Accelerating Our Progress
FIU Foundation Annual Report
Message From Leadership
Dear FIU Family,
Florida International University continued its remarkable rise this past year, meeting head on the formidable challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic while remaining resolute to provide our students with exceptional learning opportunities and generating knowledge that uplifts our world.
The FIU Foundation embodies and advances this institutional ethos, and with the support of our many champions and friends, fundraising in the 2020-2021 fiscal year reached new heights. We are proud to share that for the first time, FIU raised more than $100 million – a total of $114.2 million, far surpassing our $79 million annual goal.
The meaningful impact that FIU makes in the lives of our students, which includes more than 270,000 who are now alumni, was acknowledged by a historic $40 million gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott and husband Dan Jewett. They recognized our emphasis on student success and highly effective strategies to educate a diverse student body. Further, our laser focus on enabling our students to succeed ranked us No. 1 among public universities in the state according to Florida Board of Governors metrics, and we jumped 17 spots to No. 78 among public universities in the nation in the U.S. News & World Report rankings. In this report, you can read about many other major gifts and achievements that are accelerating the advancement of FIU.
We are grateful for your support and belief in our mission. Thanks to you, Next Horizon: The Campaign for FIU reached $682 million, 91 percent of our $750 million goal, by the close of the fiscal year.
Beyond these prodigious fundraising achievements, our real pride lies with the impact that Next Horizon has already made and will continue to have for years to come. The transformational scholarship support and innovative programs we provide to our amazing students, our research programs devising real-world solutions to complex problems, and initiatives to advance our Miami community – they all make a difference in countless lives.
Your philanthropy is the decisive factor that drives our progress. Your investments raise the bar for what’s possible, redefining the trajectory for our FIU, Miami’s only public research university. Again, our deepest thanks for your generosity and partnership.
Humberto “Burt” Cabañas ’76
Chairperson, Board of Directors
Howard R. Lipman
Chief Executive Officer
Invest in the Next
As we navigated past uncertainty, FIU’s supporters made possible our best year yet.
$40 MILLION unrestricted gift from philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott and husband Dan Jewett to support student success programs
$10 MILLION from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to name the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences and to develop technical talent to meet the demands of industry and Miamians seeking to advance their tech skills
$5 MILLION lead gift from Jorge Mas and family to support the mission and construction of FIU CasaCuba, the university’s center for the celebration and preservation of Cuban culture and the study of Cuban affairs
$4.63 MILLION from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support The Commons for Justice project, which will seek solutions to address racial and ethnic disparities among vulnerable communities in preparing for and recovering from a disaster
$2.5 MILLION from the Philip E. & Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation to FIU’s Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator to develop diverse, entrepreneurial leaders in the creative sector and boost South Florida’s economy
$5.55 MILLION from the Maurice A. Ferré Foundation to establish the Maurice A. Ferré Institute for Civic Leadership at the Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs
$1.7 MILLION from the Truist Foundation to the College of Business to expand the reach of the Truist FIU Financial Wellness Clinic to eight local high schools and make its curriculum available to schools in at least 140 cities
$1 MILLION from Bank of America to help minority students successfully complete education and training necessary to enter the workforce after graduation
$1 MILLION from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to FIU’s Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab for a project to collect, digitize, and preserve the oral histories of South Floridians to ensure voices in communities that have been historically silenced or marginalized are heard
Times Higher Education ranked FIU among the top 10 public universities in the U.S. in nine categories and among the top 50 U.S. public universities in every category in its 2021 Impact Rankings, based on United Nations criteria.
Philanthropy propels the progress of FIU, strengthening the future of our students and leading-edge research addressing real-world challenges.
Transformational $40M Gift Will Further Boost Student Success Programs
Recognizing FIU’s commitment to advancing student success, philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott and husband Dan Jewett made a $40 million gift to FIU. The unrestricted gift will be used to support student success programs.
