The path to Florida Gulf Coast University’s next 20 years led right through Dunk City at the 2018 President’s Celebration, which took place April 7.
Some 400 guests walked through the doors of Alico Arena, stepping into what is customarily a basketball venue, but on this night was transformed, draped in elegant white curtains, bathed in blue
lights and populated by dancers and musicians, all lending a futuristic feel to the event.
“I’d like to see us be in a position where every citizen in the five-county area knows, in some way, that we have an impact on their lives.”
-President Mike Martin said in a nod to 2037.
“And I’d like to see that our graduation rate and our success rate for students approaches 90 percent.”
President Mike Martin speaks about FGCU’s futureStudent success was the theme of the celebration, and Martin made a generous investment in the cause in which he ardently believes. The president joined in a spirited fund-a-need live auction in which donors pledged to help fund the university’s student success efforts, raising more than $300,000.
Martin also was officially inaugurated in an uncharacteristically brief ceremony. He requested that the tradition take place during the gala rather than in a more expensive independent ceremony. Flanked by founding President Roy McTarnaghan and FGCU Board of Trustees Chair Blake Gable, Martin received the chain of office in a symbolic moment marking his rise to become the university’s fourth president. Martin was quick to point out who the event was really honoring.
“This should be the Community’s [Celebration],” Martin said as he motioned toward the crowd. “These are the people who have made this a university and continue to make it better.”