History of Florida Atlantic University at Jupiter

The Early Years

Florida Atlantic University has been providing higher education opportunities to residents in the northern part of its service area for several decades. Prior to 1993-94 college credit classes were offered at off campus "centers" through FAU's Division of Continuing Education. In northern Palm Beach County, classes were offered at the West Palm Beach Center at 45th Street. When FAU began offering courses at Palm Beach Community College's Eissey Campus, the center became known as the North Palm Beach Center. Moving in 1991 to Dwyer High School, the Center offered a limited number of undergraduate programs in general management, elementary education and public administration, graduate programs in business administration, public administration, educational administration and supervision, and core courses in the graduate nursing program. Fewer than 800 students were enrolled in 55 evening classes. Having virtually no office space, there were only a handful of permanent faculty assigned to the center; instead, faculty traveled north from the Boca Raton Campus to teach these courses.

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The John D. MacArthur Campus

In response, ground was broken to form a permanent northern Palm Beach County campus in Jupiter at Donald Ross Road, and in Fall 1999 the John D. MacArthur Campus opened on 135 acres of land donated by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. With three administrative buildings, one residence hall, a dining hall and a utility building, the campus welcomed seventy-four Honors College students, who joined 1,700 commuter students. Recreational facilities were developed and included a swimming pool, soccer field, basketball court and handball courts.

A second residence hall opened in Fall 2001, the dining hall was expanded and two new buildings, the Hibel Museum of Art and Edna Hibel Fine Arts building were completed in Summer 2002. In the summer of 2004, the Education Classroom building and the 20,000-square-foot Library opened. The previous library site was renovated as the campus union, The Burrow. It houses Student Government offices and student activitues, along with the University Police headquarters.

In 2005, FAU Jupiter welcomed Scripps Florida faculty and staff to the first of two state-of-the-art research buildings which served as temporary space while their permanent facility was constructed. In the same year, the three-building Elinor Bernon Rosenthal Lifelong Society Complex was completed, with major gifts from the Bernon-Rosenthal, Milton Maltz and Pearl Perloff families.

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Evolution of the Jupiter Campus

FAU’s rapid ascent to the national stage is fueled in part by the tremendous offerings on its John D. MacArthur Campus in Jupiter, FL.  Since its opening in Fall 1999, groundbreaking programs and unmatched opportunities remain the hallmark of this unique FAU location.

 Located 25 minutes north of FAU’s main campus in Boca Raton, FL, FAU Jupiter is home to the nationally-ranked Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College and faculty labs from the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. Recognized as a center of scientific activity, the campus also serves as the headquarters for two of FAU’s primary research organizations, the Brain Institute and the Institute for Human Health and Disease Intervention (I-HEALTH).

 The Jupiter campus is where FAU converges on site with two of the world’s leading research organizations, the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience and Scripps Research Institute, to offer high school, undergraduate and graduate students transformational experiences not found anywhere else in the world.

 The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Jupiter housed in the Elinor Bernon Rosenthal Lifelong Learning Complex on campus, is the largest membership organization of its kind in the country delivering personal enrichment courses covering a broad range of stimulating topics, taught by leading experts. 

 In addition, the College of Education hosts teacher education coursework, its one-of-a-kind Academy for Community Inclusion and the community-centered Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD).  

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