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Naming rights a great way to support College

Colleagues and relatives of the late Michael Holmes gathered in his honor at the renaming ceremony held Nov. 9.
Michael Holmes

The man who established Seminole State College of Florida’s technology department will be forever associated with it now that his name adorns its entrance.

Seminole State College held a ceremony Nov. 9 naming its technology support suite in honor of Michael Holmes, a longtime employee who passed away in 2010.

Holmes, who worked for Seminole State for more than 30 years, was one of the first two employees in the College’s Computing and Telecommunications Services (CTS) Department, said Dick Hamann, vice president of Information Technology and Institutional Resources. “He created the department, and we still do a lot of things today based on what he taught us back then. Now we have 40 or 50 people doing the job he did himself for many years.”

To honor Holmes’ legacy and his dedication to the College, his family made a gift to the Foundation for Seminole State College to establish the Michael Holmes Computing Data Center. Half of that gift is being used to create The Michael Holmes Endowed Scholarship to benefit computer science and information technology students. The other half will create a program account to purchase resources and training for the faculty and staff in those areas of the College.

Naming rights have become a popular way to support colleges as they work to balance the needs of students with the reality of reduced state funding, says John Gyllin, executive director of the Foundation.

In 2011, the Foundation received $2 million from the Wayne M. Densch Charities that is being used for a scholarship program for first-generation college students. The donation gave the Densch trust naming rights to the Partnership Center, a four-story building that opened in 2010 as the centerpiece of the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus.

Through its Foundation, Seminole State is offering a variety of ways to donate through naming opportunities.

“For anybody interested in supporting the institution, there’s a place for them to leave their name and have a legacy in perpetuity,” says Gyllin.

Gyllin notes that the College has completed nearly $100 million in construction during the past five years, and the proposed master plan for the expansion of the College’s Altamonte Springs Campus envisions an academic village of eight new high-rise buildings and 950,000 square feet for classrooms and academic space.

“As Seminole State continues to grow,” he says, “the opportunities for naming rights expand as well.”

Businesses, foundations and individuals can support Seminole State students or college programs by naming anything from classrooms and offices to buildings on campus, Gyllin says.

Holmes’ mother, Rebecca Holmes, says her son’s affection for Seminole State inspired the family’s gift.

“He was very dedicated to the College,” she says, “and I just wanted something in his memory.”

The Foundation for Seminole State is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt corporation dedicated to enhancing Seminole State College's programs and services through the development and management of private contributions, public grants and community partnerships. For more information, visit the Foundation website.

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