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FAU Anniversary Gala Raises More Than $500,000

BOCA RATON, FL (November 10, 2011) – As part of its year-long 50th anniversary celebration, Florida Atlantic University recently hosted "50 on the 50," a gala event, with proceeds benefitting the President's Scholarship Challenge. The black-tie gala, held in the Martin F. & Jane Greenberg Foundation Tower at FAU's new on-campus football stadium in Boca Raton, raised more than $500,000.

"The '50 on the 50' gala was a tremendous success, with more than 800 FAU friends in attendance," said FAU President Mary Jane Saunders. "I'm pleased we've raised more than $500,000, thanks to the hard work of our gala committee and sponsors, as well as our many volunteers and guests."

The event spanned three levels of the tower, with each level featuring a unique theme, including the "Copacabana" Club on the Delray Hyundai Priority Level, the jazz-themed Delray Acura Premier Club and the American Bistro on the Suite Level. Alumna Chloe Dolandis '07 and FAU's Jazz Ensemble provided live entertainment on the Premier Club level, and faculty and students from the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters School of Music performed on the Suite Level.

Highlights of the evening included a "half time" show, featuring performances by Dolandis and the FAU marching band, FAU's 50th Anniversary Book brought to life through a video presentation, and a spectacular fireworks display. A silent auction featured rounds of golf, tickets to premier events and local attractions, computers, gift cards, works of art, jewelry, and more.

FAU secured more than 80 sponsors for the gala, including international corporations, local businesses, alumni and friends of FAU. The top-tier sponsors, President's Level ($25,000+), included Balfour Beatty Capital; Balfour Beatty Construction; Barnes & Noble College Bookstores; Chartwells; Dell, Inc.; Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation; Christine E. Lynn, E.M. Lynn Foundation; Richard '70 and Barbara Schmidt, Schmidt Family Foundation; and Wells Fargo.

With the success of the gala, the President's Scholarship Challenge will get a significant boost in funding from the event proceeds. The gift-matching challenge was established by President Saunders and members of the FAU Foundation Board of Directors in 2010. Recognizing the challenges our students face in furthering their education, President Saunders kick-started the fund with a personal pledge of $50,000. Annual gifts designated to FAU student scholarships are matched dollar for dollar through this program. 

One of Florida's 11 public universities, FAU dates its origin to 1961, when the legislature allocated $100,000 to establish the fifth institution in the State University System in Boca Raton. FAU opened its doors to a charter enrollment of 867 students in the fall of 1964. Today, FAU is serving 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites ranging along 100 miles of Florida's southeast coast, from Dania Beach to Fort Pierce.


Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. In commemoration of its origin, FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011. Today, the University serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and 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. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit

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