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Melissa Perlman, Office Depot
FAU Celebrates Groundbreaking of Office Depot Center for Executive Education
New Facility Funded With $2.8 Million Gift from Office Depot
BOCA RATON, FL (June 21, 2007) – Following the donation of two generous gifts from Office Depot , construction of the Office Depot Center for Executive Education on Florida Atlantic University’s (FAU) Boca Raton campus has begun with a ceremonial groundbreaking event held today. Office Depot (NYSE: ODP), a leading global provider of office products and services headquartered in South Florida, has given a total of $2.8 million to FAU’s Barry Kaye College of Business. The first gift, which totaled $2 million, was made in February 2006, with the second donation in January 2007. Eligible for matching funds from the State of Florida’s Alec P. Courtelis Capital Facility Enhancement Challenge Grant Program, the gifts will double in size to $5.6 million.
Designed as an addition to the northwest quadrant of the College of Business complex, the Office Depot Center for Executive Education will be a 15,500 square-foot, two-story structure that houses classrooms, as well as seminar and workshop space. Dedicated to executive education, training and research, the Office Depot Center will expand the College’s offerings to the business community by providing customized programs for South Florida employers, including corporate training events, continuing education classes, degree programs and seminars. It is expected that the new Office Depot Center will be completed by May 2008.
“The Center for Executive Education will become a focal point for the Kaye College of Business,” said FAU President Frank T. Brogan. “It symbolizes the very fruitful relationship between our University and Office Depot. With plans for the Office Depot Center underway, we are looking toward a new and exciting level of collaboration.”
The groundbreaking event also served as the official dedication of the Office Depot Grand Lecture Hall in the College of Business.
“Office Depot understands the important role that education plays in our society and our lives,” said Patricia McKay ’78, EVP and Chief Financial Officer of Office Depot. “We believe that by helping to build stronger ties between the academic and business communities, the value of our investment will increase significantly over time.”
Office Depot has supported FAU and the College of Business for more than 15 years. In 2002, Office Depot provided funding for the Office Depot Eminent Scholar Chair in Small Business Research, now held by Dr. Chandra Mishra, with a gift of $600,000. This gift made FAU the first university in the nation to establish a chair dedicated to the study of small business. The company also established the Annual Office Depot Small Business Research Forum, a series of academic research presentations set to discuss issues related to the management of the small enterprise. Other gifts to FAU from Office Depot have been made to the Marleen and Harold Forkas Alumni Center and the College of Business’ department of accounting.
“We are so grateful to Office Depot for what will surely be a stunning new building,” said Dr. J. Dennis Coates, Dean of the College of Business. “Their leadership and sense of community responsibility is far-reaching. Together we are creating an unparalleled academic environment where seasoned and aspiring business leaders alike will be able to study the challenges facing corporate America.”
About Office Depot
Office Depot provides more office products and services to more customers in more countries than any other company.
Incorporated in 1986 and headquartered in Delray Beach, Fla., Office Depot has annual sales of over $15 billion, and employs approximately 52,000 associates around the world. Currently, the Company sells to customers directly or through affiliates in 42 countries.
Office Depot is a leader in every distribution channel -- from retail stores and contract delivery to catalogs and e-commerce. As of March 31, 2007, Office Depot had 1,174 retail stores in North America and another 360 stores, either company-owned, licensed or franchised, in other parts of the world. Office Depot serves a wide range of customers through a dedicated sales force, telephone account managers, direct mail offerings, and multiple web sites. With $4.5 billion in online sales during the last twelve months, the Company is also one of the world’s largest e-commerce retailers.
Office Depot’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ODP and is included in the S&P 500 Index. Additional press information can be found at: http://mediarelations.officedepot.com.
About Florida Atlantic University
F lorida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the university serves 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses strategically located along 150 miles of Florida's southeastern coastline.
Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts nine colleges - the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Barry Kaye College of Business and the Colleges of Education, Engineering & Computer Science, and Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.