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Palm Beach Atlantic University-West Palm Beach

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  • Statistics

    • Motto: Enlightening Minds, Enriching Souls, Extending Hands
    • Established: 1968 (1968)
    • Religious affiliation: Christian Interdenominational[1]
    • Endowment: $57.4 million[2]
    • President: William “Bill” M. B. Fleming, Jr.
  • Summary

    Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) is a comprehensive interdenominational (there are more than 26 denominations represented in the student body) faith-based university with a core emphasis on...


    Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) is a comprehensive interdenominational (there are more than 26 denominations represented in the student body) faith-based university with a core emphasis on character formation by integrating a Christian worldview with the liberal arts and selected professional studies. It is located in West Palm Beach, in the U.S. state of Florida approximately one mile (1.6 km) from the Atlantic Ocean on the Intracoastal Waterway. Its purpose is to offer a curriculum of rigorous studies and a program of student activities dedicated to the development of lifetime learning, leadership and service to mankind. The mean SAT is 1270. The student to faculty ratio is 13:1 with 162 faculty. William “Bill” M. B. Fleming, Jr. serves as president of the university.


    Palm Beach Atlantic University was the vision of and was founded by Jess C. Moody in 1968 while he was the pastor of First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach. He served until the first class graduated in 1972 and resigned from the presidency to focus on his duties at First Baptist Church. Two laymen of the church, Donald Warren and Riley Sims, became involved as trustees before the university began and continued to contribute time and support for many years. Warren served as chairman of the trustees for 38 years until 2007.

    In July 1972, Warner E. Fusselle, previously President of Truett-McConnell College, became the second President of the university and led the accreditation process with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools which was achieved in December 1972.

    George Borders, Vice President of Student Affairs at Stetson University, became the third President of Palm Beach Atlantic University in 1978. He was popular with students and the Florida Baptist Convention. After his resignation in 1981 to become the President of the Florida Baptist Foundation, Claude H. Rhea became president.

    Rhea's leadership saw the development of the Rinker campus and expansion of academic programs.

    Paul R. Corts, previously president of Wingate College, became the fifth President of Palm Beach Atlantic. He presided over the addition of two graduate programs, from 1991 until 2002. He resigned in 2002 to accept a position as Assistant Attorney General for Administration with the United States Department of Justice.

    David W. Clark, President of FamilyNet, and founding provost of Regent University became the sixth President in 2003. During his presidency enrollment grew from 2600 to 3291. Five new buildings were completed including the magnificent Warren Library, a mini campus in Wellington was built, and 96 acres (390,000 m2) for a new athletic campus were acquired. The university budget grew from $43 million to $73 million. Over 4,600 or 40 percent of all degrees were awarded during his tenure. President Clark announced his retirement during the 2008-9 academic year the end of June.

    On July 1, 2009, Lu Hardin took office as the seventh president of Palm Beach Atlantic University. A former Arkansas state senator, Hardin had previously served as the president of the University of Central Arkansas.[4] Hardin resigned the presidency of PBA on March 4, 2011,[5] shortly before pleading guilty in federal court in Little Rock, Arkansas, to two federal felony charges (wire fraud and money laundering) which occurred during his tenure at UCA.[6]

    On March 10, 2011, William M. B. “Bill” Fleming, Jr., the university's vice president for development, was named interim president by the university's Board of Trustees.[7] After a nationwide search Fleming, who had served as interim president for more than a year, was elected by the trustees as the University’s eighth president, beginning his presidency on May 8, 2012.[8]


    PBA's campus is located in West Palm Beach. The first structure built specifically for PBA, the W.G. Lassiter Jr. Student Center, was completed in 1982. This was followed by Johnson Hall and Sachs Hall in 1989. A new campus was established in Orlando in 2002 and in Wellington in 2007.

    Residence halls include Oceanview (ODP), Rinker Hall, Baxter Hall, Johnson Hall, Weyenberg Hall, Flagler Towers, Lakeview Apartments, and Mango Apartments.

    Classroom buildings include the Vera Lea Rinker School of Music and Fine Arts, the Lloyd L. Gregory School of Pharmacy, Borbe Hall, MacArthur Hall, Rinker Hall, Pembroke Hall, Oceanview Hall, The Greene Complex for Sports and Recreation, and the Okeechobee Building.

