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Beacon College recently acquired nearly three acres of land near student housing in a sweetheart deal with Leesburg businessman Gordon G. Oldham III.

“The development of Beacon College has been influenced by a clear vision and a devotion to the college’s mission by generous donors,” said Beacon President George J. Hagerty. “In making a significant gift of property that expands the college’s boundaries, Gordon Oldham has continued the essential work of local benefactors to advance our special place of learning in the City of Leesburg.  His gifted property provides further definition to our existing campus, and as it is adjacent to one of our student housing centers, affords the college an important pastoral buffer.”

The 2.8-acre spread sits behind the Lake Heart and Cancer Medical Center and is adjacent to Beacon Commons, one of three current student-housing options, which offers one and two-bedroom units. The property formerly housed the Leesburg Office Park. Fire destroyed 15 offices in the complex in 2008. The 24,000 square-foot complex was built in 1974. Oldham had owned the property since 2000.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Oldham, who’s been in car business for 42 years, started Central Florida Exports in 1980 after working in the auto business for five years after graduating from the University of Florida. The dealership now is called Honest Auto in Fruitland Park.

Oldham also has ventured into banking (he was part owner of Florida Choice Bank of Mount Dora) and real estate. He owns commercial real estate throughout Central Florida.

“I’m trying to downsize,” Oldham said, adding that Beacon was the recipient of one of the first big loans he managed as a banker. “I’ve been a fan [of Beacon] because I was born in Leesburg and … [the school] revitalized the town and I think [the college] does a great job.”