Groundbreaking Marks 20th Anniversary of John D. MacArthur Campus


From left to right, FAU President John Kelly; Robert J. Stilley, FAU Board of Trustees member; State Rep. MaryLynn Magar; Nancy Torres Kaufman, executive chairman of the board of Beacon Pharmaceutical; Christy LaFlamme, Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College student; Anthony Barbar, chair of FAU’s Board of Trustees; Abdol Moabery, vice chair of FAU’s Board of Trustees; Stewart Martin, chair of FAU Foundation. (Photo by Alex Dolce)

By lynda figueredo rysavy | 11/21/2019

Florida Atlantic University faculty, staff and students came together with local officials and community partners today to celebrate the 20th anniversary of FAU’s John D. MacArthur Campus at Jupiter with a ceremonial groundbreaking for the new FAU Neuroscience Building and a new residence hall. 

 “I can’t think of a better way to commemorate the 20th anniversary of our Jupiter campus than with a celebration marking the construction of two new state-of-the-art buildings,” said FAU President John Kelly. “Our Jupiter campus is the only place on earth where Scripps and Max Planck sit next to each other, and FAU is working to ensure this incredible synergy is leveraged to create a unique learning laboratory where exemplary students can shine.” 

The university will construct the 58,000-square-foot FAU Neuroscience Building to enhance collaborative research with Scripps Research and Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI). The building will increase shared research and office space for new STEM faculty and provide the additional teaching and instructional space needed to support projected enrollment growth, especially in specific areas such as neuroscience, biotechnology, bioengineering, bioinformatics/data science and chemistry. The construction will also support increasing FAU intellectual property licensing activity and “spinout” companies. The $35 million transformative research space represents a significant investment by the state of Florida, FAU and its research partners.

The $17.1 million, 165-bed residence hall will provide a total of 435 beds for the Jupiter campus that is currently at max capacity. Construction will begin in spring 2020 with completion set for summer 2021. Residential students living in the new hall will enjoy a fitness area, study rooms, laundry on each floor, computer lab and a rooftop patio.

These two new structures build on FAU’s aggressive moves to ramp up its research footprint and academic offerings at the Jupiter campus. In November 2018, FAU expanded on existing graduate and undergraduate opportunities with the announcement of the FAU-Max Planck Academy, the only academic program in the world that will allow the brightest STEM high school students to work side-by-side with preeminent scientists at one of the world’s leading neuroscience research institutions. FAU, MPFI and the Germany-based Max Planck Society will welcome the academy’s first class in the fall 2020 semester.

“I am incredibly proud of the strides that FAU and the world-class research institutes located on its campus have made in building a robust life science ecosystem in Palm Beach County,” said State Rep. MaryLynn Magar. “I am honored to carry that message to Tallahassee and encourage my fellow legislators to continue the state’s investment in the unprecedented educational programs and groundbreaking research partnerships that are taking place here in Jupiter.”

Other 20th anniversary celebratory events include a ribbon cutting on May 11, 2020 when FAU and MPFI officials open the FAU-Max Planck Academy building. 

Named after businessman and philanthropist John D. MacArthur, FAU’s Jupiter campus opened on 135 acres of land donated by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in the fall of 1999. The campus established the nationally ranked Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the first public honors institution to be built from the ground up in the United States. FAU’s Jupiter campus was built into the master plan of the Abacoa community to help engage local residents and to serve the people of Palm Beach and Martin counties. In 2005, FAU welcomed Scripps Research faculty and staff to its Jupiter campus and a groundbreaking for the MPFI building was held in 2010.

In addition to being home to Scripps Research and MPFI, FAU Jupiter is home to the faculty labs of 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 College of Education also hosts the Academy for Community Inclusion and the community-centered Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) program on the Jupiter campus. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, housed in the Elinor Bernon Rosenthal Lifelong Learning Complex on the Jupiter campus, is the largest membership organization of its kind in the country delivering personal enrichment courses covering a broad range of stimulating topics that are taught by leading experts.