Last month we reported that Florida Atlantic University reached a deal to name their football stadium after the GEO Group, a private prison company with several question marks relating to their treatment of inmates.
After much protest from the student body, the media, and general public the company has decided to withdraw the $6 million donation that led to the naming rights.
“What was originally intended as a gesture of GEO’s goodwill to financially assist the university’s athletic scholarship program has surprisingly evolved into an ongoing distraction to both of our organizations,” GEO Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer George Zoley said in a news release announcing the decision. “We employ many FAU graduates and Boca Raton community members. We take pride in running a well-respected company and are proud of our long-term support of the university.”
FAU President Mary Jane Sanders thanked GEO’s CEO and alum Greg Zoley for his support in a news release announcing the ended partnership.
“FAU alumnus and trustee emeritus George Zoley and his colleagues have been loyal supporters of this university,” Saunders said. “We are thankful for all of the companies, organizations and individuals who give to this university to support our mission, our pursuit of academic excellence and valuable contributions to this community.”
It was egregious off gate, that an institution of higher learning would agree to name their football stadium after a company that profits off of the imprisonment of people (often juveniles and immigrants), and having faced numerous human rights violations, has questionable business practices.
This victory goes to show the power in speaking up when things aren’t right, and that principles should not be compromised for the sake of profit. Cudos to all of those that let their voice be heard.