UNIVERSITY NEWS - DECEMBER 2004

MEDIA CONTACT:
Stacia Smith 561-297-2971, ssmith@fau.edu
Polly Burks 561-297-2595, pburks@fau.edu

FAU Receives $1 Million Donation from the Family of Alan B. Larkin

BOCA RATON, FL (December 17, 2004) - Florida Atlantic University announced that it received a $1 million donation from the family of the late Alan B. Larkin, which includes his widow Charna, his brother Harold and sister-in-law Lenore Larkin, his children and their spouses David Larkin, AJ and Michelle Larkin, Jonathan and Margie Larkin, his niece Susan Bradner and her husband Chris Bradner. The gift, made to honor and recognize Alan B. Larkin, will support the University in advancing and enhancing the study of the American presidency in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters' Department of History. Through the State of Florida's matching gift program, this gift will total $1.75 million.

Specifically, the Alan B. Larkin Endowed Fund will support an annual symposium and create supporting graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships for students who demonstrate interest in the American presidency. The annual "Alan B. Larkin Symposium on the American Presidency" will have a thematic focus, providing up to three distinguished scholars each year with the opportunity to present papers that may be contributed to books, scholarly journals, essays and other publications. The Symposium will be held each spring semester beginning in 2007.

"Alan had a lifelong love of history. He also enjoyed mentoring young people. This gift presents the community with an opportunity to learn about America's past," said Mrs. Larkin.

Alan B. Larkin's (1922-2002) love of American history included a focus on the American presidency. In 1989, he purchased original signed letters of Presidents Grant, Jackson, Eisenhower and Taft. Over the next 12 years, he purchased signed letters from all of the American presidents - from George Washington to George W. Bush. His family plans to keep the collection of letters current and make the collection available for educational use. The original signed letter from President Truman was presented at FAU's 2003 Truman Legacy Symposium.

"The American presidency, long considered the most influential office in the free world, is an extraordinarily interesting wellspring of material for scholarly study and historical analysis," said FAU President Frank T. Brogan. "We are very grateful to the Larkin family for their generosity in establishing the Alan B. Larkin Endowed Fund, which will allow FAU to become a center of scholarship on this key component of American history."

With the substantial nature of the gift, FAU will be able to bring in several prominent speakers for the annual symposium. This will be a great service not only to FAU academically, but also to the surrounding community.
"Few American political institutions are more important than the presidency," said William A. Covino, dean of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. "The Larkin family's gift ensures that Alan Larkin's passionate interest in the presidency will be honored and shared by future generations."

Sixty years ago, Alan Larkin, with his brother Harold, founded Larkin Publications, a publisher of trade magazines for the fashion industry. In 1969, he launched his first fashion trade show in New York City and from that the "International Fashion and Boutique Show" was born. Larkin Publications, renamed the Larkin Group, became a powerhouse in fashion industry trade shows. The Larkin family members who are supporting the gift to FAU were all partners in the Larkin Group. The company was sold in 1999 and Larkin retired to Boca Raton, while maintaining his residence in Newton, Massachusetts.

"Speaking on behalf of the faculty of the department of history, we are absolutely overwhelmed and humbled by this wonderful gift and gesture by the Larkin family," said Stephen Engle, chair of FAU's department of history. "Beyond establishing fellowships for students studying history at the undergraduate and graduate levels, we have every expectation that the Alan B. Larkin Symposium will become the central event in the study of the American presidency in the historical field, attracting and featuring the nation's foremost authorities on the American presidency."

For more information on the Larkin gift, contact FAU's department of history at 561-297-3840.

- FAU -


FAU 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 eight colleges - the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, and the Colleges of Business, Education, Engineering, and Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs. The University is observing its 40th anniversary this year.

 


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