The University of South Florida has announced a gift of $10.85 million from alumnus Barron (Barry) Gift Collier III (’82) and his wife, Dana, in support of student success and career preparedness programs.
The gift will be used to expand access to programs that teach communication skills, sales skills, leadership, ethics, public speaking, networking, and other skills beyond what can be learned in textbooks in the newly renamed Collier Student Success Center within the Muma College of Business. "We hear about the American Dream being lost, and here is a program that's doing exactly the opposite," said Collier. "When you get to talk to the students, you see their passion and their desire and drive to get a good education, and to be able to get out there and make a difference in the world. They certainly inspire you to believe it."
Collier, chair of the Barron Collier Partnership, served on the board of the USF Fort Myers Foundation from 1987 to 1992, and his family has long supported the business school. A recent gift of $180,000 from the family helped expand the Corporate Mentor Program, which serves students who are the first in their families to attend college.
"We believe every student should have a meaningful job upon graduation, in their field, with a good salary," said Muma College of Business dean Moez Limayem. "Students' backgrounds or financial concerns should not prevent them from achieving their degrees and their dreams, and with this gift, USF can help them overcome those obstacles. This gift, more than ever before, will help us achieve this dream."