West Palm Beach, Fla. (February 1, 2024) Palm Beach Atlantic University, the 2024 spring semester is before us. Our halls are bustling with students, faculty and staff building dreams. Every day, there are interesting, engaging campus activities—in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, we just celebrated 1,900 hours of volunteer work on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The semester also marks the start of construction projects under our God-Sized Dreams campaign. Just last month, we ceremoniously broke ground on the Marshall and Vera Lea Rinker Business Hall—a significant milestone and one of four major construction projects slated under the campaign.
Jess C. Moody’s dream of establishing a Christian university in South Florida to be a light in a time of cultural unsettlement has evolved into a thriving institution with over 3,700 students across our West Palm Beach and Orlando campuses. The story of PBA is one of impossible dreams by human standards. It was a God-sized dream.
We are profoundly grateful for the unwavering support we have received. With over $48 million raised toward our $75 million goal for the new Rinker Business Hall, we acknowledge the incredible generosity of our lead donor—the largest single gift of $26 million in PBA’s history comes from Dr. John Rinker with the support of his wife, Sheila. He, like our founders, is committed to shaping young leaders and positively transforming our community, nation and world. His investment in our mission is further fueled by other donors.
The state-of-the-art facility will house our elite programs within the Marshall E. Rinker, Sr. School of Business, which received AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) accreditation last year. This places PBA in the top six percent of all business schools globally and the only Christian college in Florida to hold this prestigious recognition.
The Marshall and Vera Lea Rinker Business Hall will foster a dynamic learning environment and offer students world-class resources, including a stock trading room and the 300-plus-seat Titus Lecture Hall. It will also house the Titus Center for Franchising and the LeMieux Center for Public Policy, founded by U.S. Senator George LeMieux. This facility will offer a unique blend of politics, public policy, and business, providing an unparalleled opportunity for comprehensive training that shapes well-rounded business leaders equipped to navigate the complexities of the contemporary business landscape.
Through our historic growth, we have worked to continue to strengthen our commitment to being a Christ-centered institution. We still believe Christian values are good and helpful to society. That’s why we’re dedicated to whole-person education and building dreams together.
The God-Sized Dreams campaign is more than a fundraising initiative. It embodies our collective vision for our values-based curriculum and commitment to American Free Enterprise, which creates opportunities for businesses to grow and communities to thrive.
Beyond enhancing opportunities for PBA students and supporting the business community, the campaign allows us to better serve South Florida, our nation and indeed the world. One way we look forward to doing that is through our new Center for Financial Literacy, which will empower students and local community members to become financially literate through biblically-based courses and financial coaching.
This facility is just the beginning. The God-Sized Dreams campaign will advance three additional transformative projects on our West Palm Beach campus, including a cutting-edge health sciences complex, a state-of-the-art performing arts center, and an alumni and student welcome center. By amplifying our offerings, we can better respond to marketplace changes, expand academic programs, and build innovative spaces—giving our community a place to thrive. To be a light in a region now known as “Wall Street South.”
Indeed, the future is bright, as we equip students to grow in wisdom, lead with conviction and serve God boldly.
Bio: Dr. Debra A. Schwinn, a physician, researcher and innovator, is president of Palm Beach Atlantic University. (www.pba.edu)