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Download Chapter 1 - The Beginning: The Oatmeal Club, Early 1960s (21.3 MB)

Download Chapter 2 - The Opening of the University (4.3 MB)

Download Chapter 3 - The Abraham Fischler Presidency (12.8 MB)

Download Chapter 4 - The Goodwin Trust and the Disappearance of the Research Vessel Gulf Stream (4.6 MB)

Download Chapter 5 - End to the NYIT Merger (453 KB)

Download Chapter 6 - Stabilization and Expansion: 1986-1998 (13.1 MB)

Download Chapter 7 - Merger with Southeastern University of the Health Sciences (2.0 MB)

Download Chapter 8 - The Ray Ferrero Jr. Presidency (2.2 MB)

Download Chapter 9 - The Hanbury Era: 2010 - Present (2.2 MB)

Download Color Illustrations (60.8 MB)

Download Notes (467 KB)

Download Bibliography and Author's Biography (439 KB)

Download Index (476 KB)


Nova Southeastern University is a flourishing university with a fascinating past. Arising from the shared dream of local community businessmen in Broward County, Florida, the university was chartered in 1964. At the time, it had no buildings to its name--just an empty plot of land and a dedicated group of visionary advocates.

On the fiftieth anniversary of NSU’s founding, this book tells the amazing story of what is now one of the largest not-for-profit universities in the United States. Today, Nova Southeastern University serves more than 27,000 students and has produced more than 150,000 alumni. Its main campus in Fort Lauderdale is beautifully landscaped, with modern classroom buildings, an array of student housing options, state-of-the-art athletic facilities, and a unique joint-use library, the largest library building in the state of Florida. Through distance-learning and travel study programs, NSU’s presence extends throughout the United States and around the world.

Using interviews with present and past NSU presidents, faculty, administrators, staff, students, and even NSU’s original founders, award-winning historian Dr. Julian Pleasants provides an insider's view of the story behind the school. He re-creates the scene of a meeting one night in the 1960s when local businessman Jack Hines pounded on a dining room table and said, "We've just got to have a university." Against all odds, they succeeded. Dr. Pleasants describes the arrival of NSU's very first graduate students, reveals the internal conflicts that challenged the school’s program development, and related the frightening brush with bankruptcy that threatened to close the doors of the young university forever.

The personal testimonies are backed by a wealth of primary sources, including board of trustees minutes, unpublished manuscripts, administrative documents, and presidential papers from the NSU archives. Rare photographs offer a glimpse into the early history, culture, and architecture of the university. The Making of Nova Southeastern University shows how this unique school overcame tremendous odds in just five decades to become an innovative leader in higher education and ushers in NSU’s next fifty years of growth and creativity.



Publication Date



Nova Southeastern University


Fort Lauderdale


Nova Southeastern University History, Nova University History, Nova University of Advanced Technology History, Higher Education, George L. Hanbury, Raymond Ferrero, Ovid Lewis, Stephen Feldman, Abraham Fischler, Warren Winstead, Morton Terry, Alexander Schure, Gulf Stream (Research Vessel), Goodwin Trust, New York Institute of Technology, Southeastern University of the Health Sciences


Education | Higher Education Administration

The Making of Nova Southeastern University: A Tradition of Innovation, 1964-2014