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Oxley Center Brings FAU Community Together

March 3, 2001

Boca Raton News
Guest Commentary: Howard Schnellenberger

The ribbon cutting for the Tom Oxley Center is only weeks away, and already it's obvious that this building is a springboard to enthusiasm not only for the football team but for all athletes and students at Florida Atlantic University.

The Oxley Center serves as a nerve center for the development of each and every team. Women's track, soccer, volleyball, and softball have taken full occupancy of their individual locker rooms within the Gladys L. Davis Women's Suite. Athletes are taking advantage of the Vandevere Strength Room's magnificent state-of-the-art weight training and cardio-vascular machines.

Players frequent the Boca Raton Hospital Clinic/Training Room where preventive therapy, rehabilitation, conditioning, and internal medicine allow total health requirements to be met. Doctors, trainers and their assistants provide total first class medical services.

The not yet named recreational area allows athletes to gather between training and academic sessions. Camaraderie is fostering new relationships and new understanding of each team. Greater interaction transforms into mutual support, pride, and loyalty.

Nine classrooms are used fully by the University's colleges and are open to all students. The unnamed academic hall is outfitted with 50 study cubicles and computers. President Catanese has created an athletic, academic and social environment that is enabling all students to come together.

FAU students are proud of this place they call their own. It's become the talk of the campus, and each day students bring their friends to see the Oxley Center. The interplay between athletes and the general student body is great. They come out of classrooms, the training rooms, the study rooms, and lounges proclaiming, "This is ours."

Each coach's success in the recruiting field makes it evident that this building stands as a clarion call for the clear and undisputed statement that FAU takes great pride in its athletic teams in a very real and substantive way. Results already show that facilities do make a difference-not only for this year but for the decades that lie ahead.

As calendars turn to March, men's and women's basketball teams are entering championship competition. The new sister on the block is taking to the track and field for the first time in Owl history and accomplishing record sprints and jumps with each meet. The baseball and softball teams are reaching mid season and anticipate playoff competition. The other Olympic sports and golf and tennis continue to establish their own history and winning tradition.

It is easy to stand back, observe our young athletes in action and feel extremely proud of improvement at every juncture. Attendance is up. Funding has improved. School spirit is growing. Campus life has been enhanced. A wise old owl said, "And this is good."



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