    A continuous building program has characterized the last decade of growth at Palm Beach Atlantic University. In January 2007 the first phase of the state-of-the-art 62,000 sq ft (5,800 m2). Warren Library was dedicated. The second phase was completed in December 2009 and is a total of 86.000 sq ft (7.9897 m2). The building is named after Donald Warren, who served as the first chairman of the Board of Trustees for 38 years. The university has extension campuses in Orlando and Wellington offering adult and graduate degrees.

    A permanent home for Sailfish athletics is on the horizon in the form of a 76-acre Marshall and Vera Lea Rinker Athletic Campus at 3401 Parker Avenue in West Palm Beach — just a short drive from Palm Beach Atlantic University. The campus, located between I-95 and Parker Avenue just north of Southern Boulevard, will provide facilities for training and hosting intercollegiate and intramural and club sport competitions. [9]

    Ministry Life

    Chapel is held four times weekly in the DeSantis Family Chapel, Monday through Thursday at 11 a.m., as well as other times, dates and locations that are listed on the chapel calendar. Chapel is a requirement for all full-time students, both undergraduate and graduate, who attend class during the daytime. Students must attend 24 chapels per year. [10]

    Workship is a distinctive community service program that has been at the heart of PBA since its founding in 1968. Workship combines "work" with "worship," serving God through serving the community. All full-time undergraduate students are required to serve 45 hours per year. Students may choose from PBA-sponsored group service events, or may serve individually at an non-profit organization, church or school of their choice. Since the school was founded in 1968, over 2.5 million hours of community service have been given by the students and faculty. [11]

    Mission Trips are offered yearly for students. Mission teams travel to countries all over the world and minister through evangelism, performing arts, street ministries, construction, medical outreach, sports workshops and more. The teams travel during the summer on a multi-week trip and on a one-week Spring Break trip. [12]

    Frederick M. Supper Honors Program

    One of the school's most distinguishing features is the Frederick M. Supper Honors Program, in which students read primary texts and take part in Socratic dialogue to understand the predominant and defining ideologies of the major historical epochs. The program seeks not only to provide a rigorous education in the liberal arts, but also to incorporate students into the Great Conversation among writers of the Western canon.

    The program is separated into six major "World of" classes in the following sequence: The World of Polis and the Covenant, The World of Caesar and Christ, The World of Christendom and Islam, The World of Humanism and Reform, The World of Reason and Revolt, and The World of Despair and Hope. Official descriptions for each honors course are listed below. During the first two semesters, students also take courses that are analogous to Public Speaking and Composition I and II, respectively known as Rhetorical Eloquence and Writing About Literature. The program is initiated (with Rhetorical Eloquence) and terminated (with Christian Vocation and Worldview) with instruction from the Honors program coordinator. Upon exit of the program, students are required to defend their studies in an oral exam with the coordinator and two additional professors of their choice.

    Also required for the Honors program is a special elective course. Students have many options for their elective. Some students choose to study abroad at the Scholars' Semester in Oxford (or another available study abroad opportunity), and many students choose to take an elective course on campus. Examples of courses that were offered in the past and currently as honors electives are: Design, Chance, and Necessity; Narrative Studies; Utopia; and Autobiographies.

    Available degrees

    The University is organized into nine academic schools: Arts & Sciences, Communication & Media, Education & Behavioral Studies, Gregory School of Pharmacy, MacArthur School of Leadership, Ministry, Music & Fine Arts, Nursing, and Rinker School of Business.

    The University offers more than 60 majors but is best known for producing outstanding graduates in business, education, media communication, theater, music, ministry and counseling.

    The Gregory School of Pharmacy offers the Pharm.D. in pharmacy. It is one of five pharmacy schools in Florida.

    Accreditation & memberships

    Palm Beach Atlantic University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.

    Membership is maintained in many organizations including:


    PBA is an independent member of the NCAA Division II and an independent member of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). The Men's lacrosse team competes as a Division II member of the MCLA in the SouthEastern Lacrosse Conference. School colors are navy blue and white. A new athletic campus will have soccer, lacrosse, baseball, softball, tennis, basketball, volleyball and running trails as well as a new state of the art weight and training room. A new 34,000 sq ft (3,200 m2) building will be constructed along with various other buildings. The university fields various men's and women's athletics:


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