President’s Circle for Excellence: A new way to support FGCU’s strategic initiatives

3 – minute read

For Gail Markham, joining the President’s Circle for Excellence adds up to a win-win situation.


The founder of Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Company, a public accounting and business consulting firm in Fort Myers and Naples, estimates half the firm’s staff are Florida Gulf Coast University graduates. The company matches employees’ contributions to an endowed scholarship fund for FGCU accounting students, cultivating a pipeline of talent in the field and the firm.


“We feel strongly about the success of FGCU in our community,” says Markham, a member of the FGCU Foundation board of directors who also served on the most recent presidential search committee. “It impacts us personally and professionally and our clients significantly. We need to continue to support that in any way we can.”

FGCU President Aysegul Timur
FGCU President Aysegul Timur

So it’s no surprise Markham was among the first to join the President’s Circle for Excellence, a new group of philanthropists who believe in President Aysegul Timur’s vision for the future of FGCU and want to make a tangible difference in helping achieve it.


“I’ve known Aysegul a long time, and I know her well enough to know what she’s going to do. She’s plugged into the workforce,” Markham says. “I love her engagement, especially as it’s connected to the workforce and employers. It’s contagious — her aptitude, her attitude and her approach.”


President’s Circle for Excellence members make a three-year pledge of $5,000 or more annually, which will go into a special discretionary fund the president can use to help accelerate programs and initiatives to implement the university’s 2024-29 strategic plan, “Innovating for Student Success: FGCU’s Journey to Excellence.” A discretionary fund allows a president flexibility in investing in areas not covered by other funding.

Learn more about FGCU’s strategic plan >>>

“Dr. Timur has many friends in the community who are asking how they can support the university,” says Kitty Green, University Advancement vice president and FGCU Foundation executive director. “Giving to this fund will support implementing the strategic plan. The plan includes innovative initiatives and high-impact practices, some of which we are doing now but not at the scale we could. It’s about growing and accelerating promising strategies to support students.”


“Innovating for Student Success: FGCU’s Journey to Excellence” includes five overarching goals:


• Innovate in academic excellence

• Enhance student success and well-being

• Elevate partnerships for regional impact

• Strengthen organizational culture and commitment to employees

• Champion sustainable practices and resiliency


“It’s important for people to join the President’s Circle for Excellence to demonstrate support for Aysegul and her leadership,” says Katie Sproul, chief executive officer of Halstatt Real Estate Partners, a real estate private equity firm based in Naples. “FGCU is a very important part of the Southwest Florida community and landscape. It has been wonderful to see it grow, and I think she can continue to take it to the next level. Her passion for the university is tremendous.”

FGCU students working together in a lab
FGCU students at commencement

Sproul has known Timur for 15-20 years, and the Sproul family has a long history of supporting FGCU. The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce former chairperson, Sproul saw firsthand how Timur conducted research for the chamber on the economic impact of business in Southwest Florida and built mutually beneficial collaborations.


“She is so embedded in the community — that’s an incredible advantage for the university,” Sproul says. “She’s been very successful building partnerships. I think there is no better person to really leverage that to lead FGCU as well as enhance the community as a whole. That will be a win-win. I support her 100%.”


For more information about the President’s Circle for Excellence or to join online, go to the website.

FGCU professor Claude Villiers teaching
Subscribe to 360