GEO Group Withdraws $6 Million Gift for Florida Atlantic University | NBC 6 South Florida

GEO Group Withdraws $6 Million Gift for Florida Atlantic University

Prison company's gift to rename stadium withdrawn amid student outrage, was 'ongoing distraction,' company said



    (Published Wednesday, April 3, 2013)

    The Boca Raton prison company that donated $6 million to Florida Atlantic University to change the name of the college's football stadium has withdrawn the gift, the company said Monday.

    GEO Group announced that they informed FAU that the gift would be withdrawn and the stadium would no longer be named GEO Group Stadium, calling criticism against the move an "ongoing distraction."

    "What was originally intended as a gesture of GEO’s goodwill to financially assist the University’s athletic scholarship program has surprisingly evolved into an ongoing distraction to both of our organizations," GEO Group Chairman and CEO George Zoley said in a statement. "We employ many FAU graduates and Boca Raton community members. We take pride in running a well-respected company and are proud of our long-term support of the University."

    'Jesus Stomping' Incident at FAU Draws Gov. Scott's Ire

    "Jesus" Stomping Incident Draws Florida Governor Rick Scott's Ire

    [NATL-V-MI] "Jesus" Stomping Incident Draws Florida Governor Rick Scott's Ire
    Florida Gov. Rick Scott waded into a religious-infused campus controversy Tuesday, asking the state university system chancellor to look into a classroom lesson at Florida Atlantic University in which students were instructed to stomp on sheets of paper that had "Jesus" written on them. Rev. Mark Boykin and attorney Hiram Sasser comment.
    (Published Wednesday, March 27, 2013)

    Shortly after the $6 million gift was announced in February, students and activists expressed outrage, saying some facilities operated by the group have come under fire for human rights violations.

    "The deal was being called Owlcatraz, it's a combinations between the owls the FAU mascot and Alcatraz, the famous prison off of the bay area," student Gonzalo Vizcardo said.

    FAU's Faculty Senate opposed the name change and the student government was expected to also vote on a similar resolution later this week.

    Youngest Bachelor's Graduate at FAU Gets Master's

    [MI] Youngest Bachelor's Graduate at FAU Gets Master's
    Samuel Greene received his master's degree in computer science from Florida Atlantic University Tuesday, three years after he became the youngest person to graduate from the school with a bachelor's. Greene, his parents, and computer science Professor Thomas Fernandez reflect on his accomplishments.
    (Published Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012)

    Youngest Bachelor's Grad at FAU Follows Up With Master's

    The gift would have been a 12-year commitment with annual payments of $500,000.

    "FAU alumnus and Trustee Emeritus George Zoley and his colleagues have been loyal supporters of this University," FAU President Mary Jane Saunders said in the same statement. "We are thankful for all of the companies, organizations and individuals who give to this university to support our mission, our pursuit of academic excellence and valuable contributions to this community."

    "He was very surprised that something that was given with such good intent was sort of taken as a disruptive influence to both his company and the university," said Saunders.

    More FAU stories: