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March 12, 2018

Leadership Academy offers inside view of FGCU

Alumni Association offers program for community members to learn more about their state university

The Florida Gulf Coast University Alumni Association has announced the return of its Leadership Academy, an inside look at FGCU’s growing and evolving programs and facilities.

Fashioned after similar workshops sponsored by business and civic organizations to introduce participants to the inner workings of their communities, the Leadership Academy will meet monthly starting in April to introduce Southwest Florida residents and FGCU alumni to the latest innovations at FGCU. Participants will meet top administrators, faculty and staff along with successful alumni who are making a mark in the greater community.

Athletic Director Ken Kavanagh addresses last year’s Leadership Academy.

“This six-month program will not only provide leadership training from FGCU staff and alumni, but will also give you an inside look at our ever-evolving campus infrastructure and our always-changing educational programs, all in a special way,” said Kimberly Wallace, director of alumni relations.

“For instance, on Engineering Day, we’ll visit the new VIPER virtual-reality lab in Holmes Hall, where participants can put on the goggles and enjoy a cutting-edge simulation of the latest instruction in the construction industry,” Wallace said. “On Resort and Hospitality/PGA Golf Management Day, the group will get to analyze golf swings — including their own, if they wish — at the simulation lab in Sugden Hall. And since we held our first Leadership Academy in 2017, Alico Arena has been greatly expanded to include new sports-medicine, fitness and academic facilities, along with a spectacular theater that Eagles teams use for video study. So even our Athletics Day will be new and different this year.”

One previous participant is Naples City Councilman Reg Buxton, who signed up in 2017. While he has served on more than 20 boards and participated in other area leadership programs, he said the FGCU Alumni Association’s Leadership Academy is a unique opportunity.

“It gives [you] insight into what the [university] is about,” said Buxton. “[There are] things you may think you know on the outside, but from the inside you get a different view of [FGCU].”

Each Leadership Academy program takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. on the third Friday of the month. Besides the programs dedicated to engineering, resort and hospitality/golf management and athletics, other workshops include Health and Human Services Day, Government Day and a concluding President’s Day visit with Dr. Mike Martin, FGCU’s fourth president.

The FGCU Alumni Association Leadership Academy is limited to 15 participants. Applications close March 23, at which time the program’s tuition cost, which is $350 (FGCU alumni get a $100 discount), also is due. To register or get more information, visit the academy webpage.