Saint Leo University broke ground on a state-of-the-art facility that
will house its School of Business. And it was all made possible by a
former student who never set foot on the campus until he graduated.
Phoenix entrepreneur Don Tapia donated $4 million
to Saint Leo
for the purpose of building a 50,000-square-foot
facility that will house nine new classrooms, 37 faculty offices and a
broadcast recording studio. Tapia is a graduate of Saint Leo's online
. The building is a much needed asset to a growing campus
and Tapia's gift was a welcome windfall.
were sort of bursting at the seams," explains Michael Nastanski, Dean of
the School of
. "With student growth on campus we're sort of at capacity.
We ran out of office and classroom space."
is excited about the building's digital capabilities. "Picture an
accounting class with ticker tapes flashed around the room. That's the
kind of technology we're talking about."
Leo is a pioneer on the online course landscape. "We've been doing it
for 15 years," says Nastanski. "Our programs contribute $246 million in
revenue for the Tampa Bay area." In addition to its Pasco
campus, the University has 17 satellite campuses that offer continuing
education courses in seven states.
researched several online programs before enrolling in Saint Leo's
online business program. He earned his bachelor's degree in business
administration in 2005 and attended the commencement exercises then. It
was the first time he'd ever set foot on campus. The 72-year-old
graduate went on to earn his master's in 2007 and later served as the
university's first online program alumni to sit on its board of
The building is set to be completed
in time for the 2011 school year.
Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Michael Nastanski, Saint Leo University