FAU Foundation Thanks Schmidt Foundation

FAU is making some major moves. The Owls just received the largest gift in school history.

FAU is making some major moves. The Owls just received the largest gift in school history.

We are pleased to announce that today FAU received a gift of $16 million from the Schmidt Family Foundation, the largest single gift in Florida Atlantic’s history. The Schmidt Family Foundation’s generosity will help create a national model of academic excellence in athletics to attract the nation’s top coaches and student athletes to FAU.

The Schmidt Family Complex for Academic and Athletic Excellence, which will be constructed adjacent to FAU Stadium, will play a central role in elevating FAU’s academic standing and will benefit students in all academic programs, including those not associated with athletics. In addition to a student-athlete academic and leadership center, the state-of-the-art facilities may include strength and conditioning, sports medicine, and health and wellness centers, and an indoor training facility.

This initiative exemplifies FAU’s drive to enhance its stature and visibility nationally and internationally.

The Schmidt Family Foundation has shown a far-reaching, visionary commitment to FAU’s continued growth. Other major gifts from the Schmidt Family Foundation have benefited the colleges of Arts and Letters, Science, Medicine, Nursing, and Engineering and Computer Science.

Many thanks to Dick and Barb Schmidt and the Schmidt Family Foundation
for this most generous investment in the future of FAU.

Book Early for Estate Planning Seminar

The nation's top wealth management pro's will be at FAU in November.

The nation’s top wealth management pro’s will be at FAU in November.

Editor’s Note: We are off to Vegas! The blog will resume next week. And yes, if you must know, it’s on business. Really..it is…trust us.

The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, the Florida Atlantic University Foundation and United Way of Palm Beach County have joined forces to introduce an exciting new program: the Palm Beach County Wealth & Estate Planning Seminar, to take place Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton, Florida. More than 200 wealth management professionals are expected to attend.

The seminar features Natalie Choate who will present: “Estate and Distribution Planning for Retirement Benefits, the 201 Best and Worst Planning Ideas and Case Studies.” Ms. Choate is of counsel in the trusts and estates department of Nutter in Boston and is a nationally renowned speaker and author of Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits and The QPRT Manual. Please go to video through this link — https://youtu.be/AJesn_Jq9w4
Kathi Barnhart, Senior Vice President and Wealth Advisor with BB&T, the seminar’s lead sponsor said, “I was excited to join this inaugural committee and BB&T Wealth is proud to be the seminar’s first Diamond Sponsor. This is a real win-win. We will hear from an outstanding national speaker and advisors will have the opportunity to exchange ideas during the post-presentation reception.”
The seminar brings the latest and best strategies in estate planning to Palm Beach County attorneys, accountants, insurance and wealth advisors. The seminar also provides a forum for professionals to interact and share skills. “We sensed that a program like this was needed in our county,” offered Lanny Marks, this year’s seminar chair. “When we proposed the idea, our professional community responded very enthusiastically.”
The PBC Wealth & Estate Planning Seminar program begins at 4:00 p.m. in the FAU Office Depot Lecture Hall. Two continuing education credits will be offered. The program is followed by a cocktail reception in the Sean Stein Pavilion at the FAU College of Business. The event is expected to sell out and tickets must be purchased in advance.
 “Every estate planning professional can benefit from learning new and different ways to help their clients fulfill life and legacy plans,” said Richard Newman of Life Audit Professionals. “These
conversations are so important to us as professionals. I encourage advisors to join us, and to add Natalie Choate’s strategies to their toolboxes.”
Lead sponsors for the event are BB & T Wealth (Diamond), Life Audit Professionals and Regions Private Wealth Management (Ruby), Greenberg Traurig (Emerald), and the following Sapphire sponsors:  Bessemer Trust Company of Florida; BNY Mellon; Brinkley Morgan; Broad and Cassel; Chapin, Ballerano & Cheslak; Coral Gables Trust; Duane Morris LLP; Gutter Chaves Josepher Rubin Forman Fleisher Miller, P.A.; Katz Baskies; Kaufman Rossin & Co.; Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra; Proskauer; Seacoast Wealth Management; Shutts & Bowen; U.S. Trust; Valuation Services, Inc.; Wells Fargo Private Bank and Willamette Management Associates. 
“Regions Private Wealth Management is proud to help make this inaugural event happen,” offered Terisa Heine, Vice President and Trust Advisor. “We look forward to an informative and fun seminar.”
For more information, visit pbcseminar.info or call 561-297-6144.
About the United Way of Palm Beach County:   For more than 85 years, United Way of Palm Beach County has been dedicated to improving lives and advancing the common good in our community.  Funded by the generosity of donors and volunteers, United Way strategically invests in crucial efforts and programs that support the building blocks for a good life – education, financial stability and health.  We work on a local level to help provide lasting solutions to the root causes of our county’s social issues, from promoting access to education and healthcare to ending hunger and homelessness. To learn more on how to GIVE, ADVOCATE or VOLUNTEER for the local United Way, call 561.375.6600 or visit www.UnitedWayPBC.org. Like the United Way on Facebook and follow on Twitter.
About the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties
The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties is one of Florida’s largest community foundations. The nonprofit organization has invested more than $110 million in grants and scholarships over its 40-year history. At its core, the Community Foundation is an organization created with gifts from generous people committed to local causes. For donors, the Foundation serves as a philanthropic advisor. For the community, the Foundation serves as a grant maker and a civic leader. Through the support of its donors and fundholders, the Foundation has been able to address some of the community’s most pressing needs, including hunger, housing and education. For more information, visit www.yourcommunityfoundation.org.
About the Florida Atlantic University Foundation 
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 www.fau.edu.

