Mapping The Future - Ed Corvi '72: A Fascinating Technology Career Comes Full-Circle At FSC

Aug 13, 2020

by FSC Staff
Originally appeared in Southern News Magazine

It came as a great surprise to alumnus Ed Corvi when he learned his pattern of annual giving to Florida Southern is one for the record books.

Every year for the past 45 years, Mr. Corvi has made a donation to Florida Southern College. His unbroken streak of loyalty makes him one of the College’s most consistent donors — if not, in fact, the longest consecutive giver.

“It’s not that complicated,” Mr. Corvi said, near the end of a busy campus visit in early October. “I love my college. I have great pride in what it’s become.”

A soft-spoken gentleman with an easy smile, Mr. Corvi pointed out that others certainly have donated much larger sums. However, his remarkable gusto for giving is an inspiration in its own right.

“I don’t know what I gave that first year,” he said, adding that each individual gift has been small, “although I think it does big things.”

He encourages other alumni — including recent graduates — to make a point of acknowledging their debt of gratitude to the school by starting an annual pattern of giving, at whatever amount they can afford.

“I didn’t change the world or become rich, but it is still a rich life,” Mr. Corvi said. “And it all began at Florida Southern. Because when you go to college, that’s where you begin to become yourself.”

Now retired and living in Wesley Chapel, Mr. Corvi has been back to FSC only a few times since graduation, although the unique beauty of the campus always has impressed him greatly,

For his most recent visit, the avid amateur photographer captured many familiar scenes and documented the tremendous growth of his alma mater. Mr. Corvi delights in creating photographic calendars, magnets, and other gifts for friends, and he expects some of his recent shots to show up in future projects.

As a student, Mr. Corvi began as a biology major, then switched to math. Those two buildings became his home away from home. 

If you go into the math department, he said, “just to the right, there was a narrow little office, and that’s where I was.” 

Mr. Corvi’s academic background led to a rewarding career that included serving as the Geographic Information System section chief in the I.T. Directorate for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). 

Commonly known as GIS mapping, the technology system provides a framework for gathering, managing, and analyzing data. The potential of GIS technology has exploded recently, he explained, with a vastly diverse range of applications.

“Everything is spatial and can be mapped in one way or another,” Mr. Corvi said. “It’s really coming alive on campus. To know that it’s being used so much in the Biology department is a really big deal to me.”

During his October visit, Mr. Corvi met with Eric Kjellmark, Professor of Biology, and Associate Professor Christy Wolovich. They are among the faculty members leading the way with GIS, applying the software in a new coastal ecology class. GIS will allow students to track animal movements by drone, creating maps and analyzing data.

“If I had a lot of money, I’d do something here on campus that’s GIS related,” Mr. Corvi said. “It’s something I never knew I would get into when I graduated, and it was the happiest part of my career.”