PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Outgoing President Dr. Wilson Bradshaw Reflects on a Decade at FGCU

Photo: FGCU via Facebook
Outgoing FGCU president Dr. Wilson Bradshaw

After nearly a decade at the helm of Florida Gulf Coast University, president Dr. Wilson Bradshaw is stepping down at the end of June.

Before his tenure at FGCU, Dr. Bradshaw found himself linked to fundamental changes in Florida’s educational and cultural worlds. As a high school freshman, he was one of the first seven students to desegregate Central Junior High in West Palm Beach; he credits his mother for making him a part of that pioneering group. That change was mirrored across the gradually desegregating community, and in black communities across Florida.

His work in higher education has brought him to Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and other Florida universities. Selected as FGCU president in 2007, Dr. Bradshaw saw the fledgling university expand to what’s now 15,000 undergraduate students. He oversaw the school’s academic as well as athletic success, adding the university’s first doctoral programs while also becoming an NCAA Division I sports program known as “Dunk City.” He also guided the growing campus through the financial turmoil and cutbacks of the Great Recession and Florida’s long, slow recovery. And he leaves his office as the university faces new potential budget cuts and criticism about its six-year graduation rate.

On Gulf Coast Live, Dr. Bradshaw reflects on his Florida roots, the civic and philanthropic work he engages in outside the University, and his achievements—and struggles—during this time as FGCU’s president.

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.
Related Content
  1. Florida Budget Includes State Employee Pay Raises, Money for Lake Okeechobee
  2. Following Legislature’s Passage, Gov. Scott Still Indicating He May Veto Entire Florida Budget