FIU Foundation News

Celebrating the Next Horizon

It may have been the only rainy Saturday in January of 2019, but that didn’t stop FIU in its pursuit of the Next Horizon!

On January 26, 2019, the FIU Foundation hosted a community-wide celebration in the Graham Center to commemorate the public launch of Next Horizon: The Campaign for FIU. With a goal to raise $750 million, this landmark comprehensive campaign is the university’s largest to date and focuses on two pillars: student success and research excellence. It is attracting support for the following objectives: increase scholarships and student support; optimize 21st-century teaching; advance a vibrant, healthy Miami; accelerate research and discoveries; and escalate discovery to enterprise. More than 1,500 alumni, students, faculty, donors and other members of the FIU community came out to celebrate the campaign, which represents a future of greater excellence and distinction for FIU.

First Look: Donor Appreciation Wall Unveiled on Campaign Kickoff Day

A fitting way to start a landmark day, the public kickoff of FIU’s Next Horizon campaign on January 26, 2019, began with a ceremony honoring those who made the day possible.

That morning, the FIU Foundation unveiled the university’s new Wall of Gratitude, which honors donors who have given $1 million or more to the university. Located on the first floor of the MARC building, it is the first donor wall celebrating those who are members of FIU’s lifetime giving societies — the pinnacle of generosity to the university.

Howard Lipman, CEO of the FIU Foundation Inc., addresses FIU’s leadership donors at the dedication of the new Wall of Gratitude.

“You share our vision and belief in the importance of a great public university in a great city,” said Howard Lipman, CEO of the foundation, at the unveiling ceremony. “Most of all, you share our commitment in making an impact, and through your magnificent philanthropy, you have made many dreams a reality.”

A total of 135 donors (individuals and organizations) are recognized on the wall, which includes members of the Presidential Society ($1 million or more), Trailblazer Society ($5 million or more) and Visionary Society ($10 million or more).

“The donors named on this wall are associated with landmark accomplishments,” said Burt Cabañas ’76, a co-chair of the campaign committee and vice chair of the FIU Foundation Board of Directors. “It showcases the crucial role that philanthropy has played in the development and distinction of our FIU – and the role that it will play in fulfilling our vision for the university.”

Shine a Light

At the Next Horizon Kickoff Celebration, attendees had the opportunity to check out more than 25 different interactive exhibits. Each one showcased the work occurring at a particular college or program within the university. Here’s a snapshot of exhibits that took place throughout the day.

Albert & Debbie Taño Medical Simulation Center

Housed within the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, the Albert & Debbie Taño Medical Simulation Center is a world-class, multidisciplinary training and research facility. Through simulators, the center is teaching the next generation of health practitioners, beginning in the pre-clinical first and second years and continuing throughout all four years of medical school training.

FIU Honors College Edge Lab

The Edge Lab is a makerspace within the Honors College that provides students with the opportunity to design and make creative materials, from conception to construction. At the Next Horizon Kickoff Celebration, the Edge Lab displayed 3D printing, laser scanners and a 3D scanner.

Medina Aquarius Program

The College of Arts, Sciences & Education is home to the only underwater research and education laboratory in the world. At the Aquarius undersea laboratory, the college trains astronauts to work in extreme environments, makes discoveries that will ensure the long-term health of our oceans, and takes classrooms around the world to the depths of the ocean via live virtual field trips.

Neurotechnology for Neurotrauma 

Developed by Dr. Ranu Jung and her Adaptive Neural Systems Laboratory team, the patented neural-enabled prosthetic hand system allows amputees to “feel” again. The hand, which was on display for attendees to experience, is implemented with a wirelessly controlled neurotransmitter.

Additional exhibits included:
Center for Children and Families • eyesontherise • STAR Center and CARE Center • Public Health Research • Ocean Exploration • Robotics Technologies for Inspection of Hazardous Environments and Infrastructure • Tech to Protect • Food Rescue/Social Responsibility • Forensic Science at FIU: Protecting Smart Devices Against Hackers • Revolutionizing Business-StartUP FIU • ¡Azucar! Cuban Culture & Music • Badia Spices Food Production Lab • FIU Libraries • Wall of Wind • The STEM Transformation Institute • Communication Corner & Poetry Pod • FIU Law • FIU Museums • Engineers on Wheels • FIU-Florida Advanced Surgical Transport Team • Green Family Foundation NeighborhoodHELP Mobile Health Care Center • Linda Fenner 3D Mobile Mammography Center • Alumni Association • Preeminent Programs • Annual Giving