New FGCU Foundation board chair gives time, talent and treasure

4 – minute read

FGCU grad Samantha Scott
Chuck Ketteman, outgoing FGCU Foundation board chair, handed over the gavel to Samantha Scott, the first alum selected to lead the board.

Florida Gulf Coast University has reached a new milestone in its history with the selection of Samantha Scott (’05, marketing) as the FGCU Foundation board’s new chairperson. She’s the first FGCU graduate to hold the position.


According to Kitty Green, vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the FGCU Foundation, “Samantha’s election shows our evolution to a more balanced board with both community members and alumni.”


Scott, president of Pushing the Envelope, a marketing and public relations firm in Fort Myers, says she received some great advice early in her career which she brings to her new seat at the table. “Pick a few things you’re passionate about and go all in. You can move one thing forward a mile or 10 things forward an inch.”

Typically, alums make up the primary donors and fundraisers of university foundations. At only 26 years old, FGCU is such a young institution that mostly non-alumni community members have stepped up to serve on the foundation board. Scott’s appointment as chair underscores the valuable contributions FGCU alums can make in shaping the university’s future when they go all in.


“Her leadership style is quiet, thoughtful and measured, and she’s very strategic and decisive,” says Green.

The foundation promotes FGCU and raises funds to support its teaching, scholarship and public service mission. Green says managing and administering assets with a view to long-term growth and sustainability is critical.


“Samantha will oversee the completion of our three-year comprehensive campaign,” says Green. The original goal of that campaign was $75 million, with a stretch goal of $100 million. “She’ll also take the lead in the development of a new philanthropic plan to support the university’s next strategic plan.”


That strategic plan will be helmed by Aysegul Timur, recently chosen by a unanimous vote of the FGCU Board of Trustees to serve as the next president of FGCU.


“There’s a very bright future ahead with Aysegul coming in,” Scott said. “I’ve been fortunate to know her for some time, and I’m excited about what’s coming for the university under her leadership.”

Scott knows firsthand about the FGCU Foundation’s impact. As a student, she was a direct recipient of it.


“My parents were big believers in education, but they couldn’t afford to put me through school. My dad was a police officer, and my mom was a paramedic. The support system was there, but the finances were not.”


Scott said she wouldn’t have been able to attend college without working and receiving financial assistance from the foundation.


“I’m a big believer in giving a hand up, not a handout,” she said. “I really subscribe to the tried-and-true idea to give time, talent and treasure.”


With foundation aid, Scott believes students can focus better on academics and enriching experiences like internships and research projects. This benefits not only FGCU students but their future employers.


“We hear time and again from students, ‘I got this scholarship, and because of that I was able to travel abroad, work less hours, do more on campus, have more experiences,’” Scott said. “It gives them a greater opportunity to be the most well-rounded graduate possible and therefore the most qualified candidate to seek whatever position they’re looking for.”

FGCU grad Samantha Scott
Samantha Scott will take the lead in the development of a new philanthropic plan to support the university’s next strategic plan.
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