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FAU President Mary Jane Saunders Named One of South Florida’s 2012 Most Influential Business Women

BOCA RATON, FL (August 21, 2012) – Florida Atlantic University President Mary Jane Saunders has been named one of South Florida’s 25 most influential business women of 2012 by the South Florida Business Journal. Honorees are recognized for their strong record of leadership and performance, ability to create innovation in their industries, and participation in meaningful community involvement.

“This is a very great honor, not only for me personally but also for Florida Atlantic University, which has become a major presence in the business community with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion,” said Saunders. “We are placing renewed focus on making the University a strong engine of economic development throughout South Florida.”

Saunders joined FAU in 2010 as its sixth president by unanimous vote of the FAU Board of Trustees. She oversees a university with more than 29,000 students at the bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and post-doctoral levels; more than 3,000 employees, including 1,200 dedicated faculty members; and an annual operating budget in excess of $600 million.

Under Saunders’ leadership, FAU is rapidly emerging as a major center of research, scholarship, creative activities, community engagement and economic development. Other university advances during her first two years in office include the completion of the 30,000-seat FAU Stadium, the opening of the Innovation Village student housing complex, and the launch of FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, which recently admitted its second class. Saunders is currently leading an initiative to strengthen the University’s ties with business and industry in South Florida, directly benefitting FAU’s private sector partnerships and supporting regional economic development.

A founding member and member of the executive committee of Life Sciences South Florida, Saunders is also a member of the executive committee of MedUTech, and the National Business Higher Education Forum.

Saunders will receive her award during a ceremony on Thursday, September 13, at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66, 2301 SE 17th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316.


Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and 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. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit

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