“Higher education is a proven pathway to opportunity, so we looked for 2- and 4-year institutions successfully educating students who come from communities that have been chronically underserved,” Scott wrote when announcing the gift.
Their research team observed the success of FIU’s strategies and programs serving a diverse population, first-generation students, and Pell Grant recipients. U.S. News & World Report has ranked FIU No. 13 for social mobility among public universities.
FIU will invest in programs that have fueled student success, developed with integrated and proactive student advocacy and focused on academic and career programmatic support systems, such as the STEM Transformation Institute, the Mastery Math Lab, and the largest learning assistant program in the nation, as well as Connect4Success partnerships that seamlessly guide students through the state’s college system and transfer to FIU.
“At some point in the past few years, FIU became the engine that drives South Florida,” said FIU Board of Trustees Chair Dean C. Colson. “This gift is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform our university, create greater opportunity for our diverse student body, and in the process, make an important contribution toward the betterment of our community.”
FIU is one of the top 100 public universities in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report rankings. The International Business program came in at No. 2 in the nation for the second consecutive year. This is the highest-ranked program of any university in Florida. The Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine was ranked No. 3 in Most Diverse Medical Schools among U.S. medical schools.
Scholarships Provide Vital Edge
International Relations major
and Honors College student
Alumnus Assists Next Generation Of Psychology Students
Fueled by a decades-long interest in Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis – sparked during his FIU studies – and amid a successful career as a small business owner, psychology alumnus Joseph Carvelli II ’75 was interested in giving back to his alma mater while advancing today’s research in psychology.
So, he decided to create an endowment at FIU that will support a scholarship benefiting Honors College students studying psychology. He recently added to his gift, creating a research fellowship for graduate psychology students in the Cognitive Neuroscience and Clinical Science doctoral programs.
Carvelli is grateful to be in a position to give back to FIU’s Psychology program, which prepared him for a 40-year career matching people’s personalities and skill sets with businesses’ staffing needs. He owns the South Florida-based recruitment agency Your Staffing Source, Inc.
“I wanted to help people help themselves – the motivated and driven students in psychology who are serious about their major, but they just need some assistance to meet their goals,” he said.
Alumna Faculty Member Honors Late Friend With Named Scholarship
Comrie and Caraballo became friends during their doctoral studies in FIU’s Department of Public Policy and Administration in the Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs, and both went on to join the department’s faculty.
“She was a very innovative educator… She believed everybody learns in a different way, and it’s not fair to judge them based on what they don’t know,” Caraballo said about Comrie, a champion for access to education who dedicated her career as a principal to and was a fierce advocate for underrepresented children. “I hope we can continue her life’s work of making a difference for students.”
Caraballo’s gift created the Dr. Donna Comrie Memorial Scholarship Endowment, which supports non-traditional students, such as single parents and lifelong learners, with demonstrated experience in or a commitment to working with the African Diaspora and/or those who have demonstrated interest in women’s rights and issues.
Alumni Giving Fuels Potential Of Today’s Students
Whether through Panther spirit or by giving back, alumni constitute FIU’s largest support base at 270,000 graduates and counting. Over FIU’s relatively short history (opening doors to the first class in 1972), alumni have given $74.6 million to their alma mater, supporting scholarships and initiatives that reach every corner of the institution.
Alumni giving fuels not just the potential of FIU’s hard-working students; it plays an important role in the university’s ranking by U.S. News & World Report. Regardless of the size of a gift, alumni participation is vital to the university’s standing and continued progress. This year, alumni gave more than $4.39 million. Among them, 100 percent of alumni who are faculty and staff members at FIU gave back through the Ignite Campaign. Gifts made by alumni often reflect their passions and the FIU experiences that impacted their own lives.
College of Business alumna Jacqueline Cecile Williams ’94, CPA, made a planned gift to FIU to establish a scholarship that will bolster the future pipeline of minority, female accountants. Inspired by the financial support and guidance she received as a student preparing to break into accounting, Williams knew she would one day want to pay it forward. After seeing the difficulties the COVID-19 pandemic caused for so many people, particularly students, she decided to act.
