President Randy K. Avent on the passion of Florida Poly students, faculty and staff.
Florida Poly is driven by grit and determination.
It’s the secret ingredient, so to speak, that’s propelling our new University into position as an innovative leader in the study of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). It’s also how we’ve built a modern and progressive campus, curriculum and culture from scratch in just two years. Consider that we wrapped up our second academic year offering 86 courses with 195 sections in Spring 2016. Classes started in Fall 2016 with more than 500 freshmen, out of a total class of more than 1,300.
This doesn’t happen by accident. It takes bold vision and a clear grasp of a university’s potential. The leadership of Florida Poly is projecting years ahead and looking at what this young school can be, not just its current state. We see a nationally recognized university spoken in the same breath as established STEM leaders. It’s possible, and it will happen.
Lofty goals are all talk without hard work. This past year we rolled up our sleeves and began setting in place the foundation for our vision. Graduating work-ready students takes a village, and a big part of that group effort happens in student-led clubs and organizations. This is where big ideas incubate and lifelong friendships form. We also welcomed two professional organizations to campus, both of which will fortify any resume: the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
Our student body is obviously critical to our success and its growth is key to our strategic plan. Completion of our second dormitory this past year accommodates that vision by doubling our housing capacity. On the horizon, we have the development of a new Applied Research Center, for which we received a $5 million appropriation from the State Legislature and will need to match $5 million in funding. This center will be a powerful tool for recruiting faculty and fostering the type of groundbreaking research that is a cornerstone of Florida Poly. It will also be a magnet for business-minded students seeking to commercialize innovation as they study at the center’s Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship.
It’s not all work at Florida Poly. This past year we expanded our Health and Wellness Center and opened new recreation fields for basketball and other sports. Phase II of our Wellness Center – an all-new facility – is scheduled for completion in 2017.
When you ride the cutting edge, there will always be challenges. But we have faith in our tenacity and vision. This drive to succeed has served us well to date and it will continue to sustain us moving forward. We invite you to team up with us and see what our grit and tenacity is all about. It’s an experience you don’t want to miss.
Dr. Randy K. Avent