The start of a new school year brings yet another multi-million dollar donation to the University of South Florida’s Muma College of Business.
However, this time it’s not a school in the College that’s being renamed, but an entire set of programs that are considered key to student success.
Barron "Barry" Gift Collier III and his wife, Dana, are giving his alma mater $10.85 million to start the Collier Student Success Center.
The Center brings a half dozen programs together under one roof, including Undergraduate Advising, Study Abroad and the Corporate Mentor Program. In an exclusive interview with WUSF News, Collier said students should greatly benefit from this union of services.
"When you look at a program that is as comprehensive as this one, being able to have your mentoring, your scholarships, your business communications, your life skills living, all of that brought together, is very unusual and I found that very fascinating," Collier said.
Collier is a descendent of Barron Collier, who at one time was the largest landowner and developer in Florida. Collier County is named after his family, which still has a number of holdings in various industries, including agriculture, real estate and mineral management.
"Because of the generosity of the Colliers, we can now go beyond the classroom to offer our students unique programs for their professional development and prepare them best for the real world, for the business world," said Muma College of Business Dean Moez Limayem.
The Colliers’ donation is the third multi-million dollar gift from College of Business alumni in the last 12 months.
Last October, the school took the name of local philanthropists Les and Pam Muma after they gave $25 million. This past February, the School of Accountancy was named after Lynn Pippenger, a former Raymond James executive who gave $10 million.
But the Muma College of Business isn't the only recipient of major gifts. The USF St. Petersburg College of Business added Kate Tiedemann's name to its moniker after the eyeglass entrepreneur gave the school $10 million last September.
And the Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications on the USF Tampa campus took on that name in April of this year when advertising executive Jordan Zimmerman gave his alma mater $10 million.
We'll have more from a Thursday afternoon ceremony formally announcing the Colliers' gift on All Things Considered and on Friday's Morning Edition on WUSF 89.7.