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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 Foundation Raises $30 Million to Support University

FORT MYERS, FL - The Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation Inc. raised over $30 million from July 2001 through June 2003, outgoing Board Chairman F. Fred Pezeshkan said Wednesday during the Board of Directors quarterly meeting.

“It has been a pleasure and honor for me to serve as chair of the Foundation Board for the past two years,” Pezeshkan said before passing the gavel to Charles K. Idelson. Other officers are vice chairman Joseph Catti, treasurer Duane Stranahan and secretary Terri St. Cerny.

The total $30,623,000 incorporates nearly $4.5 million raised for scholarships and millions donated for several facilities including the Kleist Health Education Center, Margaret S. Sugden Welcome Center, Herbert J. Sugden Hall for Resort and Hospitality Management, WCI Demonstration and Learning Center, Alico Arena and the Lee County/FGCU Aquatics Center. In addition, the Foundation dedicated the Evelyn L. Egan Observatory during Pezeshkan’s tenure.

Charlotte County raised $500,000 toward the FGCU Charlotte Center, a $375,000 gift made the FGCU Naples Center possible, FGCU signed an agreement with the Naples Botanical Garden, Wachovia donated $300,000 to establish a consortium for consumer and financial education, and Phases III and IV of student housing were completed.

The President’s Renaissance Celebration raised $1,132,000 to date and the Founder’s Cup Golf Tournament raised $120,000 total for the last two years.

Idelson, a native of Sarasota, is president and CEO of Investors’ Security Trust Company and is former chairman and CEO of SunTrust Bank of Southwest Florida. He has served on the boards of Habitat for Humanity, the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, Hope Hospice, Southwest Florida Community Foundation, American Red Cross and Boys Scouts of America.

New board members through 2007 are:

     James Nathan of Fort Myers, CEO of Lee Memorial Health System. Nathan is a diplomat of the American College of Healthcare Executives, board member of the Florida Hospital Association, past president of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, board member of the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools and founding board member of Lee County Pulling Together.

     Juliet Sproul of Naples, general partner of Barron Collier Partnership, managing partner of The Halstatt Partnership, and partner with Noble House Resorts. Sproul is the 2003 Naples Daily News Citizen of the Year.

     Michael Volpe of Naples, managing partner of the Naples office of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi with principal offices in Minneapolis. Volpe is a former commissioner for Collier County, member of the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council and board member of the Meftah Scholarship Foundation.

     Allen Weiss of Naples, president of Naples Community Hospital. Weiss graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University and is a member of several professional organizations. He holds an Executive MBA from FGCU.

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