UF Warrington going green to drive sustainability efforts

The Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida was honored to receive a gift of an electric vehicle (EV) from both Alan Starling (BSBA ’69) and Andrew Starling (BSBA ‘11, MBA-JD ‘14) on May 2.

The new Chevrolet Bolt, which is the first street legal EV donated to the university, demonstrates Warrington’s commitment to sustainability and reducing its environmental impact to preserve Florida’s natural beauty. It is the first EV at the College of Business and will be used for official College business needs.

With over 25,000 EVs registered in the state of Florida, UF aims to join the charge by having EVs make up 10 percent of the university’s fleet by 2025. There are currently 26 charging stations on the UF campus.

“We are very thankful for the Starling family’s generosity,” said John Kraft, dean of the Warrington College of Business. “Their gift allows the College to continue moving forward with our sustainability efforts to ensure we protect our area’s natural resources for future generations.”

The Starling family has been in the retail automotive industry in Central Florida since 1948. Andrew Starling and his brothers Jack and Walker represent the third generation of Starling dealers in Central Florida. The three brothers run four General Motors dealerships in Florida.

“The Chevy Bolt in and of itself is symbolic of the type of change all businesspeople are seeing today,” Andrew said. “Thanks to folks like Dean Kraft and the Warrington faculty, I know firsthand that the graduating students are well prepared for this increased pace of change. There are a lot of curveballs that come at you in the real world, but my time here gave me the best preparation possible. Mr. Warrington, fellow alumni, and students have a lot to be proud of when it comes to this college.”

Andrew’s father, Alan, took over his own father’s Kissimmee Chevrolet dealer in 1975 at 26 years old after returning from military service. Alan continued in his father’s footsteps of community involvement and was appointed by the governor of Florida to sit on the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority on two different occasions. He also headed the Economic Development Council in the years prior to his role as the Florida Director for the National Automobile Dealers Association, which culminated in his election as the Chairman of NADA in 2003.

Today, Starling automotive group dealerships include Starling Chevrolet (Orlando), Starling Chevrolet Cadillac (Deland), Starling Chevrolet Buick GMC (St. Cloud) and Starling Buick GMC (Venice).