Saint Leo University Offers Scholarships to Florida Catholic High School Students

Saint Leo University Offers Scholarships to Florida Catholic High School Students

Prospective students and community invited to learn more at open house on April 7

LEO, FL – Saint Leo University has announced it will offer a significant new scholarship to help make higher education more accessible to Catholic high school students in Florida.

Available for students beginning in the Fall 2019 Semester, the Catholic Promise Scholarship will award Florida students who have attended four years at a Catholic high school with an annual scholarship of $14,000 toward their tuition at Saint Leo University’s University Campus. The scholarship is renewable each year for up to four years and will provide up to $56,000 in financial aid by the time the student graduates. When combined with the Florida Effective Access to Student Education (EASE) grant of $3,500 per year and an annual $5,500 to $7,500 in Stafford Loans, Saint Leo University’s annual tuition will be significantly reduced for recipients of the Catholic Promise Scholarship every year.

“As the first of its kind in Saint Leo history, the Catholic Promise Scholarship will effectively bring the cost of a high-quality, private, liberal-arts education within the reach of many Catholic high school students across the state of Florida,” said Dr. Senthil Kumar, Saint Leo University vice president for University Campus Admissions & Center for Global Engagement.

To receive the scholarship, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete four years at a Catholic high school;
  • Have an unweighted 3.0 GPA;
  • Be a U.S. citizen and Florida resident;
  • Attend Saint Leo at University Campus;
  • Live on campus for all four years;
  • Maintain a 2.5 GPA and full-time status while earning a degree

This commitment to promoting accessibility and affordability of Catholic higher education demonstrates Saint Leo’s Benedictine core values, both as an institution and pillar of the Catholic community.

“As a Catholic Benedictine university, we place a high importance on serving others,” said Saint Leo University President Jeffrey D. Senese. “This scholarship will serve Catholic students from all economic backgrounds, providing an opportunity for them to continue their education in the Catholic tradition.”

Saint Leo University will hold a Catholic Promise Scholarship Open House on Sunday, April 7, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., on its main campus (33701 State Road 52, St. Leo, FL 33574). Prospective students and their families, school counselors, and the public are invited to learn more about the scholarship, university degree programs, and campus life. Mass will be celebrated as part of the open house events at the Saint Leo Abbey Church at 10 a.m. There is no cost to attend the open house. To register for the open house, call (352) 588-8283.

Saint Leo University, about 35 miles north of Tampa, is the oldest Catholic college in the Florida and is one of the largest Catholic universities in the nation by enrollment. Additional information about the Catholic Promise Scholarship may be found on the Saint Leo University website: https://www.saintleo.edu/campus-scholarships.


Drew Howard Named Director of Athletics & Dean of Wellness of Florida Southern College


LAKELAND, FL – Florida Southern College President Dr. Anne B. Kerr has announced the appointment of Drew Howard as the Moccasins’ new Director of Athletics & Dean of Wellness. The announcement was made on Monday during a press conference at Streamline Sale Arena at Jenkins Field House. Howard was selected following a national search that included more than 150 talented applicants.

“Drew Howard has an impressive set of skills that will enable Florida Southern College to continue our national prominence in Division II Athletics,” said Kerr. “His business skills, especially in finance and operations management, technological savvy, expert compliance experience, marketing expertise, and commitment to athlete safety and, of great importance, his integrity, position him to lead us forward into this next stage of national success.”

Howard, who has served as Interim Director of Athletics for the past two months, joined the Florida Southern Athletic Department in 2013 as Assistant Athletic Director of NCAA Compliance. He was promoted twice during his tenure at Florida Southern, first in 2015 to Associate Athletic Director for Internal Operations and again last year to Senior Associate Athletic Director.

“I am honored and humbled to step into the role of Director of Athletics & Dean of Wellness here at Florida Southern,” said Howard. “This college has an excellent tradition of athletic and academic success from its student-athletes, and I am proud to continue to be part of that history.”

“I would like to thank Dr. Kerr, the members of the search committee, and the Board of Trustees for this opportunity, which my family and I are extremely grateful for. I want to thank my wife, Kristin, and our boys. Their love and support have been more than I could ever ask for. I am thankful for the many people on campus and in the community who have offered their prayers and encouragement throughout this process, as their support meant so much over the past few weeks. I am excited to hit the ground running and work with our coaches, staff, and student-athletes on the bright future of Moccasin athletics.”

During his time at Florida Southern, Howard has overseen all NCAA compliance operations, athletic communications, and served as the administrator to 10 Moccasin athletic teams.

He has developed new internal operations to streamline the compliance process for coaches and student-athletes. In addition, Howard has overseen an athletic communications office that has developed into one of the leaders in NCAA Division II in the areas of live video and digital media.

He currently serves as the chair of the Division II Men’s Lacrosse National Committee, and is a past member of the Division II Men’s Soccer Midwest Region Committee, the NAAC Division II Reasonable Standards Committee, and the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Compliance Committee.

