Florida Gulf Coast University: Wikis


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Florida Gulf Coast University
Established 1991
Type Public
Endowment $36 million (2007-08)[1]
President Wilson G. Bradshaw
Provost Ronald Toll
Faculty 500 total: 336 instructional and administrative faculty, 164 adjunct faculty (2006)
Staff 681
Students 11,115[2]
Undergraduates 9,504[2]
Postgraduates 1,049[2]
Other students 562[2]
Location Fort Myers, Florida, USA
Campus Suburban Area
760 acres (3.08 km²), of which 400 acres (1.6 km2) is dedicated as a nature preserve
Colors Cobalt Blue and Emerald Green, and as an accent, Old Gold             
Mascot Azul the Eagle
Athletics NCAA Division I, ASC; 6 men's varsity teams / 9 women's
Affiliations AACSB, SACS, SUSF
Website http://www.fgcu.edu

Florida Gulf Coast University, also known as FGCU, is a coeducational public university located in Fort Myers, Florida which says it promotes environmental sustainability.[3] 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, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees.[4]



The school was established by then-governor Lawton Chiles in 1991, although the site of the university wasn't 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. Under President McTarnaghan, the school was originally intended to be a commuter university which focused on providing classes principally through the internet. 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, President McTarnaghan announced his decision to step down from his position as President of FGCU.

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, President Merwin envisioned a traditional four-year university which 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. Every student would have their own room and there would be a kitchen which would be shared by the four other students in the apartment. 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 which used an online system to increase communication between the professor and the students. President 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 Bill Merwin raised more than $250 million for the university and engaged in a rapid expansion of the student and faculty populations.[5] Multiple state of the art buildings were constructed, including: The Lutgert College of Business, Holmes Hall (Whitaker School of Engineering), The Whitaker Building, Academic Building V, 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 11,000 today. Over the next five years, undergraduate enrollment is expected to increase to more than 15,000 students. In 2007, Bill Merwin was forced to step-down as the university president as a result of an inappropriate relationship which took place between a faculty member and himself. Later in 2007, Wilson G. Bradshaw was named as the University's third president.


The Library Annex and Reed Hall from left to right.

FGCU's campus is located near Fort Myers, Florida and 12 miles (19 km) from Naples, Florida. 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.[6] An area of 400 acres (1.6 km2) of the main campus is set aside for environmental preservation. 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.

The 63,000-square-foot (5,900 m2) Lutgert College of Business building and the 70,000-square-foot (6,500 m2) Holmes Hall - U.A. Whitaker School of Engineering Building have recently been built. In addition, the 40,000-square-foot (3,700 m2) Herbert J. Sugden Hall - Resort & Hospitality Management Building has been completed. The university recently completed 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) Academic Building 7 for the College of Arts and Sciences and has published plans for Academic Building 8: a $24 million, 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) building for use by the College of Health Professions to be completed in July 2011.[7][8] Other current 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)[9] and the construction of one of the largest solar panel fields at any university. The university recently broke ground on the construction of new dormitories which house and additional 400 students on campus. [10] The university has also announced that they will build a shared-use facility at the Naples Botanical Gardens.[11] In 2008, FGCU became one of the first academic institutions in the country to include the metric system on its roadsigns.[12] They have since been taken down.

The FGCU board of trustees voted on January 19th, 2010 to assume ownership of 500 acres in Buckingham. Located between East Fort Myers and Lehigh Acres Florida, 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, but 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.[13] 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.[14]

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.


The Fall 2009 acceptance rate for FGCU is 62 percent, more selective than previous terms. US News ranks FGCU as third-tier among Masters-granting institutions in the South.[15]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).[16] Princeton Review also cites it as one of the top 301 business schools in the country.[17] 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.[18].

FGCU also offers Civil, Environmental, and Biological Engineering. The first graduating classes of all three of these disciplines received their diplomas in May 2009. FGCU engineering majors of the first graduating class will actually have to take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, which allows one to become an engineering intern, and receive their certification which validates this achievement in an unconventional manner; FGCU will have to become accredited by the board after they graduate. The second engineering class should not have this inconvenience. Holmes Hall was built primarily to facilitate the new Engineering program; however, Computer Science majors also use the building for their majors, and some nursing classes take place there as well.

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.

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.

Colleges and Academic Divisions

Florida Gulf Coast University academics are divided into six colleges. These colleges include:

College/school founding [19]
College/school Year founded

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


In FGCU's inaugural year, under $3 million of research was funded. By 2009, $14.8 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 & Sustainable 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 [20].

