About the College
The Colliers: Devoted to Business & Philanthropy
Barron (Barry) Gift Collier III is a 1980 graduate of the USF Muma College of Business, and was a director of the USF Fort Myers Foundation board from 1987 to 1992. Today, he is chair of the Barron Collier Partnership, dedicated to the responsible development, management, and stewardship of the partnership's land holdings and other assets in the businesses of agriculture, real estate, and mineral management.
Dana Collier graduated from the Central Ohio Technical College, which is affiliated with The Ohio State University. She chose to stay home and raise the couple's four children: Barron, Alexandra, Lara, and Christopher. The oldest three have graduated college and are starting their own careers, while Christopher is in school at Belmont University.
A History of Giving
The Collier family has a long history of philanthropy and success in Florida. Collier County, where Naples is located, is named after Collier's grandfather, Barron Gift Collier Sr. An entrepreneur who made his fortune in streetcar advertising, Barron Collier Sr. purchased much of Southwest Florida, eventually acquiring 1.3 million acres. He brought the area into the 20th century, introducing the first telephone service, railroad, newspapers, and bus company. He has a lasting legacy in Florida's transportation system: The Tamiami Trail, connecting the Southwest and Southeast coasts of Florida. Barron Gift Collier Jr., Collier's father, served in World War II and ran the companies with his brothers. The Barron Collier Partnership is now a large diversified company in Southwest Florida.
With that history of investment in Florida's future, the whole family feels the drive to give back. In addition to giving to USF, the Colliers also support Florida Gulf Coast University.
A Lasting Legacy of Student Success
After meeting with President Genshaft several years ago, the mission of the Corporate Mentor Program resonated with the Collier family: the chance for first generation students to gain professional skills and have personal attention that could help them succeed.
"It's a testament to the university and to the leadership of the university that they have put the students first," Barry Collier said. "When people give to a university, they want to know that it impacts students on a personal level."
Collier has attended the Muma College of Business scholarship luncheon every year since 2011. Each time, he has met with students in the Corporate Mentor Program who receive the scholarship he sponsors, and he said he continues to be inspired and touched by their stories of perseverance.
"We hear about American Dream being lost, and here is a program that's doing exactly the opposite," Collier said.
As the Colliers' four children have left home to go to college, Barry and Dana Collier have begun to think about their legacy of giving. Collier said being able to help USF students, especially those in the Corporate Mentor Program, far into the future was a large part of why he and Dana decided to give.
"I would like to see the Muma College of Business alumni and the business community step up and add to the program," he said. "Four hundred students applied this year. Shouldn't 400 students be able to participate?"
USF Muma College of Business Dean Moez Limayem said the Colliers' generosity will continue to transform the lives of business students for years to come.
"The Colliers have given so generously to the Muma College of Business because they
have seen firsthand what a difference their gifts have made to our students," Limayem
said. "We believe every student should have a meaningful job upon graduation, in their
field, with a good salary. Students' backgrounds or financial concerns should not
prevent them from achieving their degrees and their dreams, and with this gift, USF
can help them overcome those obstacles.
This gift, more than ever before, will help us achieve this dream."