FGCU goal: Raise $100 million by 20th anniverary

On Sept. 23, Florida Gulf Coast University President Wilson Bradshaw announced the start of a campaign to raise $100 million by FGCU’s 20th anniversary in 2017.
Vice President for University Advancement Christopher Simoneau believes this is an achievable goal. “We have great ideas that people want to invest in,” Simoneau said.
The difference between this $100 million campaign and all of the fundraising that FGCU and the foundation do year-round is that this campaign is focusing on five key initiatives.
Of the goal, $30 million is intended for the area of academic excellence, $40 million for scholarships, $12 million for athletics, $10 million for community and regional impact and $8 million toward student success.
Each of these initiatives involve different investment opportunities. For example, to achieve academic excellence, donations will pay for updates to classrooms and laboratories, as well as faculty training. To increase its community and regional impact, FGCU will invest in and expand the programming at WGCU and continue to support continuing education through community classrooms in the Kapnick Center and Renaissance Academy, which cater to researchers and non-traditional students. To improve student success, donations will help improve academic advising programs, build a new recreation center and expand the internship opportunities available to students.
While the majority of donors to FGCU are businesses and individuals in Southwest Florida region, Simoneau said that the percentage of alumni donors is growing.
“Last year, the percent of alumni who gave back to the University grew from 2.7 to 5.5 percent — it basically doubled. Our alumni are more and more engaged in the school,” he said.
Those who donate to FGCU are making an investment in education.
“They see it as helping young people. They care about helping students, changing their lives and investing in them,” Simoneau said.
The $100 million campaign is almost halfway complete. Since the Sept. 23 launch, FGCU has already raised $50 million toward its goal.