Florida Senate - 2024                            (NP)    SR 1804
       By Senator Martin
       33-01930-24                                           20241804__
    1                          Senate Resolution                        
    2         A resolution recognizing January 23, 2024, as “Florida
    3         Gulf Coast University Day” in Florida.
    5         WHEREAS, in May 1991, then-Governor Lawton Chiles signed
    6  into law a bill passed by the Florida Legislature authorizing
    7  the creation of Florida’s tenth public university, Florida Gulf
    8  Coast University (FGCU), to provide higher education
    9  opportunities and workforce development in the previously
   10  underserved region of southwest Florida, and
   11         WHEREAS, FGCU opened its doors to 2,584 students on August
   12  25, 1997, and held its first commencement in May 1998 with 81
   13  graduates, and
   14         WHEREAS, FGCU has been led by five outstanding and dynamic
   15  presidents: Roy E. McTarnaghan, William C. Merwin, Wilson G.
   16  Bradshaw, Michael V. Martin, and Aysegul Timur, and
   17         WHEREAS, with the leadership and vision of President Timur
   18  and the FGCU Board of Trustees, FGCU students will be encouraged
   19  to embrace an entrepreneurial spirit, and graduates will be well
   20  prepared for productive lives as civically engaged and
   21  environmentally conscious citizens with successful careers, and
   22         WHEREAS, FGCU’s top priority is the realization of its
   23  Excellence in Student Success strategy to provide students a
   24  comparative advantage as they enter the workforce, with early
   25  identification of career paths and the opportunity for all
   26  students to have meaningful work experiences before graduation,
   27  including internships, micro-credentials, and digital badges,
   28  and with a strong focus on relevant programs led by accomplished
   29  faculty and supported by dedicated staff to build tomorrow’s
   30  workforce by graduating students who have in-demand expertise
   31  and transferable skills, and
   32         WHEREAS, FGCU has strategically grown into a regional
   33  university of more than 16,000 students and today offers 64
   34  undergraduate, 26 graduate, and 7 doctoral programs and 17
   35  academic certificates, and
   36         WHEREAS, FGCU’s many pathways to student success have led
   37  it to achieve national prominence in student service learning as
   38  one of the only public institutions of higher education to make
   39  service learning a graduation requirement for all undergraduate
   40  students, with more than 4 million hours contributed to the
   41  southwest Florida community since 1997, and
   42         WHEREAS, with restored or preserved nature making up half
   43  of its 800 acres, the FGCU campus is a living laboratory for
   44  innovative and interdisciplinary learning, offering students
   45  diverse opportunities to participate in meaningful research led
   46  by their professors, and
   47         WHEREAS, in 2022, FGCU established The Water School,
   48  located in the midst of Florida’s complex freshwater and
   49  saltwater systems, uniquely positioning it to explore water
   50  based issues, including the health of waterways that impact
   51  surrounding ecosystems, regional and state economies, and the
   52  people who rely on water for life and leisure, and making FGCU a
   53  catalyst for change in the community and throughout the world,
   54  and
   55         WHEREAS, FGCU continues to work collaboratively with the
   56  State University System to meet regional and statewide workforce
   57  needs by graduating career-ready students from the Marieb
   58  College School of Nursing in six program areas, with a nearly
   59  100 percent graduate employment rate and excellent first-time
   60  passage rates on required nursing licensure examinations, and
   61         WHEREAS, FGCU has more than 43,000 graduates, 70 percent of
   62  whom are working in their respective fields of study, with 2,000
   63  businesses started in southwest Florida and more than 20
   64  chapters of the FGCU Alumni Association throughout the United
   65  States, and
   66         WHEREAS, FGCU strives to bring diversification of the
   67  economy to the region it serves through innovation in
   68  agribusiness, construction management, and environmental
   69  engineering, and
   70         WHEREAS, FGCU serves in and engages with its surrounding
   71  community, offering a wealth of enrichment opportunities,
   72  including visual arts, music, theater, and public radio and
   73  television, and
   74         WHEREAS, FGCU’s athletic teams continue to be a growing
   75  source of pride for their loyal fans, with nine programs having
   76  earned a top-25 national ranking in their respective sports, and
   77  student-athletes continuing to demonstrate their academic
   78  strengths, and
   79         WHEREAS, the collegiate experience continues to enrich the
   80  lives of FGCU students as they transition from high school to
   81  college to career while serving the surrounding community
   82  through “Turning Ideas into Impact” and the university’s
   83  longstanding commitment to service, NOW, THEREFORE,
   85  Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of Florida:
   87         That January 23, 2024, is recognized as “Florida Gulf Coast
   88  University Day” in Florida.
   89         BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution, with
   90  the Seal of the Senate affixed, be presented to Aysegul Timur,
   91  Ph.D., President of Florida Gulf Coast University, as a tangible
   92  token of the sentiments of the Florida Senate.