When I was a freshman at Florida Gulf Coast University in 2010, the academic corridor stretched only as far as AB7. Marieb Hall and Lutgert College of Business had yet to be built. Merwin Hall was still called AB3. The law had a trodden trail down the center rather than a smooth, brick path. Dunk City wasn’t a thing. No one knew where or what FGCU was.
We’ve come a long way in four short years.
Enjoy where you are now, Eagles. You have a beautiful campus with gorgeous academic halls. While we may be young, we have a clean, innovative campus that other Florida students should envy. Look at your brand new library lawn. Look at the veteran’s pavilion. These things weren’t here when I spread my wings as a young Eagle.
While we’ve grown to a population of 14,000 students, we still have some of the most hands on, approachable teaching staff and faculty around. The majority of staff will take the time to work with you with any questions or concerns you might have. If they’re not available you can find fellow students who are always willing to lend a helping hand in the library or the labs.
The deans will also make time for any student who asks.
Our campus is sustainable; we make our own power and have innovative ways to fulfill our mission statement of sustainability such as our HVAC air conditioning and solar panels.
The Dunk City phenomenon has put us on the map. Yes, we’re still talking about that because it’s pretty much the only reason anyone knows who or where we are. We’ve been on national television, newspapers and radio. Our basketball games have been televised outside of Southwest Florida, which happened about once prior to our Cinderella run.
The month prior to defeating San Diego State our website had approximately 31,000 views. The next month, the site hit more than 117,000 views. People were watching us. They still are.
Freshmen, you’re starting your college career as an Eagle at a great time. Upperclassmen, you’ve witnessed an amazing time in our school’s history. Be proud. It’s a an awesome time to be an Eagle. If we’ve come this far in four years, imagine what the future holds for us. I can’t wait to see what will happen next in our legacy.