Soar Magazine

Major gift highlights: Summer 2021

As the June 30 close of the fiscal year 2020-2021 approaches, the FIU Foundation is excited and grateful to announce it has already surpassed its fundraising goal of $79 million, bringing in $111.9 million in support for the university as of June 25, 2021. This achievement marks the third record-breaking fundraising year in a row for the FIU Foundation.

Take a look at some of the recent, major gifts the university has received. These gifts benefit the Next Horizon campaign, which has to date raised $680 million in support of student success and research excellence.

Accelerating FIU’s role in the Miami tech movement

With a flourishing College of Engineering & Computing (CEC), entrepreneurship incubator programs, and a student population predominately hailing from and intending to stay in South Florida, Florida International University has long been a major feeder for the Miami Tech movement.  

Now, with a $10 million investment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the university’s newly named Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences (KFSCIS) is poised to accelerate its role in developing technical talent at scale to meet the demands of industry and of Miamians seeking to advance their tech skills. The gift is coupled with an additional $106 million investment by FIU over 10 years, which will further support this advanced computation initiative and the construction of the new CEC building at the northwest corner of the Modesto Maidique Campus (set to commence this summer). 

The Knight Foundation’s investment will catalyze the development of the local tech ecosystem by attracting top faculty researchers in areas such as artificial intelligence, smart robotics, bioinformatics, biodevices, and digital forensics; increasing the number of FIU graduates entering these sectors; and strengthening collaboration with industry.  

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Celebrating and preserving Cuban culture

On behalf of the Mas family, Jorge Mas, one of the most prominent Cuban American business leaders in the United States, has made a $5 million lead gift to CasaCuba at Florida International University.
A founding member of the CasaCuba Board of Advisors and chairman of the Board and co-founder of MasTec, his gift will support the mission and construction of CasaCuba, the university’s center for the celebration and preservation of Cuban culture and the study of Cuban affairs.
The facility will feature galleries for a wide range of exhibits, as well as a state-of-the-art venue for events, classes, performances and dynamic programming. In recognition of the gift, the Mas family will have a named, permanent wing in CasaCuba.

René González Architects is now designing CasaCuba’s 57,000-square-foot facility on the University’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus. The iconic center will integrate the latest technologies to enable interactive and digital experiences across the space. CasaCuba will also house the Cuban Research Institute and promote engaging discussions that will bring together top scholars, policymakers and business leaders from around the globe.

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A forum for civic leadership

The Maurice A. Ferré Foundation has made a $2 million gift to Florida International University and pledged to raise additional funds, totaling $5.55 million, for the university to establish the Maurice A. Ferré Institute for Civic Leadership at the Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs.

The new institute will honor the life and work of its namesake and will address the critical matters of preparing diverse leadership for public service, increasing civic participation for a stronger democracy and promoting social justice. The institute’s research and scholarship will examine a wide range of issues championed by Ferré, who served as mayor of the City of Miami from 1973 to 1985, over the course of his distinguished career in public service.

The Ferré Institute will be located in the new SIPA Phase II building of the Green School, currently under construction, and have a dedicated reading room. Additionally, Ferré’s extensive personal library and archives collection will be donated to the institute. Chronicling a lifetime of public service, Ferré’s collection contains papers, correspondence, documents, awards and artifacts collected during his career and travels. The collection will be housed in the Special Collections and University Archives department of the Steven and Dorothea Green Library, offering permanent access for scholars, researchers and the public.

The Maurice A. Ferré Foundation will raise the balance of the $5.55 million from individuals and organizations committed to honoring Ferré’s legacy and championing the civic causes to which he dedicated his career.

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Training future construction professionals

Building on a commitment to cultivate a highly-trained workforce that will drive the innovative solutions of tomorrow, Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) and Florida International University (FIU) are collaborating to establish a state-of-the-art Technology Lab in FIU’s Moss School of Construction, Infrastructure and Sustainability.
The aim is to expand the university’s leadership and excellence in training and research in the realms of engineering, construction and the sustainable built environment.
The Trimble Technology Lab will provide students enrolled in the school, which is housed in FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing (CEC), hands-on experience with a wide breadth of Trimble solutions. The lab will expand the university’s access and expertise in project management, estimating, architectural modeling and design, structural analysis and design, Mechanical Electrical Plumbing (MEP) design, mixed reality and office-to-field solutions. The collaboration facilitates the integration of innovative technology into the school’s curricula and research endeavors, empowering future graduates to transform how buildings and living environments are designed and constructed around the world.

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