An expert in NCAA Compliance, Howard was the first-ever NCAA Compliance Coordinator at Cedarville University, where he helped the Yellow Jackets transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II by creating and implementing Cedarville’s NCAA Compliance program.

A 2007 graduate of Western Kentucky University, Howard also obtained his master’s in sports administration from WKU. While with the Hilltoppers, Howard was a graduate assistant in the athletic department and served in a variety of internal operations roles.

He and his wife, Kristin, reside in Lakeland and are the parents of triplet boys, Cal, Ramsey, and Zac.


“I am absolutely thrilled for Drew. He is well-deserving of being named the new Director of Athletics & Dean of Wellness at Florida Southern. I’ve had the chance to work with Drew day-in and day-out over the last four years, and have witnessed firsthand his skill and ability as an administrator and a leader. From day one I knew Drew’s career trajectory would eventually land him a role like this, and I am excited that he has been chosen to lead the Moccasins!”
- Florida Southern men’s basketball head coach Mike Donnelly

“Drew Howard is a terrific person and an outstanding athletics administrator.  He is well respected throughout the Sunshine State Conference and is the right person to continue the tradition of excellence that defines Florida Southern College athletics.  This is a brilliant hire.”
- Sunshine State Conference Commissioner Ed Pasque


Henkelman Construction, Inc. Employment Announcement

Members on the Move Announcement

Henkelman Construction, Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of Steven Sikes to our elite team of Superintendents. Steven began his career over 15 years ago as a finish carpenter. His love of learning propelled him to explore additional trades and eventually start his own company. Steven spent numerous years in residential construction and is looking forward to gaining knowledge and experience in commercial construction as well.


Florida TaxWatch Releases Independent Assessment of the Economic Impacts of the Florida College System

FLORIDA CAPITOL, TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida TaxWatch, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit taxpayer research institute and government watchdog, announced at a press conference the results of their independent assessment of the economic impacts of the Florida College System.  The research performed by the Florida TaxWatch, alongside economist Richard Harper, Ph.D, shows that the Florida College System provides a significant return on the state’s investment, increases expected work life earnings for students, and compares favorably to colleges nationally in terms of enrollment and graduation rates.
The assessment highlights that the return on investment for students is significant. Students experience increased expected work-life earnings of $491,777 to $838,023 and a repayment of total cost time of only 2.50 to 3.80 years. In addition, the higher work-life salaries earned by degree holders compared to high school completers compared with the public investment in the system translates to a return of $10.80 to $15.42 in increased Florida Gross Domestic Product for every $1 invested and generates nearly 10,000 new jobs.


“This report illustrates the incredible value of the Florida College System to both the state and our students, who experience a return on investment between 10.5 percent and 12 percent depending on the degree earned. At Polk State College, 80 percent of students graduate with zero student-loan debt and, on average, earn wages that are 2.3 times higher than the average entry-level wage for Polk County,” Polk State College President Angela Garcia Falconetti said. “The ability of our students to achieve quality higher education, earn successful careers, and do so without burdensome debt allows them to become the key drivers of economic growth for our communities and the State of Florida.”


Polk State College also boasts the second highest job-place and continuing-education rate in the Florida College System at 96.9 percent.


“A great many of our university graduates started at a community college, myself included,” said Florida TaxWatch President & CEO Dominic M. Calabro. “Florida’s college system has provided an opportunity for generations of Floridians to have a better life, and the return on the state’s taxpayers’ investment has been significant. In order to make Florida number 1 in the U.S. for workforce education, we must continue to invest in these worthy institutions.”


The announcement was presented alongside Representative Overdorf and Senator Flores.


“There are thousands of job openings in Florida because businesses cannot find employees with the set of skills they are looking for,” said Representative Toby Overdorf. “Thanks to the excellent research from Florida TaxWatch, we can see that the Florida College System is a national leader compared to other state systems and continues to be a good investment for the state.”


Representative Overdorf was joined by Helios Education Foundation, Florida TaxWatch, and several partners that are helping shape Florida’s economic growth, workforce development, and higher education.


“The findings by Florida TaxWatch should be of particular importance to Florida stakeholders and policymakers because they reinforce why the state’s investment into the Florida College System is important not only to current students but to Florida’s future workforce,” said Charles Hokanson, Senior Vice President, Florida Community Engagement at Helios Education Foundation. “The foundation’s mission is to ensure more students, particularly first-generation, minority, and underrepresented students, complete a postsecondary degree. This assessment illustrates the value Florida colleges bring to that mission, and to the prosperity of our state.”


Read the full report here.

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About Polk State College


Located in Winter Haven, Florida, and established in 1964, Polk State College is a multi-campus institution serving more than 16,000 students with Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Science, Associate in Arts, and Associate in Science degrees, as well as a wide range of certificate and workforce training options. The College also operates three charter high schools.


Polk State’s advantages include small class sizes; hands-on learning; dedicated faculty; day and night classes; online options; affordable tuition; excellent financial aid; and a diverse community and vibrant student life, including fine arts opportunities, clubs, and intercollegiate athletics.