Florida. The university belongs to the 12-campus State University System of Florida. FGCU competes in the Atlantic Sun Conference in Division I sports and is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate's, 51 different types of bachelor's, 29 different master's, and 6 types of doctoral degrees.
The school was established by then-governor Lawton Chiles in 1991, although the site of the university was not chosen until 1992, and construction pushed back even further still (until 1995). The school first held classes in August 1997. Roy McTarnaghan was named as the university's founding president. In August 1998, the university completed its first phase of student housing, which featured traditional dorms in which two students shared a single room and cohabited together. On May 1, 1999, McTarnaghan announced his decision to step down from his position as President of FGCU.
Expansion and growth 
In July 1999, William C. Merwin was named as FGCU's President. Merwin brought with him a different vision for FGCU. Instead of being a commuter school, which dealt mostly with non-traditional students who took classes online, he envisioned a traditional four-year university that leveraged modern-day technology to enhance both the learning and day to day experience of the FGCU student body. New apartment-style dorms were constructed, which allowed for FGCU students to have a greater degree of privacy. The internet was not seen as the exclusive means by which students took classes, but as an additional supplement to the traditional classroom environment.
Under the new university structure, students would attend small, in-person classes that used an online system to increase communication between the professor and the students. Merwin engaged in an aggressive fund raising effort in order to make the construction of the highest quality facilities a reality for FGCU. In an eight-year period, he raised more than $250 million for the university and engaged in a rapid expansion of the student and faculty populations. Multiple state-of-the-art buildings were constructed, including: Lutgert College of Business, Holmes Hall (U.A. Whitaker School of Engineering), Whitaker Hall, Academic Building 5, the student union building, Alico Arena and a massive expansion of on-campus housing. As a result of the fund raising and aggressive construction, student enrollment at FGCU has annually increased in double digits, from approximately 2,000 students in its first year to over 15,000 today.[when?] Over the next three years,[when?] undergraduate enrollment is expected to increase to more than 20,000 students. Later in 2007, Wilson G. Bradshaw was named as the university's third president.
Recent history 
Under Bradshaw, the years from 2007 to 2010 also saw an aggressive expansion of the campus facilities. Four new residence halls that house over 1,200 students were built. There was also a 24,700-square-foot (2,290 m2) expansion of the fine arts building, the construction of the 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) academic buildings 7 & 8, the addition of a solar panel field, a 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) expansion of the student union building, the purchase/donation of more than 530 acres (2.1 km2) of land and the acquisition of the College Club apartments.
Bradshaw also began a serious exploration as to the possibility of football at FGCU. He commissioned an independent consulting firm to explore what the costs of football would be at the university. The consulting firm revealed it would cost as much as $144 million, and would not be feasible for the university in the near future.
FGCU's campus is located in unincorporated Lee County, Florida, between Naples and Fort Myers. It is within San Carlos Park's fire district and uses a Fort Myers postal address. The campus is south of Fort Myers and 21 miles (34 km) from Naples. FGCU is located on 760 acres (3.1 km2) in Southwest Florida. The campus site was originally donated by the Alico corporation after the Board of Regents reviewed 22 prospective sites, and was selected to avoid a conflict between Naples and Fort Myers. The campus has two entrances: the main entrance which features the "Florida Gulf Coast University" sign, and the north entrance. Both roads connect to FGCU Boulevard which is a circular road encompassing all of the academic buildings. The center of the campus is considered the "academic core": it is located over 150 acres (0.61 km2) and contains all of the academic research and parking buildings throughout the university. There are two separate housing villages located on periphery of the campus: North Lake and South Village. North Lake Village overlooks a massive lake which allows for students to engage in recreational activities such as boating, and water skiing. North Lake is unique because of its apartment style housing. South Village (commonly referred to as SOVI) is located on the opposite end of the campus and currently has three five story buildings which features individual rooms for all of the students, and one six story building.
