The FGCU Alumni Association launched its first regional chapter on May 14 for graduates living in the Broward County area. It’s the first of 10 chapters to be established in coming months outside Southwest Florida.
With 22,000 graduates across Florida and the United States, the Alumni Association is expanding its programs every year to keep alumni connected to FGCU and to fellow graduates. A Hillsborough County Alumni Chapter launched on May 28 in Tampa. Additional chapters are planned to roll out in Chicago (June 6), Sarasota County (June 25), Los Angeles (July 16), Atlanta (July 30), Denver (Aug. 6), New York City (Sept. 15), Austin (Oct. 1) and Washington, D.C. (Oct. 15).
The Broward kickoff in Fort Lauderdale signified a new phase in the growth of the Alumni Association, according to Director of Alumni Relations Kimberly Wallace. More than 1,500 Eagle alums live in Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
“The Broward County Chapter event marks an important milestone in Florida Gulf Coast University’s history,” Wallace said. “In coming years we will look back on this day with excitement knowing that their chapter was the first to launch. The services and activities that the chapter will offer will keep alumni active in the life of FGCU today and remind them of the great experiences they enjoyed as students.”
Samantha Kleiman, who graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Communications, was installed as president of the Broward chapter.
“Being part of something new is exciting, but being part of something that has never existed before is extremely special,” she said. “I am thrilled to be part of the first-ever FGCU Broward County Alumni Chapter and I hope our graduates, no matter what year they finished, will feel at home in our new group.”
To commemorate the occasion, FGCU President Wilson G. Bradshaw offered to establish a new $2,000 scholarship in honor of the chapter member in attendance who was the earliest FGCU graduate. The distinction went to Kimberly Patterson, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Health Science in 2001 as well as a master’s in Health Science in 2005. She also was a 2012 recipient of the Alumni Association’s Soaring Eagle Award, which recognizes professional accomplishments, community service and dedication to the alma mater.
Look for a photo album from the launch on the Florida Gulf Coast University Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/FGCUAlumni
For more information about the Alumni Association, call Assistant Director of Programs Angela Kunkle at (239) 745-4343 or go the association’s website, alumni.fgcu.edu.