Section 508 Website Accessibility

Skip to site navigation Skip to main content
Skip to main content
Chief of Staff

Chief of Staff

Office of Vice President and Chief of Staff
News and Media
Related Links

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


Former First Lady of the United States Laura W. Bush to Headline FGCU's President's Lecture Series

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation, in partnership with Honorable Francis and Mrs. Kathleen Rooney, will host First Lady of the United States (2001-2009)
Laura W. Bush at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 6 at Alico Arena as the first speaker of the newly launched President's Lecture Series.

"A few years ago, FGCU launched the University Lecture Series, a very successful series that offered our community the opportunity to hear important and engaging international speakers," said FGCU President Wilson G. Bradshaw. "That series brought Maya Angelou, Mikhail Gorbachev, and General Colin Powell."

"I am pleased that the university will again bring national and international leaders to Southwest Florida under the newly launched President's Lecture Series. This year, with the generous assistance and support of the Honorable Francis and Mrs. Kathleen Rooney, and Key Private Bank, we are able to bring First Lady Laura W. Bush (2001-2009) to campus."

Mrs. Bush, one of the most popular first ladies in history, and a compelling advocate for issues of national and global concern, will speak about "Unleashing Human Potential through Education."

As an educator and former first lady of Texas and the United States, Mrs. Bush has a unique and wide-ranging perspective. She is actively involved in issues of national and global concern, with a particular emphasis on education, women's health and human rights.

In September 2001, Mrs. Bush joined the Library of Congress to launch the first National Book Festival. The Festival has grown each year, drawing more than 120,000 book lovers from across the nation to Washington, D.C. in 2008. In 1995, Mrs. Bush established the Texas Book Festival, and in 2006, she hosted leaders from around the world for the White House Conference on Advancing Global Literacy programs from a diversity of countries. Her leadership led to her role as Honorary Ambassador for the United Nations Literacy Decade.

Mrs. Bush has investigated and showcased successful programs for early childhood education, at-risk youth, global literacy and preservation of our national parks and heritage sites. Through her travels to countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Panama, she has helped to launch groundbreaking educational and health-care advances for women.

Her memoir, "Spoken from the Heart," is a New York Times #1 best seller.

This President's Lecture event is sponsored by Key Private Bank. "Like Laura Bush, Key believes inclusive educational environments in which individuals of diverse backgrounds are welcomed and encouraged to realize their full potential are the foundation of our future," said Mike Dillon, President, Florida District, KeyBank N.A. "We are proud to support the FGCU President's Lecture Series. Through influential and engaging speakers, the program will deliver unique and meaningful experiences that bring our community together."

FGCU offers free tickets to the public beginning 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday, March 12 through Friday, March 18 at the Alico Arena box office. Due to the magnitude of the event, all guests who wish to obtain tickets must visit the Alico Arena box office in person. No orders will be taken by telephone or internet. All guests are limited to two tickets per person with no exceptions. Tickets will be distributed on a first come first serve basis until they have all been distributed.

For more information regarding tickets, contact the Alico Arena box office at (239) 590-7145, or go to

Media representatives should contact Ken Schexnayder, assistant vice president for Community Relations and Marketing at (239) 590-1081.

[Back to the Press Release Archives]