Florida Gulf Coast University

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Florida Gulf Coast University
Florida Gulf Coast University seal.svg
Motto "Truth, Knowledge, Wisdom."
Type Public
Space-grant
Established 1991
Academic affiliations
AACSB, SACS, SUSF
Endowment $83 million
President Mike Martin
Provost Ronald Toll
Academic staff
540 total
Administrative staff
794 total
Students 14,821
Undergraduates 13,543
Postgraduates 985
Location Fort Myers, Florida, United States
Campus Suburban, 800 acres (3.2 km2)
Colors Cobalt blue and emerald green[1]
         
Athletics NCAA Division IASUN
Nickname Eagles
Mascot Azul the Eagle
Website www.fgcu.edu
Florida Gulf Coast University logo.svg
Math tutoring lab

Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) is a public university located in Fort Myers, Florida, United States, part of unincorporated Lee County. The university belongs to the 12-campus State University System of Florida. FGCU competes in the Atlantic Sun Conference in NCAA Division I sports and is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award 56 different types of bachelor's, 25 different master's, 3 types of doctoral degrees and 11 certificates.

History[edit]

Establishment[edit]

The school was established by then-governor Lawton Chiles in 1991, although the site of the university was not chosen until 1993, and construction was delayed until 1995. The school first held classes in August 1997.[2] Roy McTarnaghan was the university's founding president. In August 1998, the university completed its first phase of student housing. On May 1, 1999, McTarnaghan announced his decision to step down from his position as president of FGCU.[3]

Expansion and growth[edit]

In July 1999, William C. Merwin became FGCU's second president. He sought to create a traditional four-year university. Merwin was an active fundraiser. In an eight-year period, he raised more than $250 million for the university, and expanded the school.[4] New buildings included Lutgert College of Business, Holmes Hall (U.A. Whitaker School of Engineering), Whitaker Hall, Cohen Center (the student union), Alico Arena and an expansion of on-campus housing. Student enrollment at FGCU increased from approximately 2,000 in its first year, to almost 15,000 as of 2017. In 2007, Dr. Wilson G. Bradshaw became the university's third president. He announced that he would step down after the 2016-17 academic year, and the Board of Trustees selected Dr. Mike Martin to replace Bradshaw in 2017.[5][6]

Recent history[edit]

Campus facilities continued to expand from 2007 to 2010. New residence halls housing over 1,200 students were built. The fine arts building and student union were expanded, and a solar panel field was built.

Bradshaw explored the possibility of football at FGCU, hiring a consulting firm to explore costs. The consulting firm determined it would cost as much as $144 million and plans to explore adding the sport are on hold.[7]

Responding to a challenge for state universities to improve their four-year graduation rate, FGCU in 2016 introduced a program called Soar in 4, which reimburses out-of-pocket tuition expenses for the freshman year of students who graduate within four years and meet certain other criteria.

Mike Martin, former chancellor of Louisiana State University and the Colorado State University System, succeeded Bradshaw as Florida Gulf Coast University president on July 1, 2017. The transition from Dr. Bradshaw to Dr. Martin came during the university's celebration of its 20th anniversary.

In 2017, the College of Health Professions & Social Work was renamed the Marieb College of Health & Human Services after a $10 million gift from donor Elaine Nicpon Marieb, for whom Marieb Hall was named after her original $5 million pledge.

Campus[edit]

FGCU's Academic Core

FGCU's 800-acre (3.2 km2) campus is located in unincorporated Southwest Florida in Lee County, 21 miles (34 km) from Naples and south of Fort Myers. It is within San Carlos Park's fire district and uses a Fort Myers postal address.[8] The campus is south of Fort Myers and 21 miles (34 km) from Naples. The site was donated by the Alico Corp. and was selected to avoid a conflict between Naples and Fort Myers after a review by the Board of Regents.[9][8] The 150-acre (0.61 km2) center of the campus, known as the Academic Core, contains the buildings housing most of the school's classrooms and labs. There are three separate housing areas on the periphery of the campus: North Lake, South Village, and West Lake Village. North Lake Village overlooks a lake with recreational activities including boating and water skiing, with a new boardwalk and dining facility opening along its waterfront in 2017.

