Hodges University, a private, non-profit institution of higher learning offering 24 undergraduate and 10 graduate degree programs of study, today announced that it will rename its School of Technology to the John W. Fisher III School of Technology. The announcement comes in recognition of a generous and significant gift on behalf of Mr. Fisher that ranks among the largest in the history of the university.
Fisher is an alumnus of Hodges University, graduating in 1996 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and was honored as the university’s Alumnus of the Year in 1999. He is the son of John W. Fisher Jr., chairman emeritus and former president of the packaging manufacturer Ball Corporation and former chairman of the Ball Foundation and the namesake of several well-respected institutions including Ball State University.
A resident of Naples, Fisher is semi-retired from the hotel/restaurant supply workforce and currently is a rental property owner/manager. He actively pursues his goal of helping provide a good education to anyone with a thirst for knowledge. Fisher is a member of the Hodges University Foundation Board of Directors. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, he also serves as a member of the American Military Veterans Education Fund Cabinet.
“I am truly honored to have my name associated with the School of Technology,” Fisher said. “My learning experience at Hodges University was like no other in my life, having studied in an academically challenging environment and learning model that are based on real life experiences. As an adult learner, I appreciated the smaller class sizes and felt as if my professional business experience was valued. Clearly, the university’s mission to enhance the ability of students to achieve their life and career objectives is being met.”
The School of Technology was one of the first academic schools established at Hodges University. Students in this school have a desire to explore technology and how it can be used to improve the way we conduct business or the way we live our lives. Programs of study within this school include computer information technology, digital design and graphics, and information systems management at the undergraduate level, and computer information technology and information systems management at the graduate level.
“The naming of a school is something that is never done too casually,” said Dr. Louis J. Traina, Vice President of University Advancement for Hodges University. “This is an honor resulting from Mr. Fisher’s track record for success and, most importantly, his personal and professional values. Our students are fortunate to have a role model and alum that embodies the type of ethical and moral qualities we encourage them to adopt.”
The donation by Fisher will enable the School of Technology to introduce additional programs of study and add new equipment. It also will allow for new technology within the classroom, including the Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1, an intuitive online learning platform that is revolutionizing the way professors teach and how students advance.
“This wonderful gift enables us to move forward and do even bigger and better things at Hodges,” said Dr. Michael L. Nelson, Dean and Graduate Program Director for the School of Technology. “We just took the first steps toward adding a Security Specialty to our undergraduate programs, and we are looking at growing and expanding our Digital Design and Graphics program. We also have begun discussions to expand our role as a Cisco Networking Academy and are working toward becoming a VMware IT Academy.
The donation by John W. Fisher III is among the largest in the 21-year history of Hodges University. Other significant contributions by local individuals over the years include:
- Earl and Thelma Hodges, two long-time Naples residents and community benefactors whose generous gift in 2007 named the school as Hodges University;
- The Nichols School of Professional Studies, named for Arlene and Jerry F. Nichols, two well-known Hodges supporters and 2008 Humanitarians of the Year;
- The Kenneth Oscar Johnson School of Business, named for Kenneth Oscar Johnson, a respected industry executive who supported several Hodges causes;
- The Lavern Norris Gaynor President’s Chair, which stands in recognition of long-time Naples philanthropist and community supporter Laverne Norris Gaynor.
“The generous support of these and many other individuals create a legacy ensuring that students of Hodges University have access to the very best learning tools and state of the art technology,” said Dr. Terry P. McMahan, President of Hodges University. “We are pleased to have such a positive impact on the everyday lives and dreams of our students.”