“I’ve always wanted to inspire others, and as a minority woman striving to accomplish the highest of whatever it is that I do, I also wanted to make sure I support students fighting for that same dream,” Williams said.
With a recent gift to establish the Ruth Andrade–Jose Alberto Maldonado Zavala Scholarship Endowment, computer science alumnus and first-generation college graduate Jose Maldonado ’17 became one of the first members of FIU’s Pathway to Philanthropist program. The scholarship will benefit first-generation students in the Honors College, of which Maldonado is a graduate, with preference given to freshmen who plan to pursue a degree in computer science or engineering.
As FIU’s momentum in the burgeoning Miami Tech movement continues to accelerate, more and more students are entering the tech field armed with FIU educations that have prepared them to excel in this ever-evolving industry.
“By investing in the people and university that will continue powering this movement forward,” Maldonado says he hopes to play a part in its success, as FIU played an integral role in his.
$10M Investment From Knight Foundation
Powers Tech Boom
A $10 million investment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is accelerating FIU’s role in the burgeoning South Florida tech industry. The newly renamed Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences – already the region’s leader in turning out tech graduates – will expand to meet the increased need for expert personnel as the area undergoes a tech boom.
FIU is committed to investing an additional $106 million over the next decade in this advanced computation initiative, which includes the construction of a new multidisciplinary engineering building on the corner of Southwest 8th Street and 107th Avenue on FIU’s main campus.
The Knight Foundation’s investment will catalyze FIU further contributing to the local tech ecosystem by attracting top faculty researchers and strengthening collaboration with industry. The school is a leader statewide in federal research funding for computer science.
“FIU is invested in the people of Miami and providing them the tools to succeed in the local and global tech and innovation economy,” said Raul Moas, director of Knight’s Miami program. “They are boosting the supply of exceptional talent – which when combined with accessible capital – help entrepreneurship and innovation thrive. In collaboration with FIU, Knight is also betting big on Miami’s greatest asset, its people, who increasingly seek to contribute to the city as tech entrepreneurs and venture builders.”
The Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the State University System, placed FIU first in its annual, performance-based funding rankings, conferring a score of 97 – the highest score given to any university in the history of this funding model.
Addressing The Inequities Of Vulnerable, Marginalized Communities
The Commons for Justice project, funded by a $4.63 million grant through 2023, is looking for solutions to address disparities in preparing for a disaster and increasing the ability of vulnerable communities, including Black and Hispanic populations, to survive and recover. The project is in collaboration with 10 community organizations and two FIU museums.
The Community Data Curation: Preserving, Creating, and Narrating Everyday Stories project, funded by a $1 million Mellon grant, leverages FIU’s Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab’s partnerships with eight South Florida organizations to help digitize and preserve the stories of South Floridians. The Wolfsonian will work with student interns to record oral histories and provide training and technical equipment, so the projects are sustainable and remain accessible to the entire community.
FIU was designated as a university of distinction for environmental resilience by the State University System of Florida Board of Governors. Spearheaded by the work of its Institute of Environment, FIU is a leader in comprehensive research and restoration efforts in the Everglades and Biscayne Bay.
Global Survey Led By FIU Reveals Sharks Are Functionally Extinct From Many Reefs
A landmark study by Global FinPrint, a Paul G. Allen Family Foundation-funded initiative led by FIU researchers, revealed sharks are absent on many of the world’s coral reefs, indicating they are functionally extinct — too rare to fulfill their normal role in the ecosystem.
Of the 371 reefs surveyed in 58 countries, sharks were not observed on nearly 20 percent, indicating a widespread decline that has gone undocumented on this scale until now. This benchmark for the status of reef sharks around the world reveals an alarming global loss of these iconic species that are important food resources, tourism attractions, and top predators on coral reefs. The Global FinPrint team also identified conservation measures that could lead to recovery of these predators.
