NSU Mourns H. Wayne Huizenga, Celebrates His Legacy

From the Office of the President:

Dear NSU Community,

It is with great sadness that I share with you that H. Wayne Huizenga, famed American entrepreneur and key supporter of Nova Southeastern University (NSU), passed away in Fort Lauderdale at the age of 80.

Wayne’s passing is being felt by so many in the NSU and South Florida communities who had the opportunity to work beside him, helping to make the university and international business community what they are today.

The namesake of the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship, he was an NSU Trustee Emeritus. Wayne, his late wife Marti, and their entire family made significant contributions to the university over the years, and just as importantly, helped lead the university with their examples of community leadership and philanthropy.

H. Wayne and Marti Huizenga sitting with NSU President Dr. George Hanbury

Wayne’s influence is part of the very fabric of our university, especially by inspiring our business students and university overall with his entrepreneurial vision. His legacy of support for higher education will continue to live on at NSU.

As an icon of business, Wayne was the first U.S. entrepreneur to launch three Fortune 500 companies — Waste Management, Blockbuster Entertainment and AutoNation. He was an American success story who personified the image of an entrepreneur.

His impact on South Florida has also been profound. He owned three major-league professional sports teams – the Miami Dolphins, Miami Marlins, and Florida Panthers. Huizenga was also founder of Boca Resorts, Inc., an owner and operator of luxury resorts in South Florida, and co-founder of Extended Stay America, which operated in the lodging industry in many areas around the United States.

Wayne’s wide-ranging community involvement has included membership in many civic organizations, including the Florida Council of 100, the Florida Council on Economic Education, the Salvation Army of Broward County and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County.

He is survived by his four children Ray, Pamela, Wayne Jr. and Scott, and 11 grandchildren.

Wayne was a consummate entrepreneur and humanitarian. And as Trustee Emeritus, he will always be loved by the NSU community. Wayne’s statue will be permanently sitting under a shade tree denoting the seeds of greatness he has planted throughout the university and our entire community.

George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D.

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