Daytona State College has named its 84,000-square-foot student center under construction on its main campus in honor of longtime benefactor and former trustee L. Gale Lemerand during a Thursday, May 31, ceremony, followed by tours of the three-story structure, expected to be completed next spring.
The naming marks a formal recognition of Lemerand’s longtime support of the college and its students, including a most recent gift of $2 million to the Daytona State College Foundation. The gift brings to more than $3 million donated to DSC by the prolific entrepreneur over the years in support of student scholarships and campus growth initiatives, becoming the college’s most generous living benefactor.
“Today, we come together to honor a man who has been a champion of higher education, not only at Daytona State College, but throughout the state of Florida,” said DSC President Tom LoBasso. “The entire college community is deeply proud and honored to name this new student center for Mr. Gale Lemerand, whose longtime support of Daytona State already is leaving a legacy that will live on for generations and continue to serve countless students. Gale, thank you for being a friend of Daytona State College and for making such a huge difference in the lives of so many of our students, yesterday, today and well into the future.”
The new facility will embody a design and function for modern-era higher education that will focus on student engagement. It will facilitate a paradigm shift in teaching and learning for the 21st century, noted District Board of Trustees Chair Forough Hosseini. “This will be a place where students can socialize and interact with their peers, faculty and college staff, and access the resources and guidance they need to stay on track,” she said. “We know that students who are engaged in college life are more likely to achieve academic success and complete their degrees. This facility is being built with this in mind.”
In addition to academic support services that include the library and writing center, the building will house a study commons, state-of-the-art classrooms, conference rooms and a large events center. Career Services, a one-stop resource center for career planning and job placement, also will relocate to the building.
The facility also will serve as a hub for the DSC student life experience, where students will gravitate to relax and socialize, with offices for student clubs, a game room, a cafeteria and coffee lounge, and an outdoor dining area.
Trustee Hosseini noted, “It is the generosity of people like Gale Lemerand that helps our lawmakers take notice when we make our funding requests. Knowing that our community’s leaders are serious about being partners in education, helping us achieve the kind of excellence in teaching and learning that our students expect goes a long way in Tallahassee.”