Florida Atlantic university

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In 1955, the Florida Legislature authorized establishment of Florida's fifth public university to serve the southeastern region of the state. Boca Raton banker Thomas F. Fleming Jr. worked with a number of associates including U.S. Senator George Smathers and U.S. Congressman Paul Rogers to petition the Civil Aeronautics Administration, in order to secure the vacated 1,250 acre U.S. Army airbase in Boca Raton for the site of the university. This proposal was unanimously endorsed in 1957 by the Florida Board of Control. In 1960 the Florida Board of Education approved building the university in Boca Raton. The Brumbaugh Report, prepared in 1961 by a Board of Control committee, called for innovative thinking in the planning of the university, which it said could pioneer a new model of higher education, an institution that would take full advantage of rapidly developing television and computer technology while serving juniors, seniors and graduate students exclusively, in partnership with community colleges. On July 15, 1961 the Florida Legislature authorized establishment of the nation's first university to offer only upper-division and graduate work, with a service area extending up the Florida east coast from Key West to Cape Canaveral. The Board of Control selected the name Florida Atlantic University in 1962, at the same time naming Dr. Kenneth Rast Williams, then president of Dade County Junior College, as president; groundbreaking took place December of that year. Florida Atlantic University opened on September 14, 1964, six days behind schedule due to Hurricane Cleo. U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson dedicated the University on October 25, 1964. Dr. Williams was formally inaugurated as the University's first president on November 12, 1964.

From the guide to the Historical Files, 1959-1964, (Special Collections and Archives, S.E. Wimberly Library, Florida Atlantic University)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Culpepper, J. Broward, 1907-. Papers, 1941-1968. University of Florida
referencedIn J. Broward Culpepper Papers, 1941-1968 Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
creatorOf Florida Atlantic University. Historical files 1959-1964. Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton Campus, S.E. Wimberly Library
referencedIn Florida. Board of Regents. University construction records, 1946-1971. Florida State Archive
referencedIn La Gasse, Alfred B. Papers, 1949-1977, (bulks 1964-1977). Texas Tech University Libraries, Academic Library
referencedIn Florida. Board of Regents. Agenda back-up files, 1952-1971. Florida State Archive
referencedIn Florida. Board of Regents. University building plans, ca.1914-1980. Florida State Archive
creatorOf Historical Files, 1959-1964 Special Collections and Archives, S.E. Wimberly Library, Florida Atlantic University
creatorOf Pinsky, Robert. A collection of Robert Pinsky's poems and translations, announcements of his poetry readings, lectures and awards and photographic portraits : as well as poems by Stanley Kunitz and Heather McHugh. Boston University, Mugar Memorial Library
referencedIn Florida. Board of Regents. Minutes, 1905-1974,1987-1988. Florida State Archive
referencedIn Additional papers of Mary Steichen Calderone, (inclusive), (bulk), 1914-1989, 1960-1989 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Carpenter, C. Ray (Clarence Ray), 1905-1975. Clarence Ray Carpenter papers, 1918-1976 (bulk 1932- 1975). Pennsylvania State University Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Brumbaugh, A. J. (Aaron John), 1890- person
associatedWith Calderone, Mary Steichen, 1904-1998 person
associatedWith Carpenter, C. Ray (Clarence Ray), 1905-1975. person
associatedWith Culpepper, J. Broward, 1907- person
associatedWith Fleming, Thomas F. Jr. person
associatedWith Florida. Board of Control. Boca Raton Planning Commission corporateBody
associatedWith Florida. Board of Regents. corporateBody
associatedWith La Gasse, Alfred B. person
associatedWith Pinsky, Robert. person
associatedWith Smathers, George A. (George Armistead), 1913- person
associatedWith Williams, Kenneth Rast person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Boca Raton (Fla.)
Palm Beach County (Fla.)
City planning--Florida--Boca Raton
Universities and colleges--Florida
Florida Atlantic University--History

Corporate Body

Active 1959

Active 1964




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