Mike and Karen Hartley have made a generous gift of $1 million earmarked for the creation of the Hartley Academic Resource Center for the development of Eagle student-athletes as part of the Alico Arena expansion and enhancement project.
It’s the third seven-figure donation to Athletics’ $12-million and allows for construction to commence.
“We are elated to be in a position to contribute toward FGCU’s expansion,” the Hartleys said. “FGCU’s academic and athletics achievements, as well as its quality student-athletes, are a huge asset for Southwest Florida. We have supported individual athletics scholarships for a few years, and we find the opportunity to share some of our successes with this historical project personally rewarding. The Hartley Academic Resource Center will offer expanded learning opportunities to all student-athletes at this first-class institution of higher learning, and we’re excited and proud to be able to support it.”
The Hartleys have been active members of the Eagles Scholarship Society — the highest annual giving designation for FGCU Athletics — and have been basketball season-ticket holders since 2014. The couple have been supporters and boosters of FGCU Athletics and active volunteers for Night at the Nest, the department’s largest and most successful annual fundraising gala.
“We are extremely blessed to be the beneficiaries of Mike and Karen’s tremendous kindness,” said Director of Athletics Ken Kavanagh. “Through this magnanimous gift, we are afforded invaluable resources to greatly assist our capabilities to further support the academic pursuits of our current and future student-athletes.”
The Hartley Academic Resource Center will be on the first floor of the Alico expansion, closest to Swanson Stadium. It will include offices for the Student-Athlete Learning Center’s staff, work spaces for group projects, numerous computers lining the glass exterior, seven private tutoring areas and living, study and conference rooms.
“This generous gift will provide our student-athletes with more space, better resources and an improved learning environment,” said Kelly Jean Brock, Assistant AD and Director of the Student-Athlete Learning Center. “Our student-athletes have exceeded the overall FGCU student body GPA for 14-straight semesters, and these enhancements will only help them further surpass their peers and position themselves well for life after intercollegiate athletics.”
Other Phase I enhancements include an expanded sports medicine area, the addition of new men’s and women’s basketball suites and the reconfiguring of office spaces. Phase I is scheduled to be completed in time for the start of the 2017-18 academic year.