Fall 2012 Inside FAU
Hello, and welcome to the first edition of Inside FAU of the 2012-2013 academic year! I’m MJ Saunders, the President of Florida Atlantic University, and it is my great pleasure to bring you up to date on some important things that are happening on our campuses.
The major construction project that is taking shape on the east side of the Boca Raton campus is a 614-bed freshman residence hall. Ground was broken in August for this new facility, which will open one year from now.
FAU is becoming so popular among students of traditional college age that there is always a long waiting list for student housing, so this new facility is very much needed. It will be state-of-the-art in every respect, and it will be the first student housing complex at FAU to include a faculty member in residence.
We are all about student success at this university. Studies have shown that students who have the opportunity to enter into mentoring relationships with faculty members benefit in many ways, including academically. It is especially important for freshmen to get off on the right foot, and we think the experience of living in close proximity to a faculty member will help them do that.
You will be glad to know that we are also about to break ground for a new multi-story parking garage on the Boca Raton campus. Construction will begin early next year on a site just west of FAU Stadium and will provide parking for one thousand cars. We all know how urgent the need is for more parking, and I want to thank everyone for showing patience as we work to address this issue.
We need more parking spaces because we have more students, and that’s good news!
As this fall semester got under way, student enrollment surged past the 30 thousand mark for the first time in FAU history!
We are very glad that so many people are taking advantage of all this wonderful university has to offer. Students are coming to us not only from all over Florida, but also from around the country and the world.
We have known for some time that FAU is the most racially, ethnically and culturally diverse of all of Florida’s public universities, but we did not receive national recognition until this year, when U.S. News & World Report ranked FAU 27th in the nation for campus diversity. We are very proud of that and will continue to welcome people from many different backgrounds and cultures to our university community.
Diversity has become a true hallmark of FAU – so much so that Diversity Walk is now a permanent feature of the Davie campus Plaza.
Course offerings have been increased on our Davie campus, and we continue to work closely with our colleagues at Broward College to make seamless four-year degree programs available to students enrolled there.
Students and faculty on the Jupiter campus have just moved into two highly sophisticated laboratory facilities that were originally built for Scripps Florida and the Max Planck Florida Institute.
These buildings have been renovated and now host a major new FAU neuroscience institute. This continues the development of the Jupiter campus as a flourishing center of biomedical research and education.
The Jupiter campus is also the home of the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, where more than 300 academically gifted students continue to distinguish themselves as top scholars.
For the second year in a row, an Honors College graduate has received a prestigious Fulbright scholarship to study and work abroad. Autumn Siegel is spending this year in Slovakia, teaching English.
There’s something new under the FAU sun this semester – a series of Green Markets that will be held at FAU Stadium from 4 to 8 p.m. every Thursday, starting August 30th.
Sponsored by the University’s Mission Green organization and Inika Foods, the market will feature fresh produce, organic foods, arts and crafts, live music and more! Admission is free to everybody, so bring your friends and family!
And speaking of the stadium, I hope to see you at FAU’s home football games on August 31st, September 29th, October 27th, November 16th and December 1st. Come cheer for the Owls and help make their debut season under Coach Carl Pelini a huge success!
There is so much to see and do at FAU, and I hope that you’ll take advantage of all of it!
Enjoy the semester, and GO OWLS!!!