Florida Chamber of Commerce

Florida Poly president honored as top business leader on prestigious statewide list

In his last year as Florida Polytechnic University president, Dr. Randy K. Avent was recognized once again for his exceptional leadership by statewide magazine Florida Trend. It is the fifth consecutive year Avent makes the publication’s prominent Florida 500 list, which celebrates the state’s most influential business leaders and executives across major industries.

“Being selected alongside so many outstanding leaders in Florida is such a great honor and I ‘m privileged to have been in their company for the past several years,” Avent said. “Florida Poly’s reputation as a premier STEM university keeps rising, and this recognition reflects that continued success.

“As the University wraps up its first decade educating high-skill STEM professionals, we know there’s much more work to be done, but we remain proud to have built a nationally ranked STEM university from the ground up. Today, our future is brighter than ever.”

From the beginning, Avent’s goal as Florida Poly’s founding president has centered on turning the University into a leading core STEM institution, known for its excellent engineering and applied sciences education, as well as for its high-demand, low-supply graduates. The University fulfilled key legislative mandates under his leadership and accomplished critical accreditations.

Avent’s work has also focused on growing Florida Poly and cementing it as an industry magnet for the region. He secured a public-private partnership with Fortune 500 company IFF to become Florida Poly’s first on-campus high-tech partner, building its Global Citrus Innovation Center just steps from the iconic Innovation, Science, and Technology building. This achievement marked the beginning of a robust research park he envisions will be anchored by the University.

Florida Poly is also poised for further growth. A third student residence hall will be ready by fall 2024 and the Gary C. Wendt Engineering Building will begin construction next spring. These new buildings will be in addition to the 90,000 square-foot Barnett Applied Research Center, a state-of-the-art facility inaugurated last year, doubling the institution’s research capabilities. The University is growing its academic offerings as well, by adding two new degrees this year – civil engineering and industrial engineering.

Avent just began his 10th and last academic year as founding president of Florida Poly, as he’ll be retiring in the summer of 2024.

The Florida 500 inclusion is the latest of several important recognitions the University has received this year. These include U.S. News & World Report rankings as a top 20 public engineering program without a Ph.D. in the country, and the number one public college in the Southeast for three years in a row.

The Florida 500 list of most influential leaders spans across more than 60 business categories, including education, agriculture, hospitality, and law. Final determinations were made by the publication’s editorial department.

For the most recent University news, visit Florida Poly News.

About Florida Polytechnic University: Florida Polytechnic University is ranked the number one public college in the Southern Region for two years in a row, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and a member of the State University System of Florida. Nationally ranked in engineering education, Florida Poly is the only state university dedicated exclusively to STEM and offers ABET-accredited degrees. Florida Poly is a powerful economic engine within the state of Florida, blending applied research with industry partnerships to give students an academically rigorous education with real-world relevance. Florida Poly’s iconic Innovation, Science, and Technology Building, designed by world-renowned architect Dr. Santiago Calatrava, has won more than 20 global awards and was named one of the 16 most breathtaking buildings in the world. Connect with Florida Poly.

Florida Polytechnic University President Randy K. Avent was selected to the prominent Florida 500 list for the fifth year in a row. The statewide list recognizes the most influential business leaders across Florida.

Lydia Guzmán
Director of Communications
863-874-8557 (office)
863-327-9762 (cell)

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