Growth and new construction[edit]

Lutgert College of Business

The Lutgert College of Business building opened in 2008,[10] Holmes Hall (which houses the U.A. Whitaker School of Engineering) opened in 2009,[11] and in 2008, the Herbert J. Sugden Hall (home to the School of Resort & Hospitality Management) opened.[12] Academic Building 7 for the College of Arts and Sciences was completed in 2010 and named Seidler Hall in 2016 after donors Lee and Gene Seidler.[13] In 2012, Academic Building 8 was completed. Now Marieb Hall, it was dedicated to Elaine Nicpon Marieb in 2012.[14] The $24 million, 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) building was designed for the College of Health Professions, which in 2017 was renamed the Marieb College of Health & Human Services after Dr. Marieb's second transformative gift, an additional $10 million pledge.

Other construction projects include expansion of the Cohen Center (the student union building also affectionately known as "Harv's Place" in honor of donor Harvey Cohen), an addition to the fine arts building, a 2017 expansion of Alico Arena and one of the largest solar panel fields at a university. FGCU also opened a new facility a few miles northeast of campus in 2016, the Emergent Technologies Institute.

FGCU has created the Everglades Wetland Research Park (EWRP), housed in the Kapnick Education and Research Center on the campus of the Naples Botanical Garden in Naples, Florida, approximately 35 miles south of the main FGCU campus.. The EWRP provides teaching, research, and service related to wetland, river, coastal science and ecological engineering.

Acquisition of additional land and creation of satellite campuses[edit]

There are three other satellite campus locations: Naples, the Atrium in Fort Myers and Herald Court Centre in Punta Gorda, where continuing education and lifelong learning classes are held. 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 property operated as Gulf Coast Center, a residential facility for people with developmental disabilities. After the state phased out such large-scale institutions, the FGCU Board of Trustees accepted the land donation. It is used for off-campus team-building exercises and storage, among other things.

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.[15]

Environmental sustainability[edit]

FGCU's Library Complex

Since its founding, 400 acres (1.6 km2) on the main campus have been set aside for environmental preservation. FGCU also has constructed a number of lakes on the campus that 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. Seidler Hall, 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, Lutgert and Seidler halls, 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, Osprey and Eagle — heat their water via rooftop solar panels.

Library[edit]

The Library Complex is located on FGCU's main campus in Fort Myers. In the 2016-17 school year, the main facility accommodated 1 million visitors for the first time. The library has more than 1.5 million items in its collection, which can be accessed by students or any patron with a library card.[16] The library also subscribes to more than 400 databases to allow students and patrons access to more than 700 million full-text articles.[16] The east wing of the library includes a 115-seat computer lab that provides access to Mac computers as well as specialty software for engineering and visual design students.[16]

The library is also dedicated to making sure that its collection stays relevant. In 2014, the Collection Analysis Project (CAP) began so that the FGCU library could determine what parts of the collection were being utilized by students and what could be removed in order to make way for various new projects within the library, such as adding new study spaces, new power outlets, and more technology.[17] In addition to its various print and electronic collections, the library also houses various art pieces, including seven signed lithographs by Salvador Dali.[18] The Archives and Special Collections unit of the library has held various exhibitions since the fall of 2013. The list of past exhibits may be found on the library's website.[19] Other resources located within the library complex are:[16]

  • ArtLab Gallery
  • Center for Academic Achievement
  • Lucas Center for Faculty Development
  • Starbucks
  • Veterans Space
  • Writing Center

Academics[edit]

Florida Gulf Coast University academics are divided into five colleges. In 2016-17, new matriculants averaged an ACT score of 23.9, an SAT score of 1592, a high school GPA of 3.78, and a college GPA of 3.06.

US News ranks FGCU as first-tier among regional universities in the southern United States.[20] Princeton Review also cites it as one of the top business schools in the country.[21]

The Lutgert College of Business is an AACSB-accredited institution, offering undergraduate degrees in Accounting, Computer Information Systems, Economics, Finance, Management, Marketing and a new degree in Entrepreneurship. The latter major falls in line with the university's Institute for Entrepreneurship that mentors students and prospective business owners and coordinates a program through Veterans Florida that helps military veterans launch business plans; and the Small Business Development Center, which offers counseling and other services to regional businesses. The college offers the following graduate degrees: Accounting and Taxation, Computer Information Systems and Business Administration (both traditional and executive).[22] FGCU also added a real estate undergraduate degree, which began in the fall of 2012.[23]

Resort and Hospitality Management offers several popular majors, with students getting the opportunity to gain supervised field work experience at one of many resorts and spas in the area. Professional Golf Management is a unique program with limited access (it's the only remaining PGA-certified program in Florida and one of just 19 in the country), much like the Nursing, Music and Athletic Training programs.

