Christine E. Lynn gives largest gift in university history

Christine E. Lynn and Kevin Ross

Christine E. Lynn, chair of the board of trustees of Lynn University, and one of the country’s leading philanthropists, has given $15 million for the construction of the Christine E. Lynn University Center.

Preliminary rendering by Gensler
Christine E. Lynn University Center—preliminary architectural renderings by Gensler

President Kevin M. Ross’ surprise announcement at the annual State of the University address last October received a standing ovation: Lynn had just received the largest gift in its history to construct a much-needed university center at the heart of campus.

This gift empowers the university to accomplish its Lynn 2020 strategic objectives two years early, and propels total fundraising in support of the master plan in the last 10 years to more than $100 million.

Mrs. Lynn’s leadership gift provides other visionary individuals an opportunity to participate in this transformational project. Her gift will match every dollar donated up to $15 million.

By supporting this critical addition to the campus, donors who step forward to meet the match not only demonstrate their commitment to Lynn University, they also honor Mrs. Lynn.

A native of Norway, Christine E. Lynn was trained as a registered and surgical nurse in Oslo. In 1979, on a Norwegian cruise ship working as a head nurse, she met Boca Raton insurance magnate Eugene M. Lynn. They married in 1980, and she began longtime residency in Boca Raton.

Eugene Lynn’s friendship with the university and then-President Donald E. Ross started back in 1974. He received an honorary degree in 1978 and served on Lynn’s board of trustees from 1989 until his death in 1999.

In 1991, the College of Boca Raton was renamed Lynn University in honor of Eugene and Christine’s many years of generous support. That same year, Mrs. Lynn received an honorary degree.

The Lynns’ generosity has been responsible for the construction of several major buildings on the Lynn campus, including the College of International Communication, which opened in 1998; the Eugene M. and Christine E. Lynn Library; the E.M. Lynn Residence Center; and several other facilities across campus.

Mrs. Lynn has supported numerous healthcare and community organizations and has been recognized with various honors and awards including the Rotary International Outstanding Philanthropic Award for Leadership and its Paul Harris Fellow Award; The Signature of Life from The Wellness Community; admission to the Gables Society of the University of Miami; and the National Jewish Medical and Research Center Humanitarian Award.

In 2013, she received the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which pays homage to the immigrant experience as well as for individual achievement. It is given to a distinguished American citizen who exemplifies a life dedicated to community service, and who makes a better world for all of us. Past medalists include six U.S. presidents, Nobel Prize winners and leaders of industry, education, the arts, sports and government, along with everyday Americans who have made freedom and compassion part of their lives’ work.

In addition to being the chair of the Lynn University Board of Trustees, Christine E. Lynn serves as chair of the board of Lynn Insurance Group and the Boca Raton Regional Hospital Board of Trustees.

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