Growth and new construction 
The 63,000-square-foot (5,900 m2) Lutgert College of Business building was opened in October 2008, the 70,000-square-foot (6,500 m2) Holmes Hall – U.A. Whitaker School of Engineering Building opened in 2009, and in 2008 the 40,000-square-foot (3,700 m2) Herbert J. Sugden Hall – Resort & Hospitality Management Building opened to the public. The university completed 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) Academic Building 7 for the College of Arts and Sciences in 2010. In January 2012, the university also completed construction of Academic Building 8, now Marieb Hall, after being dedicated to Dr. Elaine Nicpon Marieb on March 29, 2012. The $24 million, 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) building was designed for use by the College of Health Professions. Other recently completed construction projects on the campus include the 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) expansion of the student union building, the 24,700-square-foot (2,290 m2) addition to the fine arts building (which will be a 58,000-square-foot (5,400 m2) addition at build-out) and the construction of one of the largest solar panel fields at any university. The university also broke ground on a new residential complex called South Village, which as of August 2012 will comprise four residence halls housing a total of over 1,750 students. The university has also announced that they will build a shared-use facility at the Naples Botanical Gardens. In 2008, FGCU became one of the first academic institutions in the country to include the metric system on its roadsigns.
Acquisition of additional land and creation of satellite campuses 
There are three other satellite campus locations: Naples, the Cape Coral Center and the Charlotte Center in Punta Gorda, which are yet to be expanded. FGCU recently[when?] purchased 12 acres adjacent to the main campus from Miramar Development for $3.8 million. The FGCU board of trustees voted in January 2010 to assume ownership of 500 acres (2.0 km2) in Buckingham. Located between East Fort Myers and Lehigh Acres, the land already contains over 60 buildings and housing for 300 people. Originally, the piece of land was controlled by the Florida Environmental Protection Agency; it was abandoned and given to FGCU.
In 2007, the university purchased the former Bonita Beach Plantation Resort in Bonita Springs for use as a marine research laboratory. The Norm and Nancy Vester Marine and Environmental Science Research Field Station site has 10 boat slips and is located on Estero Bay. The site includes laboratories, offices, apartments for visiting researchers and a classroom. In addition, the university has been preparing plans for a research center at the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve which is mid-way between Naples and Marco Island.
In October 2006, a 12-person panel of leading Charlotte County citizens was tasked with selecting the future location of an FGCU-Charlotte Satellite Center. There were five respondents to the Invitation to Negotiate (ITN). Each respondent met the minimum criteria of the ITN (although one was later removed from the process for falling short on (2) of the requirements) of 150 acres (0.61 km2) of land, $5M in cash to the university. In a unanimous vote by the panel (notably including Charlotte County Board of Commissioners Chairman, Tom Moore), only one was chosen, Hudson Sun-River. In their proposal to the FGCU, Hudson Sun-River offered $5M in cash, 150ac of land (located within their 2,458ac 'University Village' master-planned development), $750,000 in annual operating funds and up to $70M of built-out infrastructure.
Note: The upper left hand picture is a picture of the FGCU library. In the lower right hand portion of the picture is the everglades. The same lake in the picture is true marshland that is environmentally cyclical by nature. During Florida's wet season, it has alligators. During the dry season, wild boar graze in that area.
Environmental sustainability 
Since its founding, 400 acres (1.6 km2) on the main campus has been set aside for environmental preservation. FGCU also has constructed a number of lakes on the campus which are home to large numbers of wildlife; the lakes also help promote the ecology of the area. Environmental sustainability is the principal goal expressed in the university charter. Academic Building 7, the new facility housing science laboratories and classrooms for the College of arts and sciences, achieved platinum certification, the highest level awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The University’s 15-acre (61,000 m2) solar field supplies about 85 percent of the energy needed to operate Holmes and Lutgert halls as well as Academic Building 7, reducing FGCu’s reliance on Florida power & light Co. by 18 percent. An ice thermal storage plant sends chilled water through an underground loop that cools campus buildings, saving more than $1.64 million over five years. The newest residence halls, Everglades, Biscayne, Palmetto, and Osprey, heat their water via rooftop solar panels.
