March 21, 2011 – Beverly Koski, one of Sarasota’s leading philanthropists and community leaders, has made a million-dollar gift to New College of Florida.
The gift was announced today by Andrew Walker, president and CEO of the New College Foundation. Part of the gift, Walker stated, will be used to construct a bell tower adjacent to the Jane Bancroft Cook Library, in the plaza connecting the Library to the College’s new Academic Center at the corner of U.S. 41 and College Drive. The tower and the plaza will be named for Beverly and her late husband, Robert, co-founder of Sun Hydraulics, Walker said. The rest of the gift will be used to fund a variety of other priorities of the College.
“We are so pleased Beverly has decided to honor the academic achievements of New College by making this significant, lasting investment in our school and students,” Walker said. “Beverly has been one of our most faithful volunteers and supporters for many years, and this is a wonderful new pinnacle in that relationship.”
Koski has been active at New College for much of its 50-year history, serving for many years as a leader of the New College Library Association (NCLA). In the College’s early years, she and her husband Bob made one of the first large gifts to the Library, and the Koski Core Collection Fund continues to help acquire new books and resources, helping make the Cook Library one of Southwest Florida’s most important public-accessible research libraries. The College also worked closely in recent years with Bob Koski to host an annual meeting of engineering experts from around the globe.
“Since moving to Sarasota in 1967, New College has been a part of my life,” stated Beverly Koski. “I have enjoyed membership in NCLA and the Associates. The programs and activities offered at new College have inspired and educated me.
“Twenty years ago the NCLA had the funds for a gift to the College. We researched the idea of a bell tower in the Cook Library court yard. The decision was postponed. At that time funds for books and periodicals were priority. Today this dream of a bell tower will come true.
“New College is a special institution of higher learning,” she concluded. “The administration, faculty and students have continued to live up to the dream of its founders. I am pleased to have been a part of this journey.”
New College president Gordon E. “Mike” Michalson expressed his immense gratitude to Beverly Koski for her gift and her sustained commitment to New College over so many years. “All who know her realize what a thoughtful and dignified presence she is,” said Michalson. “They also know the very high regard in which her late husband is held. It will be a great honor to have the Koski name forever associated with the New College campus in this way.”
A dedication event in Koski Plaza will be announced later this year.
New College of Florida is an independent member of the State University System and the State’s designated Honors College. Serving 800 undergraduate students who live on campus for part or all of their undergraduate careers, New College is consistently rated one of the best and most affordable colleges in the nation. One fifth of New College students are the first in their families to attend college.
Adjacent to the new Koski Plaza, the New College Academic Center, to be completed this spring, is the most significant academic building constructed at New College in nearly 20 years. The $11 million, LEED-certified building will house classrooms and faculty offices and include state-of-the art teaching amenities. The three-storied building will give way to a lush central plaza landscaped with Florida native plants and a café designed to become a vibrant center of campus life for years to come.
For more information about New College and the New College Library Association, please contact the New College Foundation, 5800 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota FL, 34243, 941 487-4800 or consult the website at foundation.ncf.edu.