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Alumni awards recognize top grads

The Alumni Association is now accepting applications for the annual Alumni Awards. The deadline to recognize Florida Gulf Coast University Alumni is Friday, Jan. 2. For the 11th year, the Alumni Association will be recognizing Eagles who have left the FGCU nest and are successful in their careers as well as the community.

The winners will be recognized at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20, in the Lutgert Hall courtyard during the Alumni Award celebration, which everyone, including faculty, is invited to attend. For these awards, alumni are nominated into two different categories: Alumni of Distinction and Soaring Eagle.

The Alumni of Distinction, which is the highest and most prestigious award, is based upon personal and professional achievements. This award is only received by one graduate. State Rep. Matt Caldwell, R-Lehigh Acres, who is the first alumnus elected to the Florida Legislature and is currently serving his second term, won the award at the 2014 ceremony. He graduated in 2004 from the College of Arts and Sciences.

The second award, the Soaring Eagle Award, recognizes Eagles who have recently graduated. There is one winner from each of the five undergraduate colleges within the last decade who have professionally excelled. Recent recipients include Todd Cofer, ’07 political science graduate; Ashley Coone, ’05 management graduate; Kelsey DeLoach, ’11 secondary social science education graduate;  and Sarah Adams Levin, ’11 nursing graduate.

Nominees are picked by an awards committee that is comprised of Alumni Association Board Members.

“Each year during the selection process, we are reminded of the remarkable impact and influence that Eagle alumni have in a diverse range of fields and in a growing number of communities near and far,” said Angela Kunkle, assistant director of Alumni Relations. “With their professional accomplishments, dedicated community service and demonstrated pride in FGCU, our 20,000-plus graduates truly give the Alumni Association something to celebrate.”

The requirements to nominate someone for an award are listed below.

Angelique Brown-Wiggin, who is soon to graduate with a major in communication, said, “I think recognizing our Alumni is not only a great thing because it shows that our school still cares about our graduates, but it is also a great way to bring them back to our campus. For some this is the first time they will be back since they’ve graduated. I have seen so much change in the past four years alone and would be so excited to step foot onto our beautiful campus to see what it has become.”

For a summary and full criteria for potential nominees, as well to nominate a graduated Eagle, visit the Alumni Association page on the FGCU website.

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