Press Releases | Academic Renewal

ACTA Recognizes Florida Atlantic University’s Phil Smith Center for Free Enterprise as Oasis of Excellence

August 12, 2020 by ACTA

Washington, DC – Florida Atlantic University’s (FAU) Phil Smith Center for Free Enterprise has been named an Oasis of Excellence for its commitment to the rigorous study of economics, capitalism, and leadership.

In 2014, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) began honoring outstanding programs at colleges and universities across the country that promote the study of American history, Western Civilization, free markets, and the Great Books. The Oases of Excellence project includes over 70 programs at a wide range of institutions and serves as a valuable resource for alumni and donors who are committed to supporting a traditional liberal arts education. 

“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, 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.”

The goal of the Phil Smith Center for Free Enterprise is to help undergraduate and graduate students understand the importance of free enterprise in our democratic society. The center, housed in the College of Business at FAU, supports endowed professorships, faculty research, educational programs, and on-campus events, including a lecture series. The Phil Smith Center hosts courses in four disciplines—economics, finance, management, and marketing—and emphasizes the five values that guided the business philosophy of the late Phil Smith: integrity, respect, principled risk-taking, mutually beneficial exchange, and accountability. 

Phil Smith, president and CEO of Phil Smith Management, passed away in 2016. Susan Smith, Mr. Smith’s widow, remarked, “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 the free enterprise system.”

ACTA is proud to partner with a program that provides future leaders in both the private and public sector with the essential understanding of political and civic thought necessary to secure the health of constitutional government for generations to come.

“This kind of rigorous study will equip students to safeguard our freedoms and democracy,” said Michael Poliakoff, president of ACTA. “In an age too often sadly 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.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Connor Murnane
PHONE: (202) 798-5450


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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