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Press Release:


FAU to Host ‘50 on the 50’ Anniversary Gala

Proceeds from Golden Event to Benefit President’s Scholarship Fund

BOCA RATON, FL (October 6, 2011) – Florida Atlantic University will host the “50 on the 50” black-tie gala on Saturday, October 29, at 6:30 p.m. in the Tower of the new, 30,000-seat Football Stadium on FAU’s Boca Raton campus. This golden anniversary event will span three levels of the Stadium Tower and Plaza. Each area will feature a different theme, including the beach resort-themed Plaza, the “Copacabana” Club on the Delray Hyundai Priority Club Level, the jazz-themed Delray Acura Premier Club Level and the American Bistro on the Suite Level. 

“This will truly be a night to remember,” said FAU President Mary Jane Saunders. “We will reflect on the University’s tremendous growth over the past half-century as we also look forward to charting its course for the next 50 years.” 

Highlights of the gala include a “half-time” show on the field; a silent auction featuring rounds of golf, tickets to local attractions, computers, gift cards and more; and opportunities to see FAU’s 50th Anniversary Book brought to life through a video presentation.

While providing an opportunity for the University’s friends and supporters to join in the celebration, the gala also serves as a fundraiser for the President’s Scholarship Challenge. The President's Scholarship Challenge is a gift-matching fund established by Saunders and members of the FAU Foundation Board of Directors in 2010. Recognizing the challenges our students face in furthering their education, Saunders created the fund with a personal pledge of $50,000. Annual gifts designated to FAU student scholarships are matched dollar for dollar through this program. More than $200,000 has been raised so far, and 61 students have been awarded scholarships this year. With the proceeds from the gala going toward the President's Scholarship Challenge, it is anticipated that many more scholarships will be awarded next year.

President’s Level sponsors of the gala include Balfour Beatty Capital; Balfour Beatty Construction; Barnes & Noble; Chartwells; Dell Inc.; Christine E. Lynn – E.M. Lynn Foundation; Richard ’70 and Barbara Schmidt – Schmidt Family Foundation; Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation, Inc.; and Wells Fargo.

FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011 to commemorate the year the University received initial funding from the Florida Legislature.  The University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth institution in Florida’s State University System. Through the years, faculty, staff, students and alumni have been building traditions as the University has steadily advanced as a center of higher education, meaningful research, artistic creativity and civic engagement.

Sponsorships for the gala are available at the $2,500, $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000 level. Tickets to the gala are priced at $250 per person. To become a sponsor or purchase individual tickets, call 561-297-3010 or visit


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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