“Although our study shows substantial negative human impacts on reef shark populations, it’s clear the central problem exists in the intersection between high human population densities, destructive fishing practices, and poor governance,” said Demian Chapman, Global FinPrint co-lead, associate professor in FIU’s Department of Biological Sciences, and researcher in the Institute of Environment. “We found that robust shark populations can exist alongside people when those people have the will, the means, and a plan to take conservation action.”
Said Jody Allen, co-founder and chair of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, “The data collected from the first ever worldwide survey of sharks on coral reefs can guide meaningful, long-term conservation plans for protecting the reef sharks that remain.”
The university had $236.84 million in sponsored research expenditures, up nearly 5 percent from 2019 to 2020. FIU holds the highest research classification, Carnegie Research 1-Very High Research Activity.
FIU Casacuba: A Center For Cuban Culture
Landmark gifts and attendant developments last year brought FIU CasaCuba closer to becoming a reality. On behalf of the Mas family, Jorge Mas, one of the most prominent Cuban American business leaders in the nation, made a $5 million gift to the university’s center for the celebration and preservation of Cuban culture and the study of Cuban affairs. A founding member of the FIU CasaCuba Board of Advisors and chairman of the board and co-founder of MasTec, his gift will support the mission and construction of FIU CasaCuba.
“We make this gift in tribute to those who, like my father, did not live to see a free Cuba. My late father taught us that Cubans are un solo pueblo, one people — the Cubans on the island and the Cubans in exile,” Mas said. “We are blessed to help build this home for all Cubans.” A gift from Bacardi USA will also support programming and future construction of FIU CasaCuba.
The forthcoming 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. René Gonzalez Architects is designing the facility on FIU’s main campus.
Endowed Chair In DEI Established At Chaplin School
Brian Barker was appointed the first endowed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) professor in the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. Barker is focused on development of DEI curriculum and content, expansion of the mentoring program, establishing the Chaplin School as a resource for DEI and change in the industry, and building and leading a multi-institutional alliance. The endowed chair was established through generous seed funding from Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits. Barker has over 13 years of hospitality industry experience, and most recently, was at DePaul University’s School of Hospitality Leadership.
FIU Foundation Creates Office Of Inclusive Philanthropy
To support the university-wide effort to strengthen equity and inclusion at FIU and be at the forefront of inclusive philanthropy, the FIU Foundation pulled together its team of diverse development officers to focus on philanthropic investment in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
The FIU Foundation Office of Inclusive Philanthropy (FOIP) brings together development professionals, community, and industry partners from diverse backgrounds to inform, implement, and evaluate philanthropic strategy and programming that promotes systemic change. This includes scholarships and wrap-around support services for students, increased faculty diversity, strong and inclusive advisory board governance, social equity research, cultural competence trainings, and improved health and education outcomes.
“The future of philanthropy is being driven by strategic emphasis on the core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Howard Lipman, CEO of the FIU Foundation. “The FIU Foundation is dedicated to advancing major initiatives across the university, including the institutional emphasis on these core values.”
In the wake of 2020’s nationwide social justice movement and following the university’s announcement of its Equity Action Initiative, which FOIP is supporting in its endeavors, FIU raised $16 million for diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives during the last fiscal year.
Maurice A. Ferré Institute To Prepare Leadership For Public Service, Increase Civic Involvement
Through the creation of the Maurice A. Ferré Institute for Civic Leadership, Mayor Ferré’s legacy of leadership and service will carry on to a new generation. The Maurice A. Ferré Foundation pledged $5.55 million to establish the institute, which is part of the Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs.
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.
“This gift will help prepare our FIU graduates to become citizens who will effect positive social change in local and global communities, following the example set forth by Mayor Ferré, who was a true role model of public service for our civic-minded students,” said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg.