The Interview: Bruce Allen Chair of the FAU Foundation


Bruce Allen is a long time community leader

Bruce Allen is a long time community leader

We recently caught up with Bruce Allen, Chairman of the Florida Atlantic University Foundation. It was a fascinating conversation on the three big changes he has seen at FAU, speculation on the university’s  first national sports title , the pride that comes with diversity and his deep roots in Delray/Boca. His grandfather ran a grocery store on Atlantic Avenue in the early 1900s. Enjoy.


First, please tell us about your relationship with FAU:

I am just one of those alumni who had a great college experience and stayed involved.  After graduation, someone asked me to do an event with the Alumni Association.  One thing led to another and now, as the Chair of the FAU Foundation, I have the opportunity to help make Florida Atlantic one of America’s most admired universities.  My wife, my son, my brother and I all hold degrees from FAU.


There have been many positive changes at FAU in recent years. Name a few that come to mind:

The biggest change is the size of  the student body.  When I was a student, we had about 5,000 full-time students.  Today, our student body is over 30,000 from all 50 states and 180 foreign countries.  I am proud that our students are 49% minority making FAU the most diverse university in Florida.  In addition, FAU has over 300 clubs and campus organizations.  Our incoming freshman class has an average high school GPA of 3.43.

Another big change has been the addition of our medical school.  We only take 64 medical students per year and they are all top notch.  I have never met one that was not truly outstanding.  Not just wicked smart but wonderful young people.

The growth of NCAA sports has been the third big change.  Our 29,000 seat on campus stadium is a wonderful addition to campus life.  I would like to share that it was built without one cent of taxpayer’s dollars.  FAU is a member of Conference USA and competes in 19 NCAA Division One sports.  I can’t wait until we win our first national championship.  My guess is that it will be in baseball.


What is the role of the FAU Foundation and what types of causes does it support?

The $200 million FAU Foundation, for the most part, supports scholarships.  The cost of a college education is growing very fast.  It is becoming unaffordable to an average income family.  I almost cried when a student told me that the small scholarship (I think it was $500) that she received from the FAU put enough gas in her car to allow her to drive to campus and finish her senior year.  It really made a difference in her life.  Even though most of our scholarships are larger, that story really hit home with me.  In addition to scholarships, we also provide funds to bring in nationally and internationally known speakers and programs to FAU.  Some of these are open to the public.  Your readers can check www.fau.edu for full details.  Our Lifelong Learning Center is one of the most outstanding in the United States.


Can you give us some “insider information” about any new programs, courses, etc., that we might be seeing at FAU in the coming years?

Okay, you twisted my arm.  I’ll give you two:  First, on March 29, 2014 the FAU Foundation will host “The FAU Gala” in the football stadium’s tower.  It will be a modified Black Tie event.  We plan to raise $1,500,000 to provide scholarships for our Military Veterans.  The GI Bill really doesn’t cover everything returning veterans need.  We want to give back to members of our military who have given so much to us.  Second, in December, 2014 the “Boca Raton Bowl” will be played in the FAU Stadium.  The game will be covered by ESPN.  In addition, ESPN has the right to pick the two competing teams from Conference USA, the MAC or the American Athletic Conference.  The game will be another strong economic driver from FAU to our community.  By the way, it surprises most people to know that Florida Atlantic has an annual economic impact in our community of over $6 Billion.


We understand you’re a huge sports fan. If you could play any position on the football or basketball teams, what would it be?

I think I would be a cheerleader.  That sounds a lot better to me than having some 300 pound lineman beat me into the ground.  The FAU Cheer and Dance Teams do a great job at the games.  Also, they are also wonderful FAU ambassadors at many community events like the Chamber of Commerce.  GO OWLS !!


You’ve been a big part of the Boca Raton/Delray Beach community. Tell us a little bit about your position at  US Trust, membership at Hammock Street Church, and anything else you’d like to cover.

I was born in Delray Beach.  My grandfather settled in Delray in about 1910 and a photo of his grocery store on Atlantic Avenue hangs over the desk in my office which is also on Atlantic Avenue.  I enjoy my work at US Trust.  The people that I work with are great and my clients are stimulating and appreciate my efforts.  While it is true that I am open about my faith, it does not bother me if someone disagrees with me.  We all have a right to believe what we want to believe.  It has been said, “I am in business to make a living, I am in life to make a difference.”  I don’t know who said it, but it just about sums up my philosophy.