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Florida Poly Campus Getting Alexander Moniker

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Florida Polytechnic University will name its campus after former Senate Budget Chairman JD Alexander, who spearheaded the move to create the Lakeland school.

The university Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to honor Alexander with the campus naming, which also requires approval from the Florida Polytechnic University Foundation Board.

Alexander, a Lake Wales Republican, was the key player in 2012, when lawmakers approved establishing the university. The University of South Florida had run a branch campus in Lakeland, but a bitter political battle involving Alexander led to the split.

"It took exceptional vision, courage and conviction to establish this new and innovative university,” Florida Poly President Randy K. Avent said in a prepared statement Wednesday.

The university began classes last year.

Information from WUSF archives were added to this story.