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Spotlight: Kitty Green

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Kitty Green of Fort Myers became Florida Gulf Coast University’s vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the FGCU Foundation on June 24. She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in business from the University of South Florida. Green spent 20 years working for Southwest Florida developers Westinghouse Communities and the Bonita Bay Group, becoming Bonita Bay Group’s CEO before serving nine years as CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties. 

 

What are your duties at Florida Gulf Coast University?

Within my purview is heading up fundraising for the university, marketing and communications, community relations and WGCU public media—all the community-facing functions.

There’s a lot to learn about the university itself and existing community partnerships.

 

How important is private funding?

Sometimes the state has plenty of money to support education and sometimes it doesn’t. Private funding helps smooth out the university goals. My job is to make sure we continue being an important component of the community—and that people know we’re doing it. FGCU is such a new university, the bulk of funding comes from the community, not from alumni.

 

How is FGCU keeping tuition affordable?

The university has not increased tuition in six years. And through Foundation scholarships, we are keeping the cost down. Last year, we were able to provide over $4 million in scholarships to 1,441 of the 15,046 students. With more funding of scholarships with broad qualifications, we can support more students.

 

What current projects need community support?

One focus is a $4 million challenge grant to build a building on campus for the entrepreneurship program, which is housed off-campus in the Innovation Center on Alico Road. It’s not great to have students travel that road for classes. We also could include space for the Regional Economic Resources Institute and the Small Business Development Center.

 

How else is FGCU partnering with the community?

FGCU last year announced the creation of the Water School, an interdisciplinary approach to all subjects related to water. We’re hoping this session to get final funding from the state for an academic building. We’re asking the community for funding to increase programs and services. FGCU is in a great position to be a catalyst for some solutions.

 

Are there other expansion plans?

In October, we are opening a new building on campus, the Student and Community Counseling Center. It will consolidate student counseling and be open for community counseling by the beginning of next year. Grad students would be overseen by professionals and do primarily children and family counseling. The community will get reduced pricing. We are also getting ready to open in January a new recreation center. We will then renovate Alico Arena’s multi-use space to better suit the specific needs of athletes. We’re hoping to raise $1 million to do those renovations in the next year or so. 

 

How can the community donate to the FGCU Foundation?

Go online to the Foundation’s website, www.fgcu.edu/advancement/foundation.

 

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