May 4, 2011
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BOCA RATON, FL - The Florida Atlantic University athletics department recently received a gift of $2 million for the new on-campus stadium. The gift came from longtime FAU supporters Richard and Barbara Schmidt, through the Schmidt Family Foundation, whose contribution will be recognized with permanent signage on the stadium scoreboard.
"We are extremely grateful to the Schmidt Family Foundation for this gift," said FAU President Mary Jane Saunders. "The support FAU has received from the Schmidts over the years has helped it become the internationally recognized university it is today. With these funds for the stadium, the Schmidt family continues to leave its mark on FAU, and we will be reminded of the extraordinary generosity every time we look at the scoreboard that bears their family name."
The Schmidt Family Foundation was established in 1982 by successful businessman Charles Schmidt as the conduit for the continuation of his philanthropy. Other major gifts from the Schmidt Family Foundation have benefited the College of Engineering and Computer Science and the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, and established the Peaceful World/Peaceful Mind Program, which has brought world-famous speakers to FAU, such as Jane Goodall and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Additionally, thousands of students with financial need have been able to pursue degrees with the assistance of Schmidt scholarships.
"As members of this great community, we are excited to participate in the growth of FAU, especially the building of its on-campus stadium," said Richard Schmidt. "We look forward to football Saturdays in our new home stadium, and to the enhanced university experience it will create for future generations of students, alumni and Owl fans."
The FAU stadium is the centerpiece of FAU's Innovation Village, located in the north central area of the Boca Raton campus. Home of the Owl football team, the 30,000-seat open-air stadium, a $70 million project, is slated to feature 6,000 premium seats, including 24 suites, 26 loge boxes, 1,000 premier club seats and 4,000 priority club seats, and the latest, state-of-the-art amenities.
"We truly appreciate this gift from the Schmidt family," said Michael Kaufman, former FAU Foundation Board chair. "I am happy to announce that 100 percent of Foundation board members have pledged their support toward the stadium fund."
According to the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, the new FAU stadium could generate an estimated $1.8 million to the local economy on each game day. The stadium project has already contributed to the creation of 2,000 jobs onsite and offsite since the official planning stages began in 2008.
"We are extremely excited about the new stadium and the wonderful impact it will have on our local community," said FAU Board of Trustees Chair Robert Stilley. "One hundred percent of our BOT members are participating in supporting the stadium project as well."
FAU will kick off the 2011 season at the University of Florida on Saturday, September 3. The team's first home game in the new stadium is scheduled for Saturday, October 15.
"October 15 will forever be a day of great significance in FAU history, as we play for the first time in our on-campus stadium," said Head Football Coach Howard Schnellenberger. "On behalf of the players, coaches and fans, I thank the Schmidt Family Foundation for their commitment to the future of Owl football and for their generous gift to our new home."
For more information about the FAU stadium, visit www.fausports.com. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Terry Mohajir at 561-297-0131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.