Student Enrollment and Demographics

FGCU has a multitude of students from different backgrounds, ethnicities, and nationalities.

Ethnic enrollment, 2008[21] Percent Total Population
American Indian 0.3% 34
Asian American 1.8% 181
Black (non-Hispanic) 4.3% 443
Hispanic 11.8% 1206
White (non-Hispanic) 76.6% 7825
International, Other 1% 104
Race/Ethnicity Unknown 4.2% 428
Total 100% 10221


Athletics logo
Alico Arena

In 2006, FGCU gained membership to the NCAA Atlantic Sun Conference. Athletic teams at FGCU include baseball, men's cross country, men's basketball, men's golf, men's soccer, men's tennis, softball, volleyball, women's basketball, women's cross country, women's golf, women's soccer, women's swimming and diving, women's tennis. FGCU women athletes have 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.[22] 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.[23] 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.[24] The Women's team won the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season championship with a conference record of 17-3 [25] but is ineligible to compete in the conference tourney, as the team is still in transition from Division II to Division I athletics. FGCU plays its basketball games at Alico Arena, and its baseball games at Swanson Stadium.

FGCU is currently the defendant in a federal lawsuit that charges the school with retaliation against two female coaches after they challenged the school’s compliance with Title IX. Its former General Counsel, Wendy Morris, also filed a lawsuit in federal court in April, 2008, alleging that the university retaliated against her when she expressed concerns about gender discrimination in athletics, and that her employment was terminated as a direct result of her refusal to go along with the school's actions.[26] However, an independent review cleared the school of any wrongdoing. [27]

Student life

Residence life

South Village residence complex. This complex is designed for First-Year Residents.

About 25 percent of the student population lives on campus which is consistent with most universities within the state of Florida. On-campus housing is made up of two sections: North Lake Village and the new South Village also known as SoVi. North Lake Village is located on an 80-acre (320,000 m2) lake and features apartment-style residence halls, with waterfront recreation. Themed housing is available, such as Honors and Wellness communities. SoVi is a suite-style residence hall with two buildings: Everglades Hall and Biscayne Hall. In SoVi, there are over 800 first-year students total. 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 nature of the dorms, 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 Hall Association. A commonly used form of transportation on campus is called the Eagle Express. This shuttle operates daily, taking students from their dorms 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-Saturday. Currently, the university is in negotiations to buy the College Club Apartment Complex which are located 1.5 miles away from the university. The College Club Apartments would house an additional 504 students and would be conveniently located next to the Gulf Coast Town Center.

Greek life

Florida Gulf Coast University has 12 Sorority Chapters and Fraternity Chapters currently on campus. Greek life is governed by a Panhellenic Council and the Interfraternity Council. The Interfraternity Council comprises five fraternities, and the Panhellenic Council comprises three sororities.[28] As of 2009, there is no Greek Housing on campus. -


Fraternities Sororities



Campus Recreation

Beach located off of North Village residence complex

The school has over 100 student clubs and organizations, representing nearly every interest. Sport Clubs and Intramural Sports are also offered along with other recreational venues. 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 Taco Bell, Subway, and C3, a Starbucks location in the library, and an Einstein Bros. Bagels in the large Student Union.[29] 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 an annual campus party thrown by Student Government every fall. It is a free campus-wide event featuring games, headlining performances, and other spirit activities.[30] 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.[31] Yung Joc performed for the 2007 event.[32] Sean Paul and Mims performed at the 2009 Eaglepalooza event.

Off-Campus Recreation

Nearby off-campus diversions include Gulf Coast Town Center and Miromar Outlets, both located two miles 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[33], Naples Beach which has been called Best All-Around Beach by Travel Channel in 2005[34], entertainment district 5th Avenue South in Naples[35], downtown Cape Coral[36] and The Everglades.[37] Off-Campus housing includes College Club Apartments, located adjacent to Gulf Coast Town Center, and Coastal Village.


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, classical music and jazz. The Eagle News is the school's official newspaper; it is printed weekly and also publishes news and blogs on their website. The school is also gaining media attention for its involvment in activism, namely in banning fast-food chain KFC from campus for its alleged torture of chickens.[38][39]

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.[40] Maya Angelou also spoke to a large crowd of about 4,000 FGCU students.[41] 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.