Snapshot of Giving
Fiscal Year 2020-2021
Florida International University Foundation And Subsidiaries
Statement of Net Position
Liabilities And Net Position
Statement of Revenues, Expenses and Changes in Net Position
Building for the Future
With $488.5 million in total assets, a portion of which is endowed to support academic initiatives, the Foundation provided approximately $30.0 million, including the state match on the First Generation Scholarship Program, in fiscal year 2020-2021 to advance FIU’s mission. Funds were used to support a diverse student population, exceptional faculty, cutting-edge research, modern facilities, and collaborative engagement with our local and global communities.
The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors of highly dedicated leadership volunteers; they are listed on the following pages.
Foundation Support of FIU Programs
Foundation’s Investment Portfolio Allocation
|Asset Class||June 30, 2021 Allocation||Asset Characteristics|
|Public Equity||64.5%||Capital appreciation, global diversification; highly liquid|
|Private Equity||15.4%||High return potential; illiquid|
|Real Assets||4.2%||Capital appreciation and income generation; various levels of illiquidity|
|Hedge Funds||5.6%||Absolute return potential; semi-liquid|
|High Quality Bonds and Cash||10.3%||Capital preservation and limited income generation; highly liquid|
Investing In The Future Of FIU
The nation’s most prestigious universities are consistently assessed by the size of their endowments. The creation of an endowment is one of the highest demonstrations of a donor’s abiding belief in FIU and commitment to ensure its vibrant future. As the financial bedrock of the university’s drive to build excellence, endowments are vital to create and sustain important initiatives – scholarships, fellowships, faculty positions, and programs – in perpetuity. When a donor invests in FIU to establish an endowment, it creates a legacy that will provide permanent income to support a meaningful project while preserving the principal of the endowment. Any investment return over allowed spending is channeled back into the fund to increase growth.
Endowment Market Value
FIU Foundation | 2020 - 2021 Board of Directors
Humberto “Burt” Cabañas ’76
Founder & Chairman
Adalio T. Sanchez ’87
S Group Advisory, LLC
Andre L. Teixeira ’92, MAcc ’93
The Graham Companies
EVP & Chief Financial Officer
Finance Committee, Chair
Jill M. Granat, Esq. ’87
Restaurant Brands International
Legal and Bylaws Special Committee, Chair
Immediate Past Chairperson
Richard Brilliant ’93
Chief Audit Officer, Risk Advisory
& Assurance Services
Chief Executive Officer
Howard R. Lipman
Steven M. Berwick, CPA ’74
Kaufman, Rossin & Co., P.A.
Audit & Litigation Consulting Principal
Audit Sub-Committee, Chair
Juan R. Figuereo ’81
Revlon Products Corporation
Retired, EVP & Chief Financial Officer
Finance Committee, Vice Chair
Foundation Enterprise Growth Committee Chair
Gerald C. Grant, Jr. ’78, MBA ’89
AXA Advisors, LLC
Branch Director of Financial Planning
Michael A. Kappitt ’92
Chief Operating & Insights Officer
Campaign & Foundation Marketing, Chair
Juan J. Martinez ’90, MAcc ’93
James L. Knight Foundation
Vice President, CFO, Treasurer
Investment Sub-Committee, Chair
Chad Moss ’94
Moss & Associates
Executive Vice President
Moss Foundation, Inc., President
Athletics Sub-Committee, Chair
Mark B. Rosenberg
Florida International University
Elliot N. Stone
Royal Castle Builders, LLC
Real Estate Sub-Committee, Chair
Albert R. Taño, MD
Kidz Medical Services, Inc.
President & Medical Director
Membership & Board Management Committee, Chair
Stewart L. Appelrouth, CPA, MS ’80
Appelrouth, Farah & Co., P.A.
Agustin R. Arellano, Sr.
Carmel J. Barrau, MD, FACP
Unihealth of South Florida, Inc.