Fall Freshman Statistics
|Avg Freshman GPA||3.35||3.32||3.35||3.34||3.30|
|Avg SAT Composite*|
|*(out of 1600)|
Florida Gulf Coast University academics are divided into six colleges. The Fall 2010 acceptance rate for FGCU is 60.3 percent. For 2011, new matriculants averaged an ACT score of 21.9, and SAT score of 1032, a high school GPA of 3.35, and a college GPA of 2.97.
US News ranks FGCU as first-tier among Regional Universities in the southern United States. The Lutgert College of business is an AACSB accredited institution, offering undergraduate degrees in Accounting, Computer Information Systems, Economics, Finance, Management and Marketing. In addition, the college offers the following graduate degrees: Accounting and Taxation, Computer Information Systems and Business Administration (both traditional and executive). Princeton Review also cites it as one of the top 301 business schools in the country. Hospitality Management is a popular major on campus, with students getting the opportunity to gain supervised field work experience at one of many resorts in the area. Professional Golf Management is a unique program with limited access, much like the Nursing, Music and Athletic Training programs. FGCU has a unique requirement prior to graduation, University Colloquium, as it was built in an ecologically sensitive area. The aim of this Colloquium is to educate graduates on the importance of ecology and preservation. FGCU recently[when?] announced the addition of a real estate undergraduate degree to begin in fall of 2012 As of 2011, the student body carries an average GPA of 2.97.
|College of Arts and Sciences||1995|
|College of Health Professions||1997|
|College of Professional Studies||1997|
|College of Education||2001|
|U.A. Whitaker School of Engineering||2005|
|Lutgert College of Business||2008|
Engineering program 
FGCU also offers Civil, Environmental, Bioengineering, and Software Engineering, the last of which being a new major that has replaced Computer Science. The first graduating classes of the Civil, Environmental, and Bioengineering disciplines received their diplomas in May 2009. As of Fall 2012 FGCU's Civil, Environmental, and Bioengineering programs are ABET accredited, with Software Engineering to be reviewed for accreditation in 2015 with the first graduating class. Holmes Hall was built primarily to facilitate the new Engineering program; however, some nursing and elective classes take place there as well. As of 2011 the engineering program has become a separate entity known as the U.A. Whitaker College of Engineering, and FGCU ranks with a 80% passing rate on the Fundamentals of Engineering exam.
Environmental Forensics 
The university is currently expanding its graduate offerings and is adding to its research capabilities, with an Environmental Forensics Facility or "body farm" in the works, under the direction of Dr. Heather Walsh-Haney. The Division of Justice Studies in the College of Professional Studies is in its 3rd year of offering a Master of Science in Criminal Forensic Studies. Students can choose to become qualified as a Forensic Behavior Analyst, under Dr. Duane Dobbert, or in Human Identity under Dr. Walsh-Haney.
Death Investigator concentration 
The Death Investigator concentration prepares students to work in the field as medico-legal death investigators for Medical examiner's offices, as well as crime scene investigators or law enforcement detectives. Those in Death Investigations specialize in Human Identity and Trauma Analysis. The Human and Trauma ID concentration, under the direction of forensic anthropologist Dr. Walsh-Haney, trains students to identify human remains through skeletal attributes, and analyze decomposed and skeletal remains for signs of trauma. The forensic behaviorist track offers students an opportunity to learn how to analyze the psychological aspect of crime scenes, specifically pertaining to pedophilia.
In FGCU's inaugural year, under $3 million of research was funded. By 2010, $14.4 million in funds were granted for research annually. Research institutes include: the Biotechnology Research Group, the Lucas Center for Real Estate, Coastal Watershed Institute, Center for Environmental & Sustainability Education, FGCU Center for Leadership and Innovation, Florida Institute of Government, Center for Positive Aging, Whitaker Center for Science, Mathematics, & Technology Education, Institute for Youth and Justice Studies. Since FGCU first opened, the total funds awarded for research has amounted to $119 million.
FGCU's athletics teams are known as the Eagles. FGCU completed the four year transition to NCAA Division I for all athletics programs in 2011. The Eagles currently compete in the Division I Atlantic Sun Conference (A-Sun), which they joined in 2007.
