Before becoming Palm Beach Atlantic University's eighth president, William M.B. Fleming, Jr. already had formed strong ties in the community as PBA's vice president for development and then as interim president (March 2011-May 2012). When Fleming was named president, we reached out to PBA alumni, supporters and members of the local community for reaction.
(Then-Interim) President William Fleming
listens as PBA American Free Enterprise
Medalist H. Wayne Huizenga Jr. shares his
faith story during the 2011 ceremony at the
Greene Athletic Complex.
"I am thrilled that Bill Fleming has been chosen as the eighth president of PBA. Many times I found myself wondering as Bill was serving in his interim role: who could the University find that would be more passionate and knowledgeable and better suited to lead PBA into the future? I don't believe that that person exists. Bill is the right man for the job. Bill, congratulations and continued blessings."
– Wayne Huizenga, Jr., President Rybovich
"Bill has proven his effectiveness and leadership time and time again during his tenure at Palm Beach Atlantic University. His accomplishments as interim president solidified his qualifications for the committee and illustrated, for me, the positive direction in which he will guide the institution and strengthen our Christ-centered community.”
– Robert Simpson, former chairman, PBA Board of Trustees; owner, Palm Beach Motor Cars
“I think (he) was an excellent choice. I look forward to working with him.”
– John Rinker, photographer, philanthropist, great friend to PBA
“Mr. Fleming has proven he is more than able and qualified to be president in the last six months. His wife is another good reason. His experience at development is a special plus. He has leadership ability, both for students and staff. Great choice.”
– Richard M. DeVos, co-founder, Amway; owner Orlando Magic, NBA
“No better choice! Bill Fleming knows more people of influence, more places to find support, and no one has better connections already established than he.”
– Dr. Jess Moody, founder and first president of PBA
"I congratulate PBA's Board of Directors on an excellent decision in choosing William M.B. Fleming, Jr. as the president of this prestigious institution. I know President Fleming will take PBA and its students to new heights."
– U.S. Senator George S. LeMieux (retired)
Senator George S. LeMieux with then-Vice President for Development Fleming during a visit to PBA. Senator LeMieux donated his senatorial papers toPBA. They are being archived in PBA's Warren Library.
“I am delighted to hear this wonderful news. Twenty years ago, Bill Fleming joined the University as a person that wanted to help PBAU achieve its bigger goals. Through his tenure, he continued to bring exceptional academic and governmental experience together with outstanding public service, scholarly accomplishment with a strong commitment to students, and a deep belief in the mission of Palm Beach Atlantic University. As an alumna, I couldn’t be more excited for Bill and the future of PBAU.”
– Florida State Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto
“I think Bill Fleming is the absolutely the best person for the job. He knows the community; he is a man of faith and has the skills to take us into the next decade. I’m in!”
-- Paul Van der Grift
“Bill has done a superb job in the interim. He had 20 years of preparation at Palm Beach Atlantic to assume the responsibilities of president. Bill and I worked very closely together, so I am confident the next decade will be the greatest decade at PBA. He is a splendid choice.”
– Dr. David Clark, sixth president of PBA
“I have known William Fleming for nearly 20 years as we have worked together on countless matters in advancing Palm Beach Atlantic University. He is a person of the highest integrity, fully embraces the important academic mission of Palm Beach Atlantic University. He is masterful in building relationships with all stakeholders, including leaders in Florida government. He is a leader in every respect – thought, word and deed.”
– Scott G. Hawkins, Esq., chairman, PBA Board of Trustees
“President Fleming will provide the leadership and direction to make Palm Beach Atlantic University one of the premier institutions of higher learning in the country. The business community of Palm Beach County applauds the selection of William Fleming as the new President at PBAU!”
– Dennis Grady, CEO, Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches
Then-Interim President William M.B. Fleming Jr. chats with Suzanne Wright, founder of the Light ItUp Blue campaign, West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio (second from left) and Robert Wright who, with his wife, founded Autism Speaks. Wright is the former CEO of NBC/Universal. PBA is a supporter of the Light It Up Blue campaign.
“Dearest Bill, the perfect person is in the perfect place. ... You are steady, witty, humble and wise beyond your years. Not to conjure up political slogans of the past, but this time, it’s a good one. We get Pam as an elegant First Lady. Oceans of love to you both.”
– Loreen Farish, philanthropist, great friend to PBA
“I am so pleased that Bill Fleming has been chosen as the new president of Palm Beach Atlantic University. He is a true leader and a great partner to me and our city. I look forward to continuing our work together. The students, faculty and Board of Trustees are lucky to have Bill as their President.”
– Jeri Muoio, mayor, City of West Palm Beach
“On behalf of the PBA Alumni Association Board of Directors we were pleased to hear the news of Mr. Bill Fleming’s election as the University’s eighth president. I have known President Fleming for more than 10 years, and believe he will carry out PBA’s mission with a strong focus on learning, faith, and community service.”
– Shaun M. Castillo, PBA Alumni Association
“Bill has demonstrated a deep commitment over a long period of time to Palm Beach Atlantic, its principles and the community. Surpassing his institutional commitment, however, is his commitment to the people ? students, faculty and staff, alumni and friends of the university – whose lives and work have intersected with his. President Fleming appreciates university life, and, under his leadership in the past year, Palm Beach Atlantic has continued to mature as a first-rate private liberal arts university.”
– Dr. Tom St. Antoine '93, PBA associate professor of communication and search committee member
“I was thrilled when I heard that Bill was named the President of the university. I have worked with him for over 12 years, in the capacity of a nonprofit leader and most recently as the head of a private foundation. Bill has always seen the strong nexus between the health of the community and the strength of the university, and created and embraced opportunities for both PBAU and its students to impact Palm Beach County. ... I look forward to working with Bill in his new permanent role as President of PBAU to make Palm Beach County a healthier place to live.”
– Kerry A. Diaz, president, Quantum Foundation
"In the past year, Bill Fleming has demonstrated his skill as a leader and his deep love for the people associated with the University. His strong and decisive direction has advanced PBA, and he accomplished this with grace and humility.”
– Dr. Lisa Stubbs '96/'98, PBA assistant professor of psychology