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FAU Receives More Than $2.5 Million from the Estate of Thomas Chastain

BOCA RATON, Fla. (May 21, 2013) – Florida Atlantic University recently received more than $2.5 million from the estate of the late Thomas Chastain, following the sale of a home in Palm Beach and land holdings in Martin County that he bequeathed to the University. Including this gift, Chastain has given more than $3 million to FAU.

“Thomas Chastain was a great friend to FAU over the years. We truly appreciate his generous giving, beginning in 1968, as well as this most recent gift, which will be used to support education, research and outreach programs,” said Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson, Ph.D. ’05, vice president of community engagement and executive director of the FAU Foundation.“I’d also like to thank Ann Marie Rezzonico, Esq. and Harry A. Johnston II, Esq., for their professionalism and dedication in overseeing Mr. Chastain’s estate and making his gift intentions to FAU a reality.”

Chastain supported a variety of University interests, including history, botanical gardens, libraries, and environmental and urban solutions. In recognition of his generosity, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from FAU in 1977. In 2003, the Robert Lee Chastain and Thomas M. Chastain Charitable Foundation was honored as the FAU Library’s “Friend of the Year” in appreciation for a $70,000 grant which enabled the Library to purchase 21 state-of-the-art computers, graphics software and a printer.

Gifts from Chastain’s residual estate support education, research and outreach programs such as the Chastain-Johnston Middle Eastern Studies program and the Thomas Chastain Honors Scholarship in FAU’s Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College. The Chastain Charitable Foundation also provided endowment funds for the Robert Lee & Thomas M. Chastain Symposium Lecture Series.

Bequests are one of the many planned giving options available through the FAU Foundation. For more information about planned giving, call 561-297-2119 or email .


Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. 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. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit

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