Media Relations

Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACTS: Kristine M. Gobbo

561-297-1168, or

Lisa Metcalf

FAU’s Board of Trustees Installs Dr. Mary Jane Saunders as President

    BOCA RATON, FL (November 17, 2010) – Florida Atlantic University recently hosted the installation ceremony of  Dr. Mary Jane Saunders, FAU’s sixth president, in the Carole and Barry Kaye Auditorium, FAU’s Boca Raton campus.  The installation ceremony was the main event of a weeklong series of events that intertwined with the university’s Homecoming festivities. 

“The inauguration of a president at an institution of higher learning is not only a time to celebrate new beginnings, but a time to highlight the best of what a university has to offer,” said Saunders. “Here at Florida Atlantic University, we accomplished all of that and more during the week’s inaugural activities. My inauguration installation ceremony was as memorable as it was fulfilling, and it was an honor to share it with my family, the community and my new extended family, the people of FAU.”

Themed Making Waves: Celebrating and Cultivating Discovery, Diversity and Distinction, the inauguration introduced the president to the University’s constituents and provided as a platform for the expression of the president’s vision for the future of FAU. It also allowed for the entire university community to welcome her.

Among the honorable guests were Sherry Plymale, a member of the FAU Board of Trustees; Dr. Timothy Lenz, president of the Faculty Senate and a member of the FAU Board of Trustees; Ayden Maher, Student Government president and a member of the FAU Board of Trustees; Romayne Berry, an FAU alumnus and chair of the FAU National Alumni Association; Michael Kaufman, a member of the FAU Foundation Board; Susan Whelchel, mayor of the city of Boca Raton; Adam Hasner, member of the Florida House of Representatives;  Ray Ferrero, Jr., chancellor of Nova Southeastern University; J. David Armstrong, president of Broward College; Dr. Mark Rosenberg, president of Florida International University; Norman Tripp, a member of the Florida Board of Governors; Frank T. Brogan, chancellor of Florida’s State University System; Nancy Blosser, chair of the FAU Board of Trustees; and Dr. Michael Schwartz, president emeritus of Cleveland State University.

The University’s Board of Trustees determined the scope and timing of the inauguration, and initiated the planning process by appointing a committee to oversee all aspects of the event, which was led by the co-chairs of the inauguration committee, BOT Member Sherry Plymale and Dr. Mary Ann Gosser-Esquilín, professor in FAU’s department of languages, linguistics and comparative literature. 

Saunders hosted an inauguration open house following the installation ceremony at her home, the Eleanor R. Baldwin House. The event served as an opportunity for FAU faculty, staff and students, as well as members of the community, to officially welcome her to the presidency.

Saunders was named FAU’s sixth president by unanimous vote of the FAU Board of Trustees on March 3. She began her term of service on June 7, 2010.  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.  Her 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, 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.  


About Florida Atlantic University:

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 Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. For more information, visit .

Privacy Policy | University Regulations and Policies | Emergency Information | Get Help | Contact Us

An Equal Opportunity/Equal Access Institution
© Copyright 2016. Florida Atlantic University.
Florida Atlantic University
 Last Modified 9/7/16