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March 04, 2013

Fla. University Stands By Prison Firm's Naming-Rights Gift

Florida Atlantic University officials say they will follow through with plans to rename the campus football field GEO Stadium after a $6-million donation by a controversial operator of for-profit prisons, NPR reports.

The naming-rights deal with GEO Group, announced last month, has generated protests from students and faculty at the Boca Raton institution. GEO, also based in Boca Raton, faces accusations of abuse and neglect of inmates at some of its facilities.

Meeting Friday with critics of the agreement, Florida Atlantic President Mary Jane Saunders called the deal "a closed book" and called the GEO contribution "a gift given with love." The firm's chairman, George Zoley, is a Florida Atlantic alumnus and a former head of the university's board of trustees.