LAKELAND, Fl.– Almost 100 community and business leaders and University supporters came together to celebrate Florida Polytechnic University’s Founders Day on Friday, April 19, 2019.
Even though the festivities were brought indoors by bad weather, spirits were high as Dr. Randy Avent, Florida Poly president, presented Saddle Creek Logistic Services with the University’s first annual #ChangeMaker Award.
“This award honors the significant impact Saddle Creek has had on our University and the contributions they’ve made to our success in so many ways,” said Avent. “Saddle Creek embodies what it means to be a partner.”
Cliff Otto, Saddle Creek’s CEO and vice-chair of Florida Poly’s Board of Trustees, accepted the award on behalf of his organization. Avent noted that Otto’s early vision for the transformative impact Florida Poly could have on the region was instrumental in making the University a reality.
Saddle Creek’s financial support, particularly scholarship investments, have made it possible for students to experience the life-changing education provided at Florida Poly.
“To me – Florida Poly is more than a university, it’s a family. My Florida Poly story would not have been possible without my scholarship,” said Saivamsi “Vamsi” Hanumanthu, who received a scholarship funded in part by Saddle Creek. “In my time here, I’ve learned that happiness is not what you do, but rather, why you do it. Florida Poly has helped me find my why.”
Florida Poly students are also helping local employers, like Saddle Creek, find the future talent pipeline they need.
Donna Slyster, Saddle Creek’s CIO and Florida Poly Foundationboard member calls Florida Poly a “future generator” and is proud her organization is one of the industry partners that invests and advocates for Florida’s newest and only STEM-focused state university.
“When you combine the bright, new talent coming out of the University with the experienced logistics we provide, it’s just magical,” Slyster said. “The kind of students that come out of Florida Poly are critical for the growth of the I-4 High Tech Corridor, and for the growth of our region.”
Assistant Director of Communications