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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


FGCU Breaks Ground for New Sugden Welcome Center

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University honored Herbert and Margaret Sugden of Naples today with a groundbreaking ceremony for the Sugden Welcome Center. FGCU will greet visitors to the campus with hospitality and pride when it opens the new Center located at the main FGCU entrance.

“Our goal is to create a warm personal environment within this building, positively introducing visitors to our student-oriented university,” President William C. Merwin said. “We will work with the Sugden family closely to ensure we develop a welcome center that is the centerpiece at our University.”

A major gift from the Sugdens earlier this year made the Center possible and the building qualified for the state’s matching program. The donation from the Sugden family comes after years of following the growth and development of the University.

“Our long-time interest in education led us to FGCU,” Herbert Sugden said after visiting the campus. “This more complete picture enabled us to combine forces with FGCU to effectively use our financial gift in combination with the state of Florida’s matching funds and the other resources of FGCU to build the proposed Sugden Welcome Center.”

Preliminary staffing plans include admissions, alumni affairs, student ambassadors and tour guides. Physical amenities consist of meeting rooms for public use and a comfortable foyer area for people to gather, study campus maps and wait for tours.

“We want this to be warm and friendly, the University’s ‘living room’, ” Vice President for University Advancement John Crowley said.

Dean of Enrollment Management James Lynch said, “As a front line support for the Admissions Office, the goal of the new visitor center will be to present the best of who we are, creating a positive image, both personal and real, for Florida Gulf Coast University, as this will be the first point of contact for many campus visitors.”

The philanthropy of the Sugden family is known well in Southwest Florida. They have been residents of Naples for more than 25 years.

For more information, contact Linda Lehtomaa at (941) 590-1071.

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