When Robert King arrived at Florida Tech in July 2022, he noticed something amid the heat and humidity of a blazing Florida summer: the campus would benefit from more shade.
Yes, students wanting to be outside could study in the shade of buildings, at the covered solar gazebos dotting campus and in a few other spots here and there, but more was needed, the university’s interim president surmised.
That seed of an idea has now blossomed, and Florida Tech and its students are all the better for it: King has donated funding for nearly two dozen shade trees on campus, including Royal Poincianas, Live Oaks and Black Olives.
The new trees are being planted now, with a row going on each side of the Olin Quad and others headed for spots around Crawford Green. All the trees are expected to be planted by the end of July.
A stone marker and plaque between Gleason Performing Arts Center and Skurla Hall will identify the area of new trees as “Bob’s Grove.”
“My admiration and respect for Florida Tech’s faculty, staff and students have grown with each academic award, special event and campus interaction I have had the pleasure to be involved with,” King said. “I am thrilled that I can leave this remarkable place with a gift that will benefit the campus community for years to come.”