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Press Release:


FAU Treasure Coast Community Reception Celebrates Inauguration of President Mary Jane Saunders

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL (November 10, 2010) – Florida Atlantic University’s sixth president, Dr. Mary Jane Saunders, met and addressed Treasure Coast business and community leaders  recently at a reception held at Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies in Port St. Lucie.

The event host committee, made up of FAU Treasure Coast Advisory Board members, presented Saunders symbolic tokens of the Treasure Coast region. They invited renowned Highwaymen artist James Gibson to present an autographed child’s painting from the Children’s Home Society’s “Kids Love Art” camp, where more than 50 children each year gather at FAU’s campus in Port St. Lucie to work with the Florida Highwaymen to create beautiful Florida landscapes. The committee also presented her with a framed depiction of the Research Coast initiative with a special inscription.

Event sponsors included Donadio & Associates, Architects; Dunlap & Associates, Inc.; Florida Power & Light; Gerri McPherson ’89; Hesperides Group; Hoyt C. Murphy, Inc. Realtors; Larry Lee , State Farm Insurance; and PNC Bank.

The reception was one of several inaugural events held in conjunction with FAU homecoming week, culminating in a formal installation ceremony. Additional Treasure Coast events included “CarnivOwl” for FAU students, faculty, staff and alumni at FAU’s campus in Port St. Lucie, as well as a research symposium titled “Ocean Science and Why it Matters” held at FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce.

Saunders was named Florida Atlantic University’s sixth president by unanimous vote of the FAU Board of Trustees on March 3, 2010. She began her term of service on June 7. Prior to her arrival at FAU, Saunders was provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Cleveland State University, where she also was founding dean of the College of Science, director of the Biomedical and Health Institute, and a professor in the department of biological, geological and environmental sciences.

Saunders professional background also includes academic appointments at the National Science Foundation, the University of South Florida, Louisiana State University and the University of Georgia. She is an award-winning cell biology researcher, educator and academic leader who is known nationally for her commitment to public higher education.

A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, Dr. Saunders holds a B.S. in Biology from Boston University and both an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

For more information, conta ct Cara C. Perry  at  or call 772-873-3339.

- FAU-

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Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the
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