From left, Samantha Biondi, Forrest Hoffman and Allison Carter—along with Cynthia Matar (not pictured)—served on Grateful Gator Day's student committee. These students are grateful to the College's alumni for enhancing their Warrington experience.

Grateful Gator Day

To thank alumni for their generosity, UF celebrated “Grateful Gator Day” Nov. 18 at the Plaza of the Americas.

Students wrote personal “Thank You” notes and gave thanks through videos and photos that will reach up to 30,000 donors. Last year, alumni, parents and friends invested $315 million in support of our students, programs and UF.

Of the 14 UF students who served on the Grateful Gator Day student committee that helped organize the event event, four hail from Warrington. See how grateful these Business Gators are to Warrington alumni for their support.

Allison Carter, BSBA (Management) ’16

What makes the Warrington special?
Warrington provides endless opportunities for students with similar passions and goals. Not only are we encouraged to get involved for personal growth and professional development, but we are inspired to become admirable members of society by donating our time to helping others—whether it is participating in community service events or dedicating our time to helping a friend reach their goal. At UF, it is often intimidating to be a single person among 50,000 students. But Warrington creates a positive environment comprised of students who want to be better, do better and live better.

Which organizations or leadership programs are you involved in? How have these activities made a positive impact?
I serve on the Advisory Board for the Florida Leadership Academy (FLA), as a member of its Recruitment team, and I am also Vice President of Administration for the Warrington Diplomats. I feel that these two programs have allowed me to leave my legacy as I approach graduation—to live a life of service and to celebrate others in their accomplishments.

What’s your proudest moment thus far as a Warrington student?
During my junior year I had the privilege of serving as a mentor for 10 mentees in FLA. I experience my "proudest moment" each day when I see firsthand the accomplishments they have made and will continue to make. They have become some of my greatest friends, and I could not be more proud to cheer them on as they reach their goals and chase their passions.

What would you like to say to Warrington alumni everywhere on Grateful Gator Day?
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for living an honorable life and sharing your hard work with all of us here at the University of Florida and in the Warrington College of Business. Thanks to Heavener Hall, and its technology and resources, my college experience has far exceeded my expectations. Your time and financial support have created countless memories. Thank you for what you have done for us. We could not be more grateful for you!

Samantha Biondi, BSBA (Marketing) ’17

What makes the Warrington College of Business special?
Warrington gives students so many opportunities to learn and grow, both professionally and personally. Thanks to the variety of business organizations and programs at Warrington, we gain an extensive amount of knowledge and skills that help us stand out from the crowd and be leaders. The faculty and advisors here are phenomenal. I truly believe Warrington is an incredible college to be a part of, and the knowledge and experiences you get here are priceless.

Which organizations or leadership programs are you involved in? How have these activities made a positive impact?
I am part of the Florida Cicerones, the Reitz Union Board of Entertainment, and RetailYou! These activities have provided me with opportunities to become the person I am today. They have shown me ways to further develop my leadership and organizational skills.

What’s your proudest moment thus far as a Warrington student?
In all honesty, it was when I switched majors to and joined Warrington. After my first semester at Warrington, I learned much more than I did in my previous semesters. The variety of programs and organizations offered here are unlike any other. I am proud to be a Warrington student.

What would you like to say to Warrington alumni everywhere on Grateful Gator Day?
To every single Warrington alumnus, thank you! You have helped create and shape Warrington and its programs. Your support and effort has shaped my undergraduate experience as well as many others.

Cynthia Matar, BSBA (Economics) ’16

What makes the Warrington College of Business special?
Warrington is special because of its faculty, advisors, and inclusive programming, which makes its students feel welcomed, supported, engaged and empowered. The faculty and advisors are knowledgeable and caring, and I have always felt comfortable working with them. Warrington’s activities and programs prepare us for success by providing leadership and mentorship opportunities. Warrington's efforts to create a supportive community have been pivotal for me in becoming the student leader I am today.

Which organizations or leadership programs are you involved in? How have these activities made a positive impact?
I have been involved with the Florida Cicerones since my freshman year. The Florida Cicerones helped me develop into a better leader, learn teamwork, time management skills and grow as a servant leader to our university.

What’s your proudest moment thus far as a Warrington student?
My proudest moment was watching the construction of beautiful Heavener Hall from the ground up, and now having the privilege of going to class in Heavener every day. We are so lucky to have access to a facility so warm, inviting, spacious and conducive to learning and studying.

What would you like to say to Warrington alumni everywhere on Grateful Gator Day?
Thank you! To the Warrington alumni who have given their time, talents and support back to our university and our program, I am forever grateful. Your support of Warrington has made my undergraduate experience what it is today!

Forrest Hoffman BSBA (Finance) ’17

What makes the Warrington College of Business special?
Not only has Warrington provided me an amazing undergraduate academic experience, but it has given me a home for these past four years. The resources and care that I am given makes me feel welcomed every time I step foot into Heavener Hall. The professors care about the students, the advisors want the best for us, and the students are always willing to help each other, making this environment warm and exciting.

Which organizations or leadership programs are you involved in? How have these activities made a positive impact?
I am a member of the Warrington Diplomats, the official ambassadors of the College, and a Warrington Welcome Peer Leader. I am also an alumnus of the Florida Leadership Academy (Class XI). As a Warrington Welcome Peer Leader, I serve a vital function as a co-instructor for the Warrington Welcome course, a one-credit introductory course that helps students navigate a pathway to success at Warrington.

What’s your proudest moment thus far as a Warrington student?
My proudest moment was my first day as a Warrington Welcome Peer Leader. As the students walked into my classroom, one of them stopped me and asked, "Did you give me my tour of the school?" He told me that he and his mom loved the experience, and that he was so glad he got the chance to see me again to thank me! It was at that moment I realized that the small things you do every day makes a large difference in other people's lives!

What would you like to say to Warrington alumni everywhere on Grateful Gator Day?
To all Warrington alumni, thank you for continually making Warrington great! When you leave UF and meet other people, those positive interactions directly correlate into a positive image of the Warrington College of Business. Thanks for continuing to improve the prestige of UF.