UF Names Building After For-Profit CEO Heavener

University of Florida trustees unanimously approved naming the undergraduate school of business and a to-be-built facility after alumnus James W. “Bill” Heavener, the school announced Wednesday.

A 1970 UF graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Heavener is chief executive officer of The Heavener Company and the for-profit Full Sail University, and is on the board of directors of multiple institutions of higher education including FSU. Heavener is also a member of the Warrington Business Advisory Council, the UF Foundation Board of Directors, the UF Alumni Association Board of Directors and is president-elect of the Board of Directors of Gator Boosters Inc.

The approval comes as UF prepares to launch a $35 million initiative partnering UF, the Warrington College of Business Administration, a lead gift from Heavener, and private funding from other donors to invest in undergraduate business education.

“I know firsthand the high quality of students, faculty, programs and staff that make the School of Business one of the leading undergraduate business programs,” Heavener said in the school’s press release. “My degree from the School of Business gave me a great foundation for my own professional career so I am proud to be part of helping take the school to the next level.”

Last December, UF trustees approved a collaboration with Full Sail, stating that Florida-based Full Sail would create more educational and career opportunities for students at both schools in media, technology and entertainment business.

The project initially will focus on sports, business, computer game development and engineering, animation, and education degree and certificate programs, but UF colleges such as Journalism and Communications, Fine Arts, Business Administration, Health and Human Performance, Education and Engineering have expressed interest in the plan.

Founded in 1979, Full Sail offers more than 30 master’s, bachelor’s and associate degree programs with an emphasis in many areas related to entertainment and media. Its enrollment is more than 15,000.

A time frame for the collaboration has not been established, according to the December 2011 release. The plan calls for several measures to be met, including ensuring that each institution’s admissions process and standards are met, and each institution’s degree and accreditation requirements are met for degrees earned with courses taken at both institutions.

– Alanna Stage, @alannatweets

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