Lynn University is an American private university in Boca Raton, Florida founded in 1962. The university is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate's, baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees. It is named for the Lynn family (Christine E. and Eugene M. Lynn). It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,100, its setting is suburban, and the campus size is 123 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Lynn University's ranking in the 2015 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, Tier 2.
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The school first opened in 1962 as Marymount College, a women's junior college founded by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary (RSHM). In 1971, a period of transition began, and the school was placed under the control of a lay board. At that time, Donald E. Ross was named president. In 1974, the name was changed to the College of Boca Raton. The college was granted accreditation at Level II in 1986. In 1988, it was accredited at Level III. During this time it was transformed from a two-year school to a four-year college with a master's program.
The College of Boca Raton became Lynn University in 1991 to honor its benefactors, the Lynn family.
On July 1, 2006, Donald E. Ross retired after 35 years in as the university's president; Kevin M. Ross succeeded his father in office. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, the senior Ross received a total compensation of $5,738,422 in his final year of service, the highest of any university president in the United States.
On October 22, 2012, the university hosted the third and final 2012 U.S. Presidential Debate between U.S. President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney concerning U.S. foreign policy. The debate was held at the World Performing Arts Center and was moderated by journalist Bob Schieffer of CBS News.
Today the university has students from nearly all 50 U.S. states and approximately 80 nations. 24% of students come from countries outside the United States (percentage includes students with dual citizenship/residency), the largest percentage of any university in the southeastern United States.
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Lynn offers an undergraduate and graduate curriculum. Lynn offers more than 25 undergraduate degrees and 10 graduate degrees through its four colleges. Lynn's core curriculum, the Dialogues of Learning, was recognized by Inside Higher Education as an example of how colleges and universities can increase the rigor of their academic offerings and improve the comprehensive education of their students.
Founded in 1992 as the music division of the Harid Conservatory, the Conservatory of Music became part of Lynn University in January 1999. The conservatory presents more than 50 performances each year. The Lynn University Philharmonia Orchestra has been performing for the past 14 years. The orchestra is directed by Guillermo Figueroa.
Lynn's other academic programs include study abroad, internships and experiential learning opportunities.
Lynn University's athletic teams are known as the Fighting Knights. The university is a NCAA Division II institution, the college's athletic teams participate in the Sunshine State Conference (SSC). Lynn University teams have won a total of 21 NCAA and NAIA national championships, and 30 Sunshine State Conference championships. Men's varsity sports are baseball, basketball, golf, lacrosse, soccer and tennis. Women's varsity sports are basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis and volleyball. Lynn University announced it will add lacrosse for the 2014 season. The sport will be the third addition in recent years, after the university added women's cross country and swimming in 2012.
In 2003-2004, Donald E. Ross was once paid a salary over $5,000,000 according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, making him at the time the highest paid college president. As noted in the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Lynn University retained the national accounting firm, KPMG, to determine an equitable retirement compensation package for Dr. Ross considering his performance and 35-year term of service (most of which was spent without significant retirement benefits). This was a third of the endowment for the college.