FGCU also has a unique requirement prior to graduation — University Colloquium: A Sustainable Future. The aim of this colloquium is to educate graduates on the importance of ecology, preservation and sustainability. FGCU also makes service learning a graduation requirement, and students have contributed more than 2.2 million volunteer hours in the community since the university opened in 1997.

College/school Year founded
College of Arts and Sciences 1995
Marieb College of Health & Human Services 1997
College of Professional Studies 1997
College of Education 2001
U.A. Whitaker School of Engineering 2005
Lutgert College of Business 2008

FGCU also offers Civil, Environmental, Bioengineering and Software Engineering, the last of which replaced Computer Science. Holmes Hall was built to facilitate the new Engineering college, along with the new Emergent Technologies Institute, which opened just northeast of campus in 2016. As of 2011, the engineering program has been known as the U.A. Whitaker College of Engineering. A master of science in engineering program started in August 2017.

In 2017, FGCU elevated its Honors Program to an Honors College, opening in August with almost 900 students.

Research[edit]

In FGCU's inaugural year, less than $3 million of research was funded. In 2015-16, almost $10 million in funds were granted for research. 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, and the Regional Economic Research Institute.[24] Since FGCU first opened, the total funds awarded for research has amounted to $204.8 million as of 2016.

Athletics[edit]

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 (ASUN), which they joined in 2007.[25]

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
  • Women's beach volleyball
FGCU Eagles baseball

FGCU is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic 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, with other on-campus facilities including softball and soccer fields, tennis courts and an aquatics complex for intercollegiate competition.

The average GPA of a student athlete at FGCU was 3.27 in the spring semester of 2017.[26]

Baseball[edit]

The FGCU baseball team has sent several players to professional leagues, the most famous of whom is All-Star pitcher Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox. Casey Coleman, also a pitcher, was the first Eagle to make the major leagues, with the Chicago Cubs. Pitcher Justin Stiver was the first Eagle athlete drafted by a professional team in any sport, picked by the Houston Astros in 2006.

Basketball[edit]

The front of Alico Arena on the campus of FGCU

On March 24, 2007, FGCU's women's basketball team ended its 35–1 season with a loss in the Division II National Championship to Southern Connecticut State University.[27] 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.[28] 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.[29] The women's team has since won the Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season and/or tournament championship each year since (except for 2010) with annual postseason appearances either in the NCAA Tournament or the WNIT, in which the Eagles finished second nationally in 2016 after losing to South Dakota in the championship game.

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[30] and the No. 7 seeded San Diego State Aztecs in the second round.[31] The Eagles became the seventh No. 15 seed to advance to the round of 32[30] and the first to advance to the Sweet 16.[31]

Student life[edit]

Residence life[edit]

New housing under construction in South Village
Lake Como and North Lake Village student housing

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-acre 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. Housing 501 students, it was bought by the University for $17 million and the apartments officially became part of FGCU Housing and Residence Life in October 2010.[32] Themed housing is available, such as Honors and Wellness communities. South Village (SoVi) is composed of suite-style residence halls with five buildings: Everglades Hall, Biscayne Hall, Palmetto Hall, Osprey Hall and Eagle Hall, housing a total of more than 1,720 first-year students.

In the summer of 2013, South Village opened the SoVi Pool, a resort-style pool featuring a "beach-entry" and built-in pool volleyball court. The pool is the result of a collaboration between the Office of Housing & Residence Life and Campus Recreation. FGCU enhanced the North Lake Village complex in 2017 by opening a new lakefront boardwalk and dining facility.

In total, there are annually more than 3,200 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 usually 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. Another shuttle runs Thursday through Saturday and takes students from the residence halls to Gulf Coast Town Center, a shopping, dining and entertainment destination.

Greek life[edit]

Florida Gulf Coast University has 25 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.[33] There is no Greek housing on campus.

Campus recreation[edit]

The official Campus Recreation department organizes several day and overnight trips annually, including rock climbing, skydiving, white-water rafting, sea kayaking and more. There are also 27 official sports clubs on campus, many of which engage in intercollegiate competition with their peers.

Student organizations[edit]

There are more than 250 Registered Student Organizations at FGCU, including Student Government, which appropriates funding for many of them.

