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MEDIA CONTACTS: Linda Holtz
561-297-0159, lholtz@fau.edu or
Mike Deshaies
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Jim Wisuri
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A Gift from the Jack Miller Center Establishes Civics Initiatives at FAU

First Conference Planned on 'Immigration and Civic Education in America'

            BOCA RATON, FL (March 18, 2008) – The Jack Miller Center for Teaching America’s Founding Principles and History has provided Florida Atlantic University with a three-year, $250,000 gift to establish the Jack Miller Forum for Civics Education.         

            The gift was officially announced on March 13 at a luncheon hosted by FAU President Frank T. Brogan and his wife, Courtney, and by Dr. Manjunath Pendakur, dean of FAU’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. The luncheon honoring Jack Miller, chairman of the organization that bears his name, and his wife, Goldie, was held at the Eleanor R. Baldwin House on FAU’s Boca Raton campus.

             “We are proud to welcome FAU into the growing network of colleges that maintain academic programs dedicated to the teaching of America’s founding principles and history with support from the Jack Miller Center,” said Mike Ratliff, president of the center. “It is our aim to help FAU inspire its students to learn more about their country and its institutions, and also to help FAU inspire learning about America among the general public in South Florida.”          

            The Jack Miller Center supports partner faculty and academic centers dedicated to teaching America’s founding principles and history at numerous campuses around the country, including Tufts University, the University of Chicago, Emory University, the University of Texas-Austin, Georgetown University, the University of Virginia and Roosevelt University.

             “Our partnership with the Jack Miller Center will spark a heightened sense of civic engagement on our campuses as FAU serves as a ‘laboratory’ for the study of participatory democracy,” said Brogan. “The University and surrounding community will greatly benefit from the many programs that this gift will launch. FAU will be able to assume a leadership role in raising consciousness of our nation’s framework and governmental practices.”

            The $250,000 gift will help finance an inaugural conference at FAU early next year on the timely theme of immigration and civic education in America. It will also fund creation of the Jack Miller Seminar and Reading Room in the political science department, a resource aimed at bringing faculty and students together for research, collegial discussion and fellowship.  Additionally, it will provide funds for public lectures about critical topics regarding America's founding principles and history to the FAU community and the public at-large.  

 “The resources provided by the Jack Miller Center will enable Florida Atlantic University faculty members to provide our students with a more thorough grounding in the core democratic values and founding principles of our nation,” said Dr. Ed Schwerin, chair of FAU’s department of political science. “Our major project for the coming year will be the planning and implementation of a conference on ‘Immigration and Civic Education in America.’ This conference will bring together scholars and students from the social sciences and humanities, as well as policymakers, community members and others. The objective is to engage in scholarship that can lead to policy and curriculum development activities relevant to these vital issues.”

            “South Florida is one of the most exciting areas of the country,” said Jack Miller. “It is on the cutting edge culturally, economically and politically. As the bright, energetic and creative young people of this region help craft America’s future, we want to help them base it on America’s founding principles and its history.”

About the Jack Miller Center

            The Jack Miller Center for Teaching America’s Founding Principles and History, a nonprofit, nonsectarian, nonpartisan, educational organization, works with educators in response to requests for resources to strengthen the teaching of America’s founding principles and history. The Jack Miller Center provides programs and resources that are needed to support and increase the number of college professors in the humanities and social sciences who teach these principles and who inspire and cultivate an atmosphere of civil discussion. The goal of the Jack Miller Center is to ensure college students receive the best possible education and are prepared to be good stewards of our nation’s freedoms and the free institutions that protect all Americans’ liberties. The center’s headquarters are located in Philadelphia, Pa. More information about the center is available at www.jackmillercenter.org.

About Jack Miller

            Jack Miller is a prominent Chicago area entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the founder and former president/CEO of Quill Corporation, which became the nation's largest independent direct marketer of office products, employing more than 1,300 people with annual sales in excess of $630 million before being acquired by Staples, the giant office supply company, for $680 million in 1998. After the sale of Quill, Mr. Miller became chairman of the board at Successories Inc. (www.successories.com) a business-to-business mail order firm which he subsequently acquired. He also focuses on real estate development and venture capital investment at Millbrook Properties and The Benida Group. He is a very active philanthropist serving as chairman of the Jack Miller Center for Teaching America’s Founding Principles and History and the JM Freedom Foundation. He also supports a wide variety of community improvement efforts through the Audrey and Jack Miller Family Charitable Foundation, named for his late wife, and the Jack and Goldie Wolfe Miller Family Foundation, named for his current wife, a successful entrepreneur in commercial real estate. He recently established the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy with the idea of it becoming a public foundation supporting the funding of collaborative research at a number of institutions. Mr. Miller was inducted into Philanthropy World magazine’s Hall of Fame in January, 2008. Mr. Miller graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Journalism. He is the author of Simply Success, How to Start, Build and Grow a Multimillion-Dollar Business — the Old Fashioned Way, published by John Wiley & Sons in February, 2008.  Please visit www.simplysuccessbook.com.

- FAU -

Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 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 10 colleges:  College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the Barry Kaye College of Business, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College,  the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.  

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