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Birthday and Retirement Gala for FAU Book Arts Center Founder Arthur Jaffe Brings More Than $70,000 in Donations

BOCA RATON, FL (May 25, 2011) – Supporters of Florida Atlantic University benefactor and book arts collector Arthur Jaffe raised more than $70,000 in cash and in-kind donations during his “Time Flies When You’re Having Fun” 90th birthday and retirement celebration hosted recently by FAU Libraries.

The donations were the result of a suggestion from Jaffe that family, patrons, friends and others donate to the Arthur and Mata Jaffe Center for Book Arts’ education fund instead of giving him a gift for his May 7 birthday and retirement. Besides monetary gifts of more than $30,000 in honor of Jaffe, book artists from around the world contributed 90 artists’ books and broadsides, which the center’s staff has valued at approximately $40,000.

“It was a good thing to do for the university,” said Jaffe, the center’s founder and curator. “I have had so much fun, and I have met so many wonderful people here at FAU.”

The backdrop for the festive evening at the Wimberly Library was a “Time Flies When You’re Having Fun’’ exhibition, which featured photographs, ephemera, books and broadsides and a timeline of Jaffe’s achievements, including the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from FAU during spring commencement ceremonies the day prior to his birthday. The multi-floor exhibition remains on display through Wednesday, August 10.

Jaffe joined the Wimberly Library as a volunteer in 1994, and in 1998, he and his wife, Mata, donated their collection of 2,800 artists’ books. With the 2007 expansion of the library, the Jaffe collection became the core of the 4,800 square-foot center, largely funded by a substantial gift that Mata Jaffe earmarked for that purpose prior to her death in 2001. The bustling cultural center now houses 12,000 rare books and is one of the nation’s most prominent centers for books handmade by artists.

Twenty-four members of Jaffe’s family travelled from around the country to participate in the momentous occasion. Joel Jaffe shared humorous anecdotes about his father, on behalf of the family during a program, which also included remarks by FAU President Mary Jane Saunders; William Miller, dean of Libraries at FAU; and John Cutrone, an FAU alumnus who has been named the center’s director.

Other guests at the celebration were Michael and Alene Brewer, Victor and Marlis Hadeed, Drs. Bernard and Joan Chodorkoff, Marny Glasser, Dr. Howard and Judith Weiner, Marianne B. Haycook, Abner and Mildred Levine, Gerry and Phyllis Golden, Alvin and Beverly Shapiro and Arthur J. Williams.

Gourmet delectables and drinks were served as guests moved throughout the celebration, trying out the Jaffe Center’s vintage press, enjoying the performances by the artists Ginny Lloyd, Marshall Weber and Vernon Fraser, and swaying to music by the Klezmer Company Orchestra, the library’s professional ensemble-in-residence. Some of the event’s catering was donated by Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar.

The Jaffe “Time Flies When You’re Having Fun” birthday/celebration events continue all summer and include exhibitions and workshops, which are open to the public. For more information, contact John Cutrone at 561-297-0455 or visit


Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. In commemoration of its origin, FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering & Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit

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