FGCU intercollegiate athletics offers:
- Men's and Women's Golf
- Men's and Women's Tennis
- Men's and Women's Basketball
- Women's Softball
- Men's Baseball
- Men's and Women's Cross Country
- Women's Volleyball
- Men's and Women's Soccer
- Women's Swimming and Diving
FGCU is a member of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Division I and a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference, as well as the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association. FGCU plays its men's and women's basketball games at Alico Arena and its baseball games at Swanson Stadium.
The average GPA of a student athlete at FGCU was 3.13 in the spring semester of 2010.
FGCU women's basketball has experienced significant success in recent years. On March 24, 2007, FGCU women's basketball team ended their 35–1 season with a loss in the Division II National Championship to Southern Connecticut State University. One year later, in 2008, the Women's Basketball team qualified for the WNIT, becoming the first team to qualify for the WNIT in its first season of Division I sports. During the 2008 WNIT Tourney, the team became the first Atlantic Sun conference team to win a post-season game since 1998, when Florida International University won in the Women's NCAA tourney. The Women's team won the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season championship with a conference record of 17–3 but was ineligible to compete in the conference tourney, as the team was in transition from Division II to Division I athletics. In the 2010–2011 season, the FGCU woman's basketball team won the Atlantic Sun Conference again. In the 2011–12 Season, the Women's team won both the Atlantic Sun Conference's regular season and conference tourney titles, earning its first berth into the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship. The Eagles lost to St. Bonaventure University in the first round of the tournament 72-65 in Tallahassee, FL.
In 2012, FGCU's first year of full Division I postseason eligibility, the men's team played in the Atlantic Sun Championship final, losing to Belmont. In 2013, the team won the Atlantic Sun championship, beating top-seeded Mercer in the conference tournament final. That earned the team an automatic invitation to the 2013 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. In its first-ever tournament appearance, the No. 15 seeded Eagles upset the No. 2 seeded Georgetown Hoyas in the first round of the tournament and the No. 7 seeded San Diego State Aztecs in the second round. The Eagles became the seventh No. 15 seed to advance to the round of 32 and the first to advance to the Sweet 16.
The FGCU baseball team has won the Atlantic Sun Conference championship three years in a row and became eligible to compete in the NCAA post season in the 2010 season after the two-year NCAA reclassifying period. FGCU has several former baseball players playing in the minor leagues, and has two pitchers (Chris Sale, Casey Coleman) pitching in the majors.
Student life 
Residence life 
On-campus housing is made up of three sections: North Lake Village, South Village, and West Lake Village. North Lake Village is located on an 80 acres (320,000 m2) lake and features apartment-style residence halls, with waterfront recreation. West Lake Village was previously owned by American Campus Communities and formally called College Club Apartments. The college purchased the apartment complex for $17 million and the apartments officially became part of FGCU Housing and Residence Life in October 2010. Themed housing is available, such as Honors and Wellness communities. South Village (SoVi) is a suite-style residence hall with three buildings: Everglades Hall, Palmetto Hall, and Biscayne Hall, housing a total of over 1200 first-year students. In August 2012, South Village will open its fourth residence hall, Osprey Hall, which will house approximately 520 first-year students. In December 2012, Student Housing announced that a fifth residence hall, Eagle Hall, will be built and open roughly by Spring 2014. In total, there are currently over 2,700 students living in both North Lake Village and SoVi. Freshmen are not required to live on campus; however, given the unique, apartment-like nature of the residence halls, on campus housing is still filled to capacity every year. Individual halls sponsor their own activities and socials, and leadership positions are available in the Resident Hall Association. A commonly used form of transportation on campus is called the Eagle Express. This shuttle operates daily, taking students from their residence halls to classes and activities around campus. There is also a shuttle which takes students from the dorms to Gulf Coast Town Center that runs from Thursday through Saturday.
Greek life 
Florida Gulf Coast University has 18 fraternity and sorority chapters currently on campus. Greek life is governed by the Panhellenic Council, the Interfraternity Council, National PanHellenic Council, and the Multicultural Greek Council. The Interfraternity Council comprises six fraternities, and the Panhellenic Council comprises five sororities. As of 2011, there is no Greek Housing on campus.
