FAU receives $3 million donation from the Rocco and Mary Abessinio Foundation to renovate, rename basketball arena

This donation is the fifth largest commitment to FAU Athletics.


Dusty May’s first year as head coach brought the Owls first winning record since the 2010-11 season. Photo by: Alexander Rodriguez

Zachary Weinberger, Sports Editor

“The Burrow,” FAU’s basketball and volleyball arena, will be renamed and renovated following a $3 million donation from the Rocco and Mary Abessinio Foundation.


The official title for the facility will be “The Abessinio Court at FAU Arena” after the Board of Trustees (BOT) approved the plans on Tuesday. The $3 million will go toward “renovations and operational support,” the BOT agenda said. According to a FAU Athletics press release, the $3 million dollar donation is the fifth largest commitment to the department.


“We are extremely grateful for this generous gift from the Abessinio Foundation,” Vice President and Director of Athletics Brian White said in a statement. “This gift is transformational for our athletic department and university. This gift will help us provide an environment and atmosphere for our student-athletes that will foster their growth and development on the court, which is a vital aspect of the student-athlete experience.”  


The Abessinios aren’t new to the world of FAU Athletics, as the Boca Raton residents were one of the original donors to FAU football program. The donation came from their credit card account servicing company, Applied Card Systems.


“We were proud to be FAU Football Founders and the major sponsor of FAU’s first football game against Slippery Rock University,” The Abessinios said in a statement. “We are excited at the progress being made under President Kelly and hope that this gift will be another stepping stone in bringing FAU into national prominence.”


The donation follows FAU basketball’s first winning season since the 2010-11’s under first-year head coach Dusty May. They went 17-16 (8-10 in the conference) and were awarded a bid in the Collegeinsider.com tournament.


Zachary Weinberger is the sports editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @ZachWeinberger