Trish and Dan Bell
Bell Family Foundation
Membership & Board Management Committee, Vice Chairs
John M. Bussel
Team Hewins, LLC
Principal, Senior Financial Advisor,
Chief Investment Officer
Governmental Relations Committee, Vice Chair
Cristina di Mauro ’01
Senior Executive Vice President
Commercial & Corporate Banking Executive
Development Management Committee, Vice Chair
Richard P. Hall Eagles Foundation, Inc.
Executive Director, Founder
Ira D. Giller, A.I.A.
Giller & Giller, Inc.
Real Estate Sub-Committee, Vice Chair
Francisco Gonzalez, CPA ’90
Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, LLP
Audit Sub-Committee, Vice Chair
Walter B. Gonzalez Jr., Esq. ’96
Noel J. Guillama-Alvarez ’99
OXIO Health, Inc.
Chairman & CEO
Campaign Budget Task Force, Chair
Yolangel “Yogi” Hernandez Suarez
Florida International University
Vice Provost for Population Health and Well-being
Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
Associate Dean for Clinical and Community Affairs
Francis A. Hondal ’87, BBA ’94, MBA
President, Loyalty & Engagement
Jeffrey L. Horstmyer, MD
Chairman and CEO
Francisco Lopez, Jr., Esq. ’96
Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Alberto Lorenzo ’74
Quantum Results, Inc.
Esther L. Moreno, Esq. ’95
Legal and Bylaws Special Committee, Vice Chair
Robert M. Namoff ’74
Allied Universal Corporation
Chairman of the Board
Marcel L. Navarro ’93
MMG Equity Partners
Investment Sub-Committee, Vice Chair
Jonathan E. Perlman
Genovese Joblove & Battista, P.A.
T. Gene Prescott
The Biltmore Hotel
Governmental Relations Committee, Chair
Carlos A. Sabater, CPA ’81
Jason A. Saltzman
Chairman of the Board
Corporate Ad Hoc Sub-Committee, Vice Chair
Wasim J. Shomar
The Lynx Companies
Chairman and CEO
Richard P. Tonkinson
Tonkinson Financial, Inc.
Jorge R. Villacampa
Regional President, Dade and Monroe Counties
Candido J. Viyella
Managing Director, Portfolio Manager,
Sports and Entertainment Director
Deanne Butchey, PHD ’05
College of Business, Department of Finance
FIU Teaching Professor
Kenneth G. Furton
Florida International University
Provost and Executive Vice President
Michael A. Hernandez ’04, MPA ’11
Mercury Public Affairs
Senior Vice President
Peter P. Koltis ’87
Alvarez & Marsal Business Consulting
Business Consulting Leader - Florida
Former Foundation Board Chairpersons
John K. Aurell (1971-1973)
Lester R. Johnson, Jr. (1973-1975)
Jay Janis (1975-1976)*
Dave W. Schornstein (1976-1977)
J. Stephen Hudson (1977-1978)
Thomas D. Lumpkin (1978-1980)*
David L. Perlman (1980-1982)*
Catherine H. Fahringer (1982-1984)
W. James Orovitz (1984-1987)*
Robert H. Coords (1987-1988)*
Alvah H. Chapman, Jr. (1988-1993)*
Joseph P. Lacher (1993-1994)
David R. Parker (1994-1997)
Patricia Frost, EdD, DPS ’02 (1997-1999)
Herbert A. Wertheim, OD, ScD ’96, MD ’13 (1999-2000)
Sherrill W. Hudson (2000-2002)
Donald E. Lefton (2002-2004)
Carlos A. Migoya, PhD ’74, MBA ’76 (2004-2006)
S. Lawrence Kahn, III (2006-2008)*
Joseph L. Caruncho, Sr., Esq. ’81 (2008-2009)
Albert Morrison, Jr.*, Honorary Chairperson (2010, honored posthumously)
Noel J. Guillama-Alvarez ’99 (2010-2011)
Justo L. Pozo ’80 (2011-2014)
Thomas M. Cornish ’85 (2014-2017)
Richard Brilliant ’93 (2017-2020)