lorida Atlantic University’s
fourth president, Dr.
Anthony J. Catanese, was
the prime architect of a
12-year period of unprecedented
growth that transformed FAU from
a small commuter school to a large,
comprehensive regional university. He
came to FAU from the University of
Florida, where he had been dean of
the College of Architecture. Previously,
he served as research professor and
director of the Center for Planning and
Development at the Georgia Institute
of Technology; provost and professor
of architecture at the Pratt Institute in
New York City; dean of the School of
Architecture and Urban Planning and
professor of urban planning at the
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee;
and James A. Ryder Professor of
Transportation and Planning and
associate dean of the School of Engineering and Environmental
Design at the University of Miami. He had also been a Senior
Fulbright Professor at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in
Bogota, Colombia.
Drawing upon his background in architecture and urban planning,
Dr. Catanese provided truly visionary leadership to FAU during
a period when public education began to get caught in the
crossfire of a recessionary economy and changing national
priorities. The central challenge was to do more with less:
the demand for higher education was soaring as traditional
public funding sources were being cut back. Calling FAU “the
most exciting university in America,” Dr. Catanese pursued
an aggressive agenda that saw phenomenal growth across
the board, from the rapidly expanding student body to the
number of campuses offering a constantly broadening spectrum
of undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Much of
this growth was made possible by Dr. Catanese’s success as
a fundraiser. He presided over the University’s first capital
campaign, which brought in $199 million in donations and
pledges from private sources — close to double its original goal.
Dr. Catanese received a bachelor’s degree in city and regional
planning from Rutgers University, a master of urban planning
degree from New York University and a Ph.D. in urban and
regional planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In
2001, he was accorded one of the planning profession’s highest
honors when he was elected a Fellow of the American Institute
of Certified Planners. Just before leaving FAU to step into the
presidency of the Florida Institute of Technology, he was named
the most outstanding university president in the Southeastern
United States by the Council for Advancement and Support
of Education (CASE), the largest association of educational
institutions in the world.
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57
Anthony J. Catanese
The
Catanese
Presidency –
1990 to 2002
President Catanese and Richard L. Schmidt of the Schmidt Family
Foundation shake hands during the groundbreaking ceremony for
the Charles E. Schmidt Biomedical Science Center.
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