What U Should Know.
So you have a student ready to spend the next four years at FAU? That means you will undoubtedly be visiting once or twice. If you have never been to Boca Raton, you may have a preconceived idea about this city. For Seinfeld fans, you may recall that Jerry’s fictional television parents lived in a retirement community called Del Boca Vista (they even sell t-shirts with this fictional city). The novel and film adaptation, “Marley and Me” takes place in Boca Raton. The city is oftentimes referred to as New York South since so many New Yorkers live here part-time (we refer to them as snowbirds) or are now full-time residents.
Boca Raton, which actually is a misnomer for a jagged inlet, is not as populous as its Fort Lauderdale neighbor, but you would not know that from the traffic that congests the major roads no matter what time of day. Here, you will find almost every major box store, almost every chain restaurant from fast food to quick service to full service plus many newer independents, shopping malls, hotels and grocery stores.
The Next Four Years at FAU
Florida Atlantic dates back to October 1964 when President Lyndon Baines Johnson declared it officially open. The original intent was to use technology so that students could take classes wherever they were; however, that technology would not exist for another four decades. Fau was one of the first universities to offer only upper level and graduate level work. FAU did not initially attract many students as they lacked many of the college amenities found on most campuses such as having no dormitories or dining facilities, difficulty getting to the campus and they did not actively pursue the potential students that lived in South Florida. FAU initiated an aggressive growth plan which included the construction of an Administration Building, a Humanities Building, and six residence halls. They also introduced the nation’s first-degree program in ocean engineering which is now housed at a state-of-the-art research center in Dania Beach.
FAU’s mascot, The Owl, seemed a natural fit as the burrowing owl is a South Florida native and classified as a species of special concern by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. In 1971, the campus became an official burrowing owl sanctuary.
It was not until 1984 that freshman and sophomore classes were added to the student body. FAU continued added new campuses in South Florida including Davie, Dania Beach, Jupiter and Port St. Lucie in addition to downtown Fort Lauderdale. New degree programs were added in the early 1990’s. Division 1 football made its debut at FAU in 2001.What lifted FAU to an even higher level was in October 2003 when Scripps Research Institute opened an operations center in Palm Beach and FAU was selected as their first university partner in Florida. It also paved the way for more partnerships, particularly in the area of biomedical research. Further research partnerships were established with the College of Engineering and Computer Science and the FAU Sea-Tech Ocean Engineering Research Center in Davie.
By 2008, FAU’s enrollment increased to 27,000 students with 170 bachelors, master’s, specialists and doctoral degree programs.
Today, FAU serves over 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students with 70 percent located at the Boca Raton campus. The modern campus has a tropical vibe with its lush landscaping and architecture. The temperature is often described as mild, thanks to its vicinity to the Atlantic Ocean and the tropical breezes but summers can be extremely humid with tropical downpours that come in almost as quickly as they leave. During the winter (well South Florida’s version of winter) the temperatures can drop to the 50’s and stay in the 70’s.
FAU is considered to be a walking campus although bus service is included in the cost and is strongly recommended especially when you need to get across campus. Download FAU Mobile for a campus directory, maps, news, as well as FAU Owls sports and more.
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