In a time of cultural unsettlement, Palm Beach Atlantic University was founded in 1968 as a coeducational Christian liberal arts university. The first classes at Palm Beach Atlantic University, formerly Palm Beach Atlantic College named for its location in the Palm Beaches, were held in the fall of 1968 in downtown West Palm Beach at 1101 South Olive Avenue in the former facilities of the First Baptist Church. PBA held its first graduation in the spring of 1972 and later that year received initial accreditation from the regional accrediting association.
Over the years, Palm Beach Atlantic has expanded to approximately 29 acres of land from the Intracoastal Waterway west along Okeechobee Boulevard to Dixie Highway, south to Jefferson Street, and back east to the waterway but all began with the first building, the Lassiter Student Center, which was occupied in 1983.
Currently, PBA's main campus is located on Flagler Drive with stunning views of the Intracoastal, and steps away from Palm Beach.
On Founders Day we will gather for a special chapel ceremony to look back, thanking God for working through our dedicated founders to establish Palm Beach Atlantic University. Together, we will worship and celebrate God’s faithfulness for the truly miraculous ways He has directed, preserved and prospered this Christ-first university. We want to honor those bold founders, and also honor all the other faithful supporters, faculty and staff who have made that dream come true.
Faith in God, Country at Core of PBA
Throughout PBA's history, the university has expanded in acreage, facilities and student growth but there has been one constant: the three guiding principles. Palm Beach Atlantic University was founded on the teachings of Christ, the drive to instill a love for the country, American values and the free enterprise economic system, and finally, community service. Those three guiding principles allowed the PBA community to prosper into what it is today: a community of leaders that follow the path of Christ. Read more about PBA's history in Miracle and Wonders.
"In the early years, Dr. Donald Warren has been fond of a simple axiom: "Do not follow where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail." In conjunction with that saying came the biblical admonition, "In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct thy paths." From the early days of "Make-Do-U" to the days of wireless Internet access and state-of-the-art facilities, the men and women who worked and supported Palm Beach Atlantic University never deviated from that path."
- Excerpt from "Guided by God's Hand: PBA's First 35 Years"
Dr. Debra A. Schwinn
2020 - Present