FORT MYERS, Fla. - March Madness has thrown the FGCU Eagles in the path of University of Florida Gators. When you compare both schools' size and history they couldn't be more different. But there is one major thing they do have in common. The next time you visit either campus look out for the Griffin family connection.
The Gators have been in Gainesville for more than a century, the Eagles have been in Fort Myers for more than two decades. Few expected the number 15 seed to keep up its incredible run, but now that it has, comparisons are being made.
In 1930 Ben Hill Griffin Jr. enrolled at University of Florida.
He spent three years at UF and later became a successful businessman and politician.
Griffin Jr. donated a reported $20 million to the Gators program before he died in 1990.
In 1989, the university renamed its football stadium, affectionately called "The Swamp," to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium because of his contributions.
After his death, son Ben Hill Griffin III began to help the newly-established Florida Gulf Coast University.
He donated approximately 760 acres of land for FGCU's campus.
The road that takes you into campus is Ben Hill Griffin Parkway and Alico Arena is named for the family's company, Alico Inc.