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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla., Aug. 22, 2022 -- A burgeoning collaboration between St. Thomas University (STU) and America's most admired automotive retailer, AutoNation, has already yielded big things. Just travel north from Opa-Locka to Miami Gardens on NW 37th Avenue, near the STU campus, or come in for a landing at MIA or Opa-Locka Executive Airport. You cannot miss the massive scoreboard and iconic DRV PNK digital license plate that surrounds it. The 50 by 32-foot scoreboard anchors STU's new turf athletic field that serves the University's football, women's flag football, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's rugby, and women's lacrosse programs this year.

The new field, which will be known as "AutoNation Field," will be dedicated on Wednesday, August 24 at 4:30pm during a large-scale public ribbon-cutting event at the University. The event will also serve as a "welcome back" party for over 1,800 undergraduate STU students, 38% of whom are Black/African American and 36% of whom are Hispanic/Latino. Close to half of the University's incoming first-year students will be first-generation college students, and 70% of them are eligible for Federal Pell Grants which are awarded to students with exceptional financial need.

"Both the DRVPNK scoreboard and the new turf field are part of a bigger plan that the University and AutoNation have developed to ensure that we are producing winners in the classroom and on the field of play," said STU President Armstrong.

Armstrong credits AutoNation Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Experience Officer and new STU Trustee, Marc Cannon, with the bold vision that led to the creation of the scoreboard, the field, and several ancillary programs that support the development of the whole student—body, mind, and spirit.

"The corporate ethos of AutoNation aligns so well with STU's mission to educate ethical leaders for our global community," Armstrong asserted. "We both believe that learning takes place in a number of places—in the classroom, on the field, in the residence hall, during internships—and these combined experiences will shape the next generation of corporate and civic leaders."

For his part, Cannon is confident that AutoNation's sizeable investment at STU will have a transformational impact on both the campus community and the surrounding area.

"I wanted this to be a BIG endeavor: big for the university, its students, and big for Miami Gardens and the surrounding communities." Cannon emphasized, "Keep an eye on what happens beneath that big DRVPNK scoreboard. I am confident that there, you will soon see young people from the area playing youth soccer and football; and most certainly, the more they play there, the more they, too, will aspire to college."

The partnership with AutoNation is among the many big things happening at STU over the last four years: Big enrollment increases (up 80% since President David A. Armstrong, J.D.'s tenure began in 2018); big campus additions (over 409,000 square feet of learning, living, and athletic space has been added to the campus); and, big announcements (a Center for Social Justice named for famed civil rights attorney Benjamin L. Crump was launched at the STU College of Law).

If you ask President Armstrong about the growth, he is quick to respond that STU "is just getting started." Big partnerships, big impact, and bigger things to come.

About St. Thomas University

St. Thomas University (STU) is a private, non-profit Catholic institution committed to the academic and professional success of its students who become ethical leaders in our global community. Rich with cultural and international diversity, STU is the only Catholic archdiocesan-sponsored university in Florida. On our beautiful campus and online, the university's College of Science, College of Law, Gus Machado College of Business and Biscayne College offer 61 undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate degree programs.

About AutoNation, Inc. 

AutoNation, a provider of personalized transportation services, is driven by innovation and transformation. As one of America's most admired companies, AutoNation delivers a peerless Customer experience recognized by data-driven consumer insight leaders, Reputation and J.D. Power. Through its bold leadership and brand affinity, the AutoNation Brand is synonymous with "DRVPNK" and "What Drives You, Drives Us." AutoNation has a singular focus on personalized transportation services that are easy, transparent, and Customer-centric.

Please visit,, and, where AutoNation discloses additional information about the Company, its business, and its results of operations. Please also visit, AutoNation's automotive blog, for information regarding the AutoNation community, the automotive industry, and current automotive news and trends.  


Carlos de Yarza, VP of Marketing & Communications, 786.897.1107, [email protected] 
Marc Cannon, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Experience Officer, 954.769.3146, [email protected]

SOURCE St. Thomas University