Media[edit]

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. FGCU 360 Now is a website that features university news and complements the official university periodical, FGCU 360 Magazine, which was rebranded in 2016 after originally publishing as Pinnacle. Eagle News is the school's official student media group, publishing a weekly newspaper, a website that's updated daily and TV/radio programming when classes are in session.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Visual Identity Guidelines" (PDF). Retrieved April 9, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Florida Gulf Coast University Historical Perspective". 
  3. ^ Shoun, Janel (September 24, 1998). "FGCU, the first 10 years: First president to resign in '99". Naples Daily News. Retrieved July 7, 2017. 
  4. ^ Dillon, Liam (July 8, 2010). "Donations, endowments take a hit at local colleges as economy sours". Naples Daily News. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  5. ^ Bland, Thyrie (November 12, 2015). "FGCU President Wilson Bradshaw to retire in 2017". News Press. Retrieved July 7, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Florida Gulf Coast University Office of the President". 
  7. ^ "Football would cost FGCU up to $144 million". WBBH News. NBC-2.com. January 18, 2011. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Aten, Tim (March 28, 2013). "In the Know: Where in the world is Dunk City?". Naples News. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  9. ^ "FGCU past: Board of Regents selects Alico as university site". Retrieved October 7, 2009. 
  10. ^ "FGCU's Lutgert Hall Officially Opens for Business". October 30, 2008. Archived from the original on July 17, 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Holmes Hall, New Home of U.A. Whitaker School of Engineering, Hosts Official Grand Opening". January 2009. Archived from the original on July 15, 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2012. 
  12. ^ "FGCU Hosts Herbert J. Sugden Hall Grand Opening". November 14, 2008. Archived from the original on July 15, 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Academic Building 7 Grand Opening". Retrieved September 5, 2012. 
  14. ^ "March 29th Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Officially Opens Marieb Hall". Retrieved September 5, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Water water everywhere" (PDF). Pinnacle Magazine, alumni publication of Florida Gulf Coast University. Retrieved November 2, 2009. 
  16. ^ a b c d "FGCU Library". library.fgcu.edu. Retrieved 2016-11-24. 
  17. ^ "FGCU Library". library.fgcu.edu. Retrieved 2016-11-24. 
  18. ^ "Art in the Library". 
  19. ^ "Library Services". library.fgcu.edu. Archived from the original on February 26, 2016. Retrieved February 25, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Florida Gulf Coast University – Best College – Education – US News". Colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com. August 16, 2010. Archived from the original on September 15, 2010. Retrieved August 24, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Higher education briefs: Lutgert College of Business named among 301 best in nation". Naples Daily News. Retrieved November 2, 2009. 
  22. ^ "FGCU Lutgert College of Business". Fgcu.edu. June 24, 2010. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  23. ^ Coast, Gulf (January 19, 2011). "Biz school launches real estate major || Business Observer | Tampa Bay, Bradenton, Sarasota, Fort Myers, Naples". Review.net. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Office of Research and Sponsored Programs". Fgcu.edu. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  25. ^ Seth Soffian (August 22, 2010). "After a rapid rise, how will FGCU sports grow in the next decade?". The News-Press. Retrieved December 15, 2010. 
  26. ^ Williams, Leslie. "Making the grade: FGCU student-athletes have higher GPA than peers " Naples Daily News". Naplesnews.com. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  27. ^ Caldwell, Dana. "Disappointment, heartbreak". Naplesnews.com. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Women's Basketball to Host USF in First Round of WNIT". Fgcuathletics.com. Archived from the original on September 14, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  29. ^ "FGCU Athletics – Official Site". Fgcuathletics.com. Archived from the original on September 21, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  30. ^ a b Associated Press] (March 22, 2013). "Florida Gulf Coast Eagles vs. Georgetown Hoyas – NCAA Tournament Game – Recap – March 22, 2013 – ESPN". ESPN. Retrieved March 24, 2013. 
  31. ^ a b "Florida Gulf Coast Eagles vs. San Diego State Aztecs – NCAA Tournament Game – Recap – March 24, 2013 – ESPN". ESPN. Associated Press. March 24, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2013. 
  32. ^ Hale, Leslie Williams (June 10, 2010). "FGCU seeks to buy College Club Apartments for $17M". Naples News. Retrieved October 11, 2010. 
  33. ^ "Panhellenic". Studentservices.fgcu.edu. September 29, 1990. Archived from the original on June 12, 2008. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  34. ^ "Casey Coleman Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Derek Lamely". PGA Tour. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  36. ^ "Vice President and Chief of Staff". Fgcu.edu. 2013-10-24. Retrieved 2014-08-23. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 26°27′45″N 81°46′22″W / 26.462499°N 81.772898°W / 26.462499; -81.772898