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Gift shows importance of alumni to campaign


The importance of alumni in the success of The Power of Transformation campaign was illustrated recently with a software gift to the Logistics Information Technology Solutions Laboratory in the Coggin College of Business.


The gift, by Manhattan Associates Inc., an Atlanta-based software development business, makes the UNF logistics lab one of the best-equipped university labs of its kind in the country.


The connection between UNF and Manhattan Associates started with UNF alum Keith Goldsmith, a graduate of the Transportation and Logistics Program in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Goldsmith is senior vice president of business development for CEVA Logistics, one of the world’s leading logistics companies. He also serves on both the Coggin College of Business Advisory Council and the Transportation and Logistics Flagship Program Steering Committee.


Goldsmith made the initial contact with Manhattan Associations, which ultimately agreed to donate 50 user licenses of its Warehouse Management Systems software for use in the logistics lab. He said CEVA and Manhattan Associates have a very close working relationship.


“We simply wanted the next generation of supply chain leaders to be well-grounded in what is happening in the industry,” Goldsmith said. “We wanted to put some of these powerful software tools into the hands of the students themselves.”


Dr. Yemisi Bolumole, director of the Transportation and Logistics Program, which is one of the University’s four flagship programs, said Goldsmith played an instrumental role in creating opportunities that would otherwise not have been possible. “His dedication to the Transportation and Logistics Program and to Coggin College shows his strong commitment to his alma mater and to the transportation and logistics industry as a whole,” she said.


Dr. Robert Frankel, chair of UNF’s Marketing and Logistics Department, said Manhattan is the largest supplier of warehouse management solutions software in the world. Fewer than half a dozen universities in the nation have such similar software programs.


“Most university programs typically use customized academic simulations to teach,” he said. “Our program will be utilizing not just off-the-shelf teaching tools but the same programs that are used by business executives in the supply chain market.”


Bolumole noted that the gift will enhance the employability of Transportation and Logistics graduates because it will integrate state-of-the-art technology into the already strong curriculum.


“In fact, such knowledge will put students ahead of where they would be by interning as they will be more familiar with logistics IT solutions than many logistics departments and logistics firms,” she said.