Campus recreation 
The school has over 100 student clubs and organizations. Sport Clubs and Intramural Sports are also offered along with other recreational venues. Florida Gulf Coast Kiteboard Club is one of the major sports clubs along with the well known Ice Hockey and Rugby team. Campus Recreation is that largest student employer on campus with over 100 student-staff. Offering positions as Fitness Center Staff, Personal Trainers, Group Fitness Instructors, Lifeguards(Lake Front and Pool), Intramural Sports Referees and even Marketing/Advertising opportunities.Student Government Association (SGA) and other leadership organizations are available. Dining options on campus include a food court with several fast-food outlets, and C3, a Starbucks coffee shop located in the library, and a bagel bar in the large Student Union. A sandwich shop called The Perch is also in the Union. South Village residence complex contains Fresh Food Company cafe.
The North Village residence halls are on a large lake with a beach, providing students a beach to relax on and to engage in water sports. Eagle's Landing is a small study and game lounge in the middle of North Village, adjacent to the common area. In addition, plenty of wetlands, green space, and ponds are present on campus, and the campus is surrounded by a huge nature preserve. The school's athletic venues, including Alico Arena are right next to the complex.
Eaglepalooza is a party thrown by Student Government every fall. It is a campus-wide event that is free for the student body and features games, headlining performances and other spirit activities. The event in 2008 attracted 7,000 people, featuring big-name headliners Flo Rida (who was forced to cancel due to schedule conflict) and Busta Rhymes. Yung Joc performed for the 2007 event. Sean Paul and Mims performed at the 2009 Eaglepalooza event. At 2010's Eaglepalooza, hip-hop group LMFAO performed.
Off-campus recreation 
Nearby off-campus diversions include Gulf Coast Town Center and Miromar Outlets, both located two miles (3 km) from campus, which are open-air malls featuring nightlife. Coconut Point is another open-air mall only a bit further away, on Tamiami Trail. Entertainment that is around the Southwest Florida area include Downtown Fort Myers, the 7 miles of beautiful Fort Myers Beach, with night life, accommodations and excellent food. Naples Beach which has been called Best All-Around Beach by Travel Channel in 2005, entertainment district 5th Avenue South in Naples, downtown Cape Coral and The Everglades.
Career development and internships 
The office of Career Development Services acts as a referral services for the students seeking internships and full-time employment in the area. The department offers major selection, interview coaching, and guidance for undergraduate, graduate, doctoral students, and alumni of the university
The university has operated public broadcasting stations WGCU television and WGCU-FM since 1996, when the license was transferred from the University of South Florida in Tampa. WGCU is a PBS member while WGCU-FM is an NPR member and broadcasts news, talk and jazz. The Eagle News is the school's official newspaper.
Performing arts and music 
FGCU is home to the black box theater where multiple plays and performances are held every year. The university just completed a 24,700-square-foot (2,290 m2) expansion of the fine arts building where the Bower School of Music is to be located.
Distinguished speaker series 
FGCU has a distinguished speaker series where one major, high-profile speaker comes and speaks to the students every year. Former Secretary of State and retired General Colin Powell spoke to a crowd of 4,000 at FGCU's Alico Arena on March 23, 2007, as a part of the University Lecture Series. Maya Angelou also spoke to a crowd of about 4,000 FGCU students. Mikhail Gorbachev spoke to a sold-out crowd of FGCU students as well. Current U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has held an event here, as well as former VP Dick Cheney. Between 2008 and 2010, the lecture series was put on hold, but returned in April 2011, with former first lady Laura Bush as the guest speaker.
Notable alumni 
- Matt Caldwell: Florida state representative
- Don Carman: Retired Major League Baseball pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies
- Casey Coleman: Professional baseball player 
- Courtney Jolly: Professional monster truck driver
- Derek Lamely: Professional golfer
- Chris Sale: Professional baseball player
See also 
- Germain Arena, stadium two miles (3 km) south which is home to FGCU's hockey team
- List of Florida Gulf Coast University people
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