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FGCU's Fall Semester Brings Bright Signs of Growth to Campus
8/15/2008

FORT MYERS, FL - When a record-setting 10,000 students arrive for classes this semester at Florida Gulf Coast University, they will discover a host of exciting changes around campus, including new leaders, more faculty, an expanded menu of programs and some thoroughly modern new buildings.

It all combines to make FGCU an even more stimulating center of higher learning.

"As Florida Gulf Coast University begins its second decade full of excitement and promise, we will reaffirm our commitment to being an institution defined by academic quality, student success, outstanding teaching and a beautiful and sustainable campus environment," said FGCU President Wilson G. Bradshaw.

Here's just a sampling of what's new at FGCU this year:

     NEW LEADERSHIP: The academic year opens with new senior leadership, programs and buildings. Presiding over the growing academic area is Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ron Toll, who joined the University in July, coming from Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania.

     EXPANDED FACULTY: To support program expansion and maintain high standards, 25 new faculty will join 354 returning faculty. A total of 1,115 faculty and staff will greet FGCU's milestone enrollment of 10,000-plus students.

     ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS: To accommodate the increase in student enrollment, FGCU now offers 51 undergraduate and 31 graduate programs.
The College of Health Professions offers three new graduate programs in response to demand from the region's health-care industry: Nurse Anesthesia (M.S.N.), Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (M.S.N.) and Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner (M.S.N.). In addition, the Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) program begins its curriculum this fall, marking the start of FGCU's doctoral programs. The College of Education offers the Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree, one that attracts current and aspiring school administrators.

     LUTGERT HALL: The opening of impressive new buildings adds excitement to the new year. The gateway to the campus is the much-anticipated Lutgert Hall, home of the Lutgert College of Business. Situated at the front door of the campus' academic core, Lutgert Hall's imposing four stories and high-profile contemporary sculpture present a distinctive appearance that complements other campus buildings. Over the next decade, enrollment at the College of Business is expected to grow to 4,000 students annually. Lutgert Hall's 63,000 square feet are anticipated to be capable of handling the demand.

     NEW RESIDENCE HALL: Also opening is Everglades Hall, the first phase of the South Village residential community. The five-story, 124,000-square-foot building will house 406 first-year students. Most units are two-bedroom single suites, with two furnished single bedrooms sharing a split-style bathroom. Everglades Hall is home to the First-Year Residence Experience (FYRE) Program. FYRE is a self-selected living option offered by the Office of Housing and Residence Life designed for first-year residential students who want to build a solid foundation for success at FGCU.

     FRESH DINING: Adjacent to Everglades Hall, students will find fresh dining options at SoVi Dining. SoVi is South Village Dining, a separate, stand-alone facility operated by Aramark. SoVi will be a new dining experience on campus. Aramark has purposefully aligned itself with the University's green mission. Starting with the design of the restaurant, the operators have incorporated green components. All appliances are Energy Star compliant, and all food selections will be freshly prepared right in front of the customer. The restaurant promotes trayless dining at the all-you-can-eat cafeteria. This method encourages smarter food consumption and wastes less, plus it saves water by not having to wash trays.

     ENOUGH PARKING: With the opening of the 1,000-space Garage #2 last January, there is ample parking on the main campus for all commuter students. There are some 2,500 spaces available for students. The Eagle Express Shuttle bus system has been extended to include Everglades Hall and SoVi Dining. The shuttle operates 7:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, when class is in session.

     MORE DETAILS: For more information, members of the news media should contact Associate Vice President for Community Relations and Marketing Audrea Anderson at (239) 590-1083 or aanderso@fgcu.edu.

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