Florida Gulf Coast University officials announced an historic gift of $10 million Friday from renowned textbook author and educator Elaine Marieb, Ph.D.
The donation marks the single largest gift from an individual in the University’s history. The announcement also marked the unveiling of a new name for the university’s College Health Professions & Social Work which will now be known as the Elaine Nicpon Marieb College of Health & Human Services. Marieb is the author of more than 13 anatomy and physiology textbooks used by institutions of higher learning throughout the world. Dean of FGCU’s College of Health & Human Services Dr. Mitchell Cordova says Marieb’s philanthropic gift will support the college in a variety of ways.
“Her gift will enable the creation and support of faculty-led clinical health centers on campus and elsewhere providing comprehensive rehabilitation services and primary care,” said Cordova.
“These clinics will provide a service to the community as well as afford students the opportunity to train in a professional setting.”
The funding will also support faculty teaching and research, fund state-of-the art clinical technologies, provide tuition waivers and stipends to attract high-performing graduate students and support the school’s global healthcare missions. The donation will be made in cash over a five-year period.
In his remarks at the announcement ceremony, Cordova became choked up expressing his gratitude to Marieb and her impact on his own academic career. “I have long admired Dr. Marieb beginning as a young faculty member when I used to use her materials when I was teaching anatomy and physiology,” said Cordova.
“As an internationally known author, Dr. Marieb’s textbooks, laboratory manuals and ancillary materials are widely considered the best that exist in undergraduate curriculum. There’s no question that Dr. Elaine Marieb is a leader in health professions education and truly and scholar among scholars.”
FGCU President Wilson Bradshaw also used the ceremony to tout the success of the university’s students studying health professions. “More than 95 percent of the college’s graduates are employed in their chosen professions within 6 months of graduation,” said Bradshaw.
“Additionally, first time pass-rates on licensure and national board certification exams exceed national averages and routinely ranks among the state’s top five institutions. Last year alone four of our programs had 100 percent first time pass rates. Currently the Bachelors of Science in Nursing program ranks number one in first time pass rates within the State University System of Florida.
The announcement was made before a crowd of students, faculty and community leaders outside an academic building that already bears Dr. Marieb’s name due to a $5 million gift she made to the school in 2012.
That donation helped health science majors like FGCU senior Jillian Charlemagne who received a scholarship covering tuition, books and fees, which enabled her to stay in school and not have to delay her graduation. Charlemagne plans to become the first member of her family to graduate from college.
“Being awarded Dr. Marieb’s scholarship was by far the most surreal and amazing moment in my entire life. I have felt a sense of peace and accomplishment I have never felt before,” said Charlemagne. “And this was because one person, Dr. Marieb, decided I deserved this opportunity. She believed in me.”