Florida Senate - 2015                            (NP)    SR 1598
       By Senator Richter
       23-02251-15                                           20151598__
    1                          Senate Resolution                        
    2         A resolution recognizing March 24, 2015, as “Florida
    3         Gulf Coast University Day” in Florida.
    5         WHEREAS, in May 1991, then-Governor Lawton Chiles signed
    6  into law a bill passed by the Florida Legislature authorizing
    7  the creation of Florida’s tenth public university, Florida Gulf
    8  Coast University (FGCU), to provide higher education
    9  opportunities and workforce development in the previously
   10  unserved region of Southwest Florida, and
   11         WHEREAS, on August 25, 1997, FGCU opened its doors to
   12  students and held its first commencement in May 1998 with 81
   13  graduates, and
   14         WHEREAS, FGCU has strategically grown into a regional
   15  university of nearly 15,000 students and today offers 51
   16  undergraduate, 28 graduate, and 2 doctoral programs, and
   17         WHEREAS, FGCU’s top priority is student success, with five
   18  colleges providing relevant programs with an accomplished
   19  faculty, small classes, and extensive individualized attention
   20  to help students prepare for successful careers and meet
   21  regional and statewide workforce needs, and
   22         WHEREAS, FGCU has achieved national prominence in
   23  academics, environmental sustainability, and student service
   24  learning, with more than 1.5 million hours contributed to the
   25  Southwest Florida community since 1997, and
   26         WHEREAS, 400 acres of the FGCU campus are designated as
   27  restored and preserved wetlands, and the university operates a
   28  15-acre solar field that generates 85 percent of the electric
   29  power for three academic buildings, saving $700,000 in energy
   30  costs annually, and
   31         WHEREAS, FGCU emphasizes innovative and interdisciplinary
   32  learning, using the region as a living laboratory while offering
   33  students diverse opportunities to participate in meaningful
   34  research led by their professors, who have conducted more than
   35  $184 million in research and sponsored programs since 1997, and
   36         WHEREAS, FGCU is a leader in the State University System of
   37  this state, with alumni employed or continuing their education
   38  within 1 year after graduation, and
   39         WHEREAS, FGCU focuses on college affordability for all
   40  students by maintaining its commitment to cost containment, and
   41         WHEREAS, FGCU serves as a cultural hub for the region,
   42  offering a wealth of enrichment opportunities that include the
   43  visual arts, music, theater, public radio and television, as
   44  well as athletics, and
   45         WHEREAS, FGCU’s athletics program is a growing source of
   46  pride for its many fans, with the women’s basketball team
   47  winning the Atlantic Sun Conference title for five straight
   48  seasons and in March 2015, ranking 20th in the nation in the AP
   49  Top 25 poll, and the swimming and diving team claiming the 2015
   50  Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association Championship, its sixth
   51  such win in 7 years, and
   52         WHEREAS, in 2014 the FGCU men’s soccer team captured its
   53  third Atlantic Sun Conference Championship in 4 years, the
   54  women’s soccer team won the 2015 Atlantic Sun Championship, and
   55  the men’s basketball team in 2013 made an unprecedented Sweet 16
   56  run in the NCAA Tournament while establishing “Dunk City” as a
   57  national favorite, and
   58         WHEREAS, the collegiate experience continues to enrich the
   59  lives of FGCU students through the university’s longstanding
   60  commitment to promote racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity on
   61  campus, NOW, THEREFORE,
   63  Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of Florida:
   65         That the Florida Senate hereby recognizes March 24, 2015,
   66  as “Florida Gulf Coast University Day” in Florida, and
   67  celebrates FGCU’s contribution as an outstanding institution of
   68  higher education focused on student success.
   69         BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution, with
   70  the Seal of the Senate affixed, be presented to Wilson G.
   71  Bradshaw, Ph.D., President of Florida Gulf Coast University, as
   72  a tangible token of the sentiments of the Florida Senate.