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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 $28 Million in 2003-04 to Support University

FORT MYERS, FL - The Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation Inc. raised $28 million July 2003 through June 2004 to support the University, outgoing Board Chairman Charles Idelson said Wednesday during the Board of Directors quarterly meeting.

The $28 million total includes $1,847,263 raised for student scholarships. Major gifts include 75 acres of land donated by Jack Antaramian, a pledged gift from the Ginn Corp., which was this year's Majestic Sponsor for the President's Renaissance Gala, and a cooperative agreement with the Naples Botanical Garden to build a Discovery Center.

Also, FGCU received a gift from David and Linda Lucas to establish the Lucas Institute for Master Planned Community Development and Finance, the personal residence of Drs. Sypert and Arpin as a gift for the Downtown Naples Center, a gift from the Naples Children's Education Foundation to fund our Early Learning Literacy Model Project, and major gifts for scholarships from Brian and Denise Cobb, the Meftah Foundation, Kraft Construction, Blue Shield of Florida, Joyce Rogaski, Marvin and Helene Gralnick, David and Beth Howard, and the estate of Mrs. Thelma Oulton.

FGCU announced the public phase of the $125 million Dedicated to Greatness capital campaign in December and to date, has raised more than $115 million toward the goal.

The President's Renaissance Celebration in February raised $621,000 and the Founder's Cup Golf Tournament raised $110,000. FGCU's first Chinese New Year's dinner raised $70,000.

"The good work of the FGCU Foundation," President William C. Merwin told the board, "advances the University philanthropically and politically."

"It has been a pleasure and honor for me to serve as chair of the Foundation Board for the past year," Idelson said before passing the gavel to Joseph Catti. "You are a great group of dedicated Board Members, who are committed to promoting Florida Gulf Coast University in our community, as well as assisting in fundraising for projects."

Other incoming officers for 2004-05 are vice chairman Duane Stranahan Jr., treasurer Peter Sulick, secretary Stephen S. McIntosh and assistant treasurer Joseph Shepard.

The new board member through 2008 is Dolph W. von Arx of Naples. He is the former chairman, president and chief executive officer of Planters LifeSavers Company, an affiliate of RJR Nabisco Inc. He is a board member of Ruby Tuesday Inc. International Multifoods, Adhesion Technologies Inc., Cree Inc., BMC Fund Inc. and Northern Trust of Florida Corp. He is director emeritus of Wachovia Bank and Trust Co., and served as chairman of the board of visitors of Wake Forest University's Graduate School of Management.

For more information, contact associate vice president for Community Relations Audrea Anderson at (239) 590-1083.

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