See also


  1. ^ http://www.nacubo.org/Documents/research/2009_NCSE_Public_Tables_Endowment_Market_Values.pdf
  2. ^ a b c d "Board of Trustees Information System Quarterly Briefing Volume 8 Number 2". Florida Gulf Coast University. http://fgcu.edu/trustees/AgendaFile/2010/1-2010/Tab3.pdf. Retrieved 2010-01-19. 
  3. ^ FGCU Board of Trustees. "Vision Mission and Guiding Principles". http://www.fgcu.edu/info/mission.asp. Retrieved 2009-10-13. 
  4. ^ Commission on Colleges
  5. ^ http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2009/mar/14/donations-endowments-take-hit-local-colleges-econo/
  6. ^ "FGCU past: Board of Regents selects Alico as university site". http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2007/aug/20/fgcu_past_board_regents_selects_alico_university_s/. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  7. ^ "Facilities Program Fact Sheet". Florida Gulf Coast University. http://www.fgcu.edu/facilities/AB8_Fact_Sheet_CM.pdf. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  8. ^ "Facilities Program - Academic Building 8". Florida Gulf Coast University. http://www.fgcu.edu/facilities/AB8_Facilities_Program.pdf. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  9. ^ "Project Fact Sheet - Fine Arts 2". Florida Gulf Coast University. http://www.fgcu.edu/facilities/FineArts2FactSheet.pdf. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  10. ^ "FGCU Solar - Home". Florida Gulf Coast University. http://www.fgcusolar.com/home. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  11. ^ "FGCU-Facilities Planning". Florida Gulf Coast University. http://www.fgcu.edu/facilities/progress.html. Retrieved 2008-08-12. 
  12. ^ "FGCU Professor Contributes to Metric Conversion of Speed Limit Signs on Campus". Florida Gulf Coast University. http://www.fgcu.edu/crm/pressrelease.asp?id=20098. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  13. ^ "Water water everywhere". Pinnacle Magazine, alumni publication of Florida Gulf Coast University. http://www.fgcu.edu/CWI/files/Vester_Field_Station_-_Pinnacle_Summer_2008.pdf. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  14. ^ Bonner, Jessie. "FGCU purchases Bonita Springs waterfront property for marine lab". Naples News. http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2007/Jul/09/fgcu_purchases_bonita_springs_waterfront_property_/. Retrieved 2008-08-12. 
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ http://www.fgcu.edu/cob/
  17. ^ "Higher education briefs: Lutgert College of Business named among 301 best in nation". Naples Daily News. http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2009/oct/29/higher-education-briefs-lutgert-college-business-n/. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  18. ^ [2]
  19. ^ http://www.fgcu.edu/about.asp
  20. ^ http://www.fgcu.edu/orsp/
  21. ^ [3] Retrieved on 10-08-2009.
  22. ^ Disappointment, heartbreak
  23. ^ Women's Basketball to Host USF in First Round of WNIT
  24. ^ FGCU Athletics - Official Site
  25. ^ [4]
  26. ^ "Second Former Coach Sues Florida School for Retaliation". Florida Gulf Coast University. http://www.publicjustice.net/PR/Flood_SecondCoach_041208.htm. Retrieved 2008-08-12. 
  27. ^ "FGCU: External review finds athletic department in compliance with gender-equity requirements". Naples Daily News. http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2009/jul/29/fgcu-external-review-finds-athletic-department-com/?partner=RSS. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  28. ^ http://studentservices.fgcu.edu/Panhellenic/661.asp
  29. ^ "The Student Union at Florida Gulf Coast University". Florida Gulf Coast University. http://www.fgcu.edu/auxiliary/studentunion/. Retrieved 2009-10-02. 
  30. ^ [5]
  31. ^ "Busta Rhymes draws thousands to FGCU’s Eaglepalooza". Naples Daily News. http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2008/nov/21/busta-rhymes-draws-thousands-fgcus-eaglepalooza/. Retrieved 2009-10-02. 
  32. ^ "Flo-Rida scheduled for EaglePalooza '08". Eagle News. http://media.www.eaglenews.org/media/storage/paper1344/news/2008/10/22/News/FloRida.Scheduled.For.Eaglepalooza.08-3500161.shtml. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  33. ^ [6]
  34. ^ [7]
  35. ^ [8]
  36. ^ [9]
  37. ^ [10]
  38. ^ Jeremiah, Jacobsen. "FGCU students: KFC not allowed on campus". Fort Myers Broadcasting. http://www.winknews.com/news/local/15044996.html. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  39. ^ "FGCU Students Ban KFC". PETA. http://www.peta.org/MC/NewsItem.asp?id=10879. 
  40. ^ Powell: Like it or not, Iraq is a civil war
  41. ^ http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2005/mar/01/ndn_maya_angelou_thrills_southwest_florida_audienc/

External links

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

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