Published On: Fri, Aug 28th, 2020

FAU’s Phil Smith Center for Free Enterprise Honored

Florida Atlantic University’s Phil Smith Center for Free Enterprise has become the second program within FAU’s College of Business to be named an Oasis of Excellence by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA).

The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Washington, D.C., honors more than 70 college and university programs nationwide that introduce students to the foundational arts and sciences, American heritage and a diversity of viewpoints.

The Phil Smith Center supports chaired professorships, research and educational programs for faculty members and students. The Center hosts courses in economics, finance, management and marketing and hosts distinguished visiting faculty, a lecture series and other educational activities that focus on the principles of free enterprise and how those principles affect growth and prosperity.

“ACTA is a fantastic organization that connects students, alumni and others who care deeply about maintaining high quality in research centers on college campuses,” said Daniel Gropper, Ph.D., dean of FAU’s College of Business. “We are particularly pleased with this recognition of our efforts to create opportunities for our students and faculty.”

FAU’s Adams Center for Entrepreneurship was honored by ACTA last fall. ACTA started its Oasis of Excellence program in 2014.

“I am proud to see the work of the Phil Smith Center for Free Enterprise, established through the generosity of one of our most distinguished alumni, earn this national recognition from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni,” FAU President John Kelly said.

Michael Poliakoff, president of ACTA, noted that the program’s rigorous curriculum will prepare students for the challenges ahead.

“In an age too often defined by ignorance, programs like the Phil Smith Center ensure that students who enter America’s higher education system can grow into the informed citizens our nation needs,” he said.

Phil Smith, who passed away in 2016, was president and CEO of Phil Smith Automotive Group, and was deeply involved as a leader in the South Florida business and civic community. He graduated from FAU in 1969 and was named a distinguished alumnus of the College of Business in 2015. He also served as a member of the FAU Foundation Board.

“Phil would be proud to see this recognition for the Center that bears his name and which promotes our FAU students’ understanding of the benefits of our American free enterprise system,” said Susan Smith, his widow.

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