I. University History
Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), the 10th state university in Florida, is a comprehensive, public institution offering a broad array of undergraduate and graduate programs in arts and sciences, business, engineering, environmental science, computer science, education, nursing/allied health, resort & hospitality management, public and social services.
FGCU was established by the Florida Legislature in January 1991, and classes began in August 1997, with approximately 2,600 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs. As of Fall 2010, the campus is comprised of nine academic halls, Student Union, Fine Arts Complex, Student Health Center, Broadcast Center, Family Resource Center, Alico Arena, Olympic size Swimming Complex, Kleist Health Education Center, and the Sugden Welcome Center. Additionally, there are off-campus centers in Naples and Charlotte County. Classrooms showcase state-of-the-art multimedia instructional systems that feature Internet access, document cameras, audio and video capabilities.
The Florida Board of Regents appointed Roy E. McTarnaghan as the founding president of FGCU in 1993, William C. Merwin was appointed FGCU's second president in September 1999. In November 2007, Wilson G. Bradshaw began his tenure as FGCU’s third president.
Florida Gulf Coast University is dedicated to providing a learning-centered environment that offers the highest quality educational opportunities for the development of the knowledge, insights, competencies, and skills necessary for success in life and work. To maintain this learning-centered environment, the university as a whole and its units and individuals will actively practice continuous planning and assessment leading to improvement and renewal.
Florida Gulf Coast University is a comprehensive public university created to address the educational needs of the rapidly growing Southwest Florida population and the increasing number of students who are seeking admittance into the State University System. The university's primary service area consists of Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee counties, with specialized programs drawing students from the state and beyond.
The university offers a broad range of undergraduate and graduate areas of study including arts and sciences, business, engineering, technology, education, environmental science, nursing/allied health, resort and hospitality management, and public and social services. Professional development and continuing education programs are offered based on need and availability of resources. On-campus offerings along with distance education and partnerships with public and private organizations, agencies, and educational institutions enable the university to extend a rich diversity of higher education opportunities to Southwest Florida and beyond.
The university seeks to employ innovative ideas and technologies in the development and delivery of programs and services. The university also pursues regional and community-based public service activities and projects. To support the roles of teaching and public service, faculty and students are encouraged to engage in a wide array of creative inquiry and scholarship, including applied scholarship that focuses on the unique Southwest Florida environment and other issues of importance to the region and state. The library, which utilizes information technology in the delivery of instruction and information resources, actively promotes student learning and supports the information needs of the university.
Florida Gulf Coast University promotes an institutional culture that:
- Fosters the pursuit of truth and knowledge;
- Affirms academic freedom as the foundation for the transmission and advancement of knowledge;
- Seeks excellence in both educational offerings and services;
- Asserts that learner needs, rather than institutional preferences, should guide decisions concerning academic planning, policies and programs;
- Provides academic, student, and administrative support services designed to meet the needs of the university community;
- Recognizes, encourages and rewards quality teaching;
- Enhances the growth of faculty by supporting teaching, scholarship, service and professional development;
- Encourages collaboration in learning, governance, operations, and planning;
- Establishes mentor/advisor programs, particularly programs for undergraduates that include senior capstone projects or papers;
- Recognizes that informed and engaged citizens are essential to the creation of a civil and sustainable society; and
- Affirms that diversity is a source of renewal and vitality.
The campus is located on 760 acres of carefully restored and preserved wetlands in southeastern Lee County donated by Alico, Inc. A unique attribute of our campus is the over 300 acres of wetland and upland preserves, home to a variety of wildlife (including turkeys, deer, alligators, hogs, bald eagles, indigo snakes, gopher tortoises, raccoons, possums, and even an occasional panther or bear), some of which are listed by state and federal agencies as Endangered, Threatened, or Species of Special Concern. All are wild animals and must not be fed or approached. Some animals have become accustomed to the presence of people and are attracted to waste receptacles, dumpsters, or food spilled or left uneaten. Please warn people not to approach wildlife and notify campus police if you observe wildlife approaching people. Also please observe all posted speed limits to minimize collisions with wildlife. Thank you for helping us keep our wildlife healthy and wild - and people safe!