NWFSC Major Gift Names Leadership Institute for Local Business

(l-r) NWFSC President Ty Handy, <br>Jennifer and David Costa, Jr.,<br> David and Helen Costa,<br> and Amy and Steven Killebrew
(l-r) NWFSC President Ty Handy,
Jennifer and David Costa, Jr.,
David and Helen Costa,
and Amy and Steven Killebrew


Area Chamber of Commerce representatives and college officials officially inaugurated the new Student Services Center at Northwest Florida State College Thursday night with a ribbon cutting and the announcement of the naming of the college's Leadership Institute, which occupies the third floor of the 75,000 square foot facility.

The NWFSC Leadership Institute, which provides professional development and corporate training programs, will be re-named in honor of local business Costa Enterprises, a family owned firm which operates 14 McDonalds locations spanning from Navarre to Port St. Joe. The college program will now officially be known as the Costa Leadership Institute at Northwest Florida State College.

The owners of Costa Enterprises, David and Helen Costa, David Costa, Jr., and Amy and Steven Killebrew, were recognized at a naming ceremony for a donation and match totaling $250,000 to the college's Foundation.

"The owners of Costa Enterprises are well known as active community members and are generous supporters of many philanthropic initiatives in our area," noted Dr. Ty Handy, NWFSC president. "We are honored that a major gift from Costa Enterprises will underwrite the vital professional development and corporate training programs offered by the Costa Leadership Institute." With the formal naming, both the third floor of the Student Services Center and the college's leadership program will be exclusively referred to as the Costa Leadership Institute at Northwest Florida State College from this point forward.

One of the owners of Costa Enterprises, David Costa Jr., received his Associate of Arts degree from the college and he currently serves his alma mater as a member of the Board of Directors for the college's Foundation.

Another gift and match totaling $25,000 from former college board of trustees member Eileen Arpke of Niceville established the Charles K. and Eileen H. Arpke Endowment in support of the Costa Leadership Institute and named one of the facility's conference rooms in honor of Arpke and her late husband. Eileen Arpke was appointed by the governor and served as a member of the college's Board of Trustees from 1987 to 1994 and her late husband Charles retired from Eglin Air Force base as the Chief of Directorate at the Air Force Armament lab.

"Mrs. Arpke and her late husband Charles have been faithful, longtime supporters and volunteers at the college," noted Lamar Conerly, vice president of the NWFSC Foundation. "The Arpke's previously established an endowed scholarship through the Foundation to support our students and the college's Raider Club, Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, and Institute for Senior Professionals have also benefitted from their support and philanthropy."

The Costa Leadership Institute at NWFSC offers corporate training, professional education, and leadership development programs, including the Leadership Okaloosa program for all area chambers. For information about the spring term series of professional development courses, see the college website at www.nwfsc.edu/LI.

Named endowments through the NWFSC Foundation provide lasting recognition of an individual or organization's commitment to educational excellence. The two naming endowments announced at the Grand Opening will be used to fund equipment, instruction and program needs of the Costa Leadership Institute at NWFSC. Conerly noted the funds are instrumental in providing long-term support to existing program efforts.

Prior to the naming ceremony, college officials recognized those instrumental in completion of the 75,000 square foot 3-story Student Services Center including: Jay Smith, vice president and owner of Ajax Building Corporation, the construction management firm for the project; the more than 700 skilled construction professionals and subcontractors who built the facility; and David Alsop and staff from Sam Marshall Architects of Pensacola, who along with partners Orcutt Consulting, designed the facility.

NWFSC board of trustees chair Sandy Sims noted that the Student Services Center is focused on offering the vital support students need to, "Help them be successful both inside the classroom and in life." The Student Services Center hosts college functions such as: Registration, Advising, Student ID office, Financial Aid, Business Office, Testing, Food Services, the college's Women's Resource Center, the NWF to UWF program, Student Activities and Student Government, Adult Education and GED programs, Prime Time and Continuing Education non-credit programs, and the college's Costa Leadership Institute.

"The new Student Services Center building and the renovations of the College Mall located next door represent our second largest construction project in 20 years," said Sims. "The combined economic impact is $25.5 million." Sims noted the facility provides a lasting impact not only for students, but also for the community as it offers extensive meeting and conference room space available for use by businesses and community groups.