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Philanthropist, textbook author Elaine Marieb leaves behind legacy at FGCU


By Sean C Porter

Media Editor

Elaine Marieb’s legacy, filled with generosity and education, will live on after her passing.

While walking around FGCU, you may have noticed a building named Marieb Hall. This is just one of the many influences that Marieb left behind, in a life of giving and educating. She died Thursday, Dec. 20, at 82 years old.

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While Marieb’s books are assigned in more than 2,400 classrooms around the world, Marieb’s greatest impact is likely on the students who study in the college that bears her name.

“I am gratified by the wonderful work the students have demonstrated,” Marieb said in an interview with FGCU 360 Magazine in 2017. “For the students that I have come to know, I continue to be touched by the appreciation they have expressed.”

Marieb’s charity has allowed the Marieb College to continually grow. It provides programs in nursing, athletic training, occupational therapy, physical therapy, exercise science, physician assistant studies, clinical mental health counseling, health administration and social work, among others.

“Education gave me the faith and confidence I have in myself, and I would love to help instill that faith in students pursuing careers in health professions,” said Marieb. “Be diligent in your studies because only when you are can you gain the sense of accomplishment that brings confidence in yourself. With confidence and education, you can change your life.”

In her lifetime, Marieb pledged $15 million to FGCU, where she established the hall named after her and the Marieb College of Health & Human Services.

“The commitment and belief that Elaine Marieb placed in our college was a confidence boost,” said Mitch Cordova, former dean of Marieb College and current vice president for student success and enrollment management. “She challenged us to be better educators, to excel and deliver high-quality programs, and to graduate outstanding health-care practitioners.”

Marieb was an early believer in the education that FGCU could offer, and her generous donations to the school reflect that deeply.

“I feel FGCU offers a teaching style that was similar to my own, a style that connects lessons to examples and to things the students would remember so the lesson would stick,” said Marieb, who received an honorary doctorate from FGCU in 2016. “As for the students, they continue to impress me with their devotion to their studies and to changing their lives.”

While Marieb’s family will have a private remembrance, FGCU has planned their own. On Feb. 22, FGCU will host a public event to celebrate Marieb’s life and recognize her dedication to FGCU students.

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