Saint Leo University, One of the Oldest Catholic Universities in Florida, Honored for Enhancing Economy

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President Arthur F. Kirk, Jr. accepts Pasco Economic Development Council award on behalf of University

Saint Leo University, one of the top-ranked regional universities in Florida, has been honored with Pasco Economic Development Council’s 2011 Special Contribution Award. The award is given to a nonprofit institution that has made significant contributions to the economic development and quality of life in Pasco County, the Florida county where Saint Leo was founded in 1889.

Of the universities in central Florida, Saint Leo was the only one honored at the Pasco Economic Development Council’s 25th Annual Industry Appreciation Banquet, held at Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel, Fla., in September.

The program's audience of nearly 500 business people and elected officials was shown a video highlighting important developments and attributes of life at Saint Leo's traditional liberal arts campus, including:

· The six core values that shape Saint Leo University: excellence, community, respect, personal development, responsible stewardship and integrity.
· The opening of the $12 million Donald R. Tapia School of Business building, a cutting edge-facility outfitted with technology to propel students into a new age of learning.
· Renovations to the biology laboratory to modernize research facilities for students, including those in the growing bachelors in biology degree program.
· The new softball field, which features elevated bleachers, a two-story press box, locker rooms, a covered batting facility, a new parking lot, and accessibility for those with disabilities.
· Educational support for the military—part of Saint Leo's heritage as one of the top 10 providers of higher education to the U.S. military.
· Community service work efforts grounded in Saint Leo's core values.

University President Arthur F. Kirk, Jr. gratefully accepted the Pasco Economic Development Council award on behalf of Saint Leo University, one of the top liberal arts universities in central Florida.

More details about the award are covered in this St. Petersburg Times story.

About Saint Leo University
Saint Leo ranks as one of the top universities in the South, according to U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” list. Saint Leo’s traditional liberal arts campus, located 30 miles north of Tampa, educates more than 1,900 students. Total enrollment across its campus, continuing education centers, and online programs exceeds 15,000. Saint Leo University ranks as one of the nation's most military friendly colleges, and is a nationally recognized leader in online education.

For more information about Saint Leo University, the oldest of all Catholic universities in Florida, visit:


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Jo-Ann Johnston
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