In Memoriam: Our Namesake, Harvey Sandler

(L-R) Gary Rubin (son-in-law), Harvey Sandler, Robin Rubin (daughter), Phyllis Sandler (spouse), Amy Ross (daughter), David Ross (son-in-law)

With heavy hearts, we would like to express our deepest sympathy and condolences to the Sandler family for the untimely passing of Harvey Sandler, a pillar of our Palm Beach County community and specifically our School. In 2017, Harvey Sandler, along with his wife, Phyllis, generously donated $7 million to the School of Social Work, thus naming and endowing The Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work at Florida Atlantic University.

Words cannot describe the loss we are feeling within our School and College at this time. Harvey Sandler and the entire Sandler family have continually supported the School with their transformative gift, compassion, kindness and generosity. Carrying Harvey’s vision, their generous gift has allowed for the renovation and expansion of our facilities that include a state-of-the-art auditorium, a student study lounge, additional classrooms to accommodate the growth of our academic programs, and a future center for Substance Use Disorder and Recovery Research. In addition to the naming and endowing of our School, the Sandler family has been integral to the funding of students’ scholarships through the annual Phyllis Sandler Heart of Social Work event, which is the School’s largest fundraiser. Additionally, students who are actively involved in community service efforts receive direct support from the Sandler Family Scholarship. Furthermore, Harvey and Phyllis’s daughter, Robin Rubin, has recently established the Robin Rubin Center for Happiness and Life Enhancement within the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work. This center aims to offer programming for students, faculty, staff and community members to enrich, nurture, and improve their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Harvey and Phyllis’s legacy thrives throughout the Boca Raton and surrounding community. Their legacy includes naming the Phyllis & Harvey Sandler Center at the Levis JCC, the Harvey & Phyllis Sandler Pavilion and the Sandler Medical Plaza at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, and so much more.  Harvey and Phyllis were members of the Federation’s Ketubah Society, and The Federation’s Sandler Family Major Gifts Event was named in their honor.

We could not be more honored that Harvey and Phyllis Sandler chose to support our School because they saw the difference it makes in the community and the world. Each and every one of our faculty, students, alumni and community partners helps to carry on their legacy of giving to and transforming our community.  We are eternally grateful for Harvey’s and his family’s legacy and their belief that the world can be a better place by educating and training social workers devoted and committed to the service of those who are most vulnerable in our society.  We cannot fully express our admiration for their continued service and support to our School and the surrounding community.

Our hearts and prayers are with Harvey’s beloved family, who were the center of his life, including his wife, Phyllis Sandler, his children, Robin Rubin (husband, Gary), Amy Ross (husband, David) and Larry Schumacher (wife, Andrea), in our community, and Ricky Sandler, and Andrew Sandler (wife, Aurily) of New York, all who continue Harvey’s passion for philanthropy and community building. Harvey also had 17 grandchildren who share his commitment to helping others, and three great-grandchildren.


As a way to continue Harvey’s legacy, the Sandler family has encouraged donations be made in memoriam for Harvey Sandler to the Phyllis & Harvey Sandler School of Social Work.

Make a Memorial Donation

To make a donation via check, please make payable to FAU Foundation, Inc. and write your desired fund designation on the memo line (“Social Work General Fund” or “Heart of Social Work”). Then please mail your check to:

FAU Foundation, Inc.
777 Glades Road, ADM 295
Boca Raton, FL 33431