BOCA RATON – The FAU Foundation, Inc. has received a $6 million gift from The GEO Group (GEO) to name its on-campus football stadium. The $6 million gift will be made through GEO’s charitable foundation, The GEO Group Foundation, and will be paid over 12 years. The largest one-time gift in the history of FAU athletics, it will be used to support athletic operations, including FAU’s intercollegiate athletic program, the stadium, scholarships and academic priorities. In recognition of this gift, the football stadium at FAU’s Boca Raton campus will be named GEO Group Stadium.
“We are incredibly grateful for this wonderful gift,” said FAU President Mary Jane Saunders. “It is so exciting to now have a name for our beautiful stadium, and I couldn’t think of a better way to do that than by way of philanthropy. This gift is a true representation of The GEO Group’s incredible generosity to FAU and the community it serves. It is especially meaningful because George Zoley, GEO’s chairman, is a two-time FAU alumnus and former chair of our Board of Trustees.”
GEO Group 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 29,419-seat open-air stadium – a $70 million project – features 6,000 premium seats, that include 24 suites, 26 loge boxes, 1,000 premier club seats and 4,000 priority club seats, and the latest, state-of-the-art amenities. The stadium officially opened in October 2011, and is the only college football venue in the country with a view of the ocean.
Headquartered in Boca Raton, The GEO Group is the first fully integrated equity real estate investment trust specializing in the design, financing, development, and operation of correctional, detention, and community reentry facilities around the globe. The GEO Group is the world’s leading provider of diversified correctional, detention, and community reentry services to government agencies worldwide with operations in the United States, Australia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. The GEO Group’s worldwide operations include the ownership and/or management of 101 facilities totaling 73,000 beds with a growing workforce of approximately 18,000 professionals. Through its charitable foundation, The GEO Group Foundation, the company supports charitable and educational causes nationwide and fosters national and international amateur sports competition.
“We’re delighted with the opportunity to enter into this groundbreaking partnership with Florida Atlantic University. Our company has always been committed to making a positive contribution to the communities in which we serve,” said George C. Zoley, Ph.D., ’72, ’75, chairman and chief executive officer of The GEO Group. “Every year through our charitable foundation, The GEO Group Foundation, we donate approximately $1 million to support local charities and schools and to fund college scholarships for students in the communities we serve across the country. This new partnership between The GEO Group Foundation and the FAU Foundation will allow the University to support its scholarship and academic program priorities and will serve as a catalyst for continued academic and economic growth in South Florida.”
FAU and The GEO Group Foundation also will continue to work together to create solid learning opportunities for students enrolled at the University, specifically in the areas of criminal justice, social work and nursing.
FAU will kick off the 2013 season at the University of Miami on Saturday, Sept. 3 in its first year as a member of Conference USA. The team’s first home game in GEO Group Stadium is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 21 against Middle Tennessee State University.
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