Supporters of Florida Gulf Coast University contributed $127 million over the course of three years to enhance the university’s efforts in the areas of academic excellence, athletics, scholarships, student success and community and regional impact.
And while the three-year-long $100 million capital campaign has come to a close, financial support by the private sector remains critically important, says Chris Simoneau, FGCU’s vice president
for Advancement and executive director of the FGCU Foundation.
“The reason the university has continued to grow and expand is due, in large part, to ongoing investment by private donors,” he says. “Tuition and state money has remained flat. We have to continue to have investment from the community to sustain a thriving organization.”
One of the most important aspects of the campaign was that it grew the university’s endowment significantly, from about $63 million in fiscal year 2013-14 to $84.6 million in fiscal year 2016-17.
The funds raised enabled the university to provide a record amount of scholarship money to a record number of students – more than $3 million to 1,091 students. That’s double the amount awarded in 2013-14, the year before the campaign commenced. The campaign enabled the university to expand Alico Arena, enhance programming at WGCU Public Media, broaden programs at the Bower School for Music & the Arts and much more.
While the campaign has ended, scholarships continue to be a high priority as only about one-third of students who apply receive them because there still is not enough money to meet demand.
Another top priority is funding for the proposed School of Integrated Coastal and Watershed Studies. The state has allotted some funding for planning purposes but this critically important initiative still needs additional capital if the university is going to be able to build a structure to house the laboratory and classroom space needed for the research and learning that it will provide.
- Help advance regionally important programs through the FGCU Foundation