Bobby and Barbara Campbell Donate $5 Million for Complex
Recognizing the importance of academic success in sports, Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt Family Complex for Academic and Athletic Excellence recently took a major step closer to completion by announcing a $5 million gift from Bobby and Barbara Campbell to name the Bobby and Barbara Campbell Academic Success Center within the Complex. This generosity marks the latest gift in a successful fundraising campaign that secured more than $28 million for the complex in just 16 months.
The donation is the first time the Campbells have given to FAU Athletics and it enables FAU to begin the project’s engineering and architectural design process.
“It’s wonderful to have Bobby Campbell support our effort to build one of America’s most innovative student complexes,” FAU President John Kelly said. “Our university is a rising star, and I believe promising student-athletes understand that coming to FAU will give them a great opportunity to push their ambitions to the highest level.”
The 12,000-square-foot Academic Success Center will be the cornerstone of the Schmidt Family Complex. It will provide FAU student-athletes with a comprehensive support program focusing on academic, personal and professional excellence. The Center will include nine tutor suites, a career center, computer laboratories and two study hall rooms to create an environment that fosters well-balanced development and reinforces the highest academic standards and performance while providing the resources to prepare them for careers beyond collegiate athletics.
The Schmidt Family Complex will be constructed adjacent to FAU Stadium and will play a central role in elevating FAU’s academic standing and will benefit students in all academic programs, including those not associated with athletic programs. In addition to the aforementioned centers and hall, the Complex will include centers for strength and conditioning, health and wellness and an indoor training facility.
“I’m thrilled to be part of making this state-of-the-art facility a reality at FAU,” Bobby Campbell said. “I have always championed educational and children’s issues and am proud to support the center that will help ensure FAU student-athletes’ academic success.”
In addition to the $5 million gift, the Campbells have supported the annual Keeping Memories Alive Walk, benefitting the Louis and Anne Green Memory & Wellness Center at the FAU Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, through donations and a large team of walkers for the past five years.
Bobby Campbell rose through the ranks of the shoe industry at Kinney Shoe Company eventually founding BBC International in 1975, which has become one of the leading children’s and athletic footwear design and sourcing companies in the world. He was elected into the Footwear Industry Hall of Fame in 2003.
Bobby Campbell serves on the boards of several organizations, including the Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation, the Boca Raton Historical Society, the American Red Cross of Palm Beach County and Little Flower Children and Family Services.
The Schmidt Family Complex for Academic and Athletic Excellence received initial funding of $16 million from the Schmidt Family Foundation in December 2014, the largest single gift in FAU’s history. Many other donations have joined the Schmidt’s, including a $5 million gift from Christine E. Lynn to name The Christine E. Lynn Sports Medicine Center within the Complex. Announced in November 2015, it is Lynn’s first contribution to FAU’s Department of Athletics.
Additionally, in October 2015, Eleanor R. Baldwin, a longtime benefactor of FAU and FAU Athletics, donated $1 million to name the History and Tradition Hall within the Complex. Other notable donations include gifts from FAU Board of Trustees member Abdol Moabery and his wife Cathy; and Drs. Ann and Alan Aker — both couples gave $500,000.
“On behalf of our student-athletes, coaches and staff we thank Bobby and Barbara Campbell for this transformative gift,” said Pat Chun, vice president and director of athletics at FAU. “Their generosity will allow us the opportunity to impact current and future student-athletes. The legacy of this gift will be lasting.”
FAU Athletics competes in 19 NCAA sports, and cheer and dance. The Owls’ 29,419-seat football stadium opened in October 2011. In September, the stadium’s field was named in honor of legendary coach and “father of FAU football” Howard Schnellenberger.