Florida International University

Driving Student Success
and Research Excellence

FY 2022-2023

Message from Leadership

Dear FIU Family,

Our shared dedication to Florida International University continued to make impact and generate positive recognition throughout our community this past fiscal year, and we are pleased to share these results with you.

The FIU Foundation remains steadfastly devoted to supporting higher education as a pathway to prosperity. We are pleased to report that during 2022-2023, the last fiscal year to be part of the Next Horizon Campaign, we raised over $86 million, exceeding our $84 million goal. These funds are essential to ensuring FIU will continue to grow beyond what many believed was possible for a 50-year-old university.

Furthermore, in fall 2022, FIU became the fastest-rising university in U.S. News & World Report’s public university rankings, jumping 62 spots in a decade. In June 2023, FIU earned the highest score in the State University System according to the Florida Board of Governors performance-based funding metrics. And also in 2023, The Wall Street Journal ranked FIU fourth best among public universities. These stellar rankings were based in part on a student and alumni survey and measurement of student outcomes.

There is no doubt our student success, rankings and accolades are a direct result of your desire to further the university and your willingness to deepen your engagement with FIU.

With the closing of the Next Horizon Campaign and the start of a new year, we move into a new era, welcoming new leadership to the FIU Foundation and its Board of Directors.

We are more optimistic for the future of FIU than ever and look forward to your continued support, guidance and to celebrating the love we share for this university.

All of this would be impossible without you on our team. Once again, our deepest thanks.


Adalio T. Sanchez ’87
Chairperson, FIU Foundation Board

Pablo G. Ortiz, Ed.D.
Interim SVP, Advancement, and
CEO, FIU Foundation

In the final year of our campaign, goals continued to be met and exceeded.


raised in 2022-2023,
exceeding the year’s $84M goal


raised for building projects


raised for scholarships + state match.
3,848 students awarded scholarships


in cash gifts


raised for research


raised for 19 new endowments


for alumni


participation rate for faculty and staff giving through the Ignite Campaign, with nearly $1.8M raised


FIU’s endowment market value at close of fiscal year


raised by the
College of Engineering & Computing


Our Efforts—Yours and Ours—Recognized

The dedication that FIU, the FIU Foundation, and our donor partners have shown over the last year to advancing our cause of accessible higher education as a launching pad has not gone unnoticed. Recently, Washington Monthly ranked FIU No. 19 among best national universities and No. 1 among Florida universities. Among all national public universities, FIU rose from No. 14 to No. 6. 

Among their criteria, Washington Monthly measures an institution’s contribution to the public good in social mobility, research, and promoting public service.

Recognition like this is truly a result of the forward-thinking, innovative and unstoppable heart we put into all we do to consistently and relentlessly elevate FIU and those it serves.

stories of impact



As Florida grapples with critical teacher shortages, students who experience learning challenges are impacted the most. Only 10% of teachers in the state hold certifications in Exceptional Student Education (ESE), and nearly 11,500 K-12 courses expected to be taught by ESE-certified teachers are actually taught by uncertified teachers. The L. Harold and Mary Kirkell Memorial Foundation helps close this gap, and so will special education teacher and Foundation Scholar Karina Constantine.

Thanks to the foundation, the School of Education and Human Development Scholarship Fund provided partial funding for Constantine’s fall semester as an FIU doctoral student and fully covered her educational expenses for spring 2023 and summer 2023. Without this critical support, Constantine might not have been able to dedicate herself full time to her PhD dissertation while keeping her teaching commitments to her students.

“I am truly blessed and honored to have this opportunity to grow and change lives within special education,” says Constantine, who is specializing in the use of high-tech assistive technology for students with autism.

The School of Education and Human Development Scholarship Fund was made possible by a legacy gift from the foundation, which honors L. Harold and Mary Kirkell. Gifts like these have a significant and lasting impact on today’s students — and the next generation.

Many other forward-thinking, philanthropic friends of the university have committed to creating their own lasting legacy. Lydia Harrison, a longtime FIU supporter, has given to first-generation student scholarships — simultaneously helping the university access state matching funds — and Fostering Panther Pride (FPP) scholarships. FPP is an FIU initiative to help young adults exiting the foster care system or experiencing homelessness to attend college. Harrison generously made a $1 million planned gift in support of FPP, where it will serve as a safety net well into the future.


Elliot Stone cares deeply about issues at the intersection of the environment, public service and business. A longtime FIU supporter and founder of Royal Castle Builders, LLC, Stone is a Miami native who sees the powerful, positive results of serving his community — and investing in the leaders of the future.

In spring 2023, Stone created a scholarship for qualified freshmen majoring in business, environmental science or public policy with a $100,000 endowed gift to FIU. The Opa-Locka Partners for the Future Scholarship Endowment Fund will allow generations of students to take advantage of new opportunities and academic experiences they might not otherwise afford, giving them a chance to make a powerful impact in their communities, like Elliot Stone himself.

Long a friend and supporter of FIU, Stone also supports FIU Athletics, the Jewish Museum of
Florida–FIU and other areas at the university. In addition to the Opa-Locka Partners for the Future Scholarship Endowment, this fiscal year Stone and wife Bonnie Sockel-Stone also gave to FIU’s Institute of Environment to add a buoy to its Biscayne Bay and Florida Bay monitoring system.

He is also a member of the FIU Foundation Board of Directors and established the Senator Richard B. Stone Public Policy Scholarship Endowment to help students interested in serving the public. The endowment honors his late father, who served Florida as a U.S. senator and the nation as an ambassador.


FIU Donor Elliot Stone


The university had $282 million in R&D expenditures in FY 2022, 138% growth since 2012. FIU holds the highest research classification, Carnegie Research 1-Very High Research Activity.


Women bring fresh insights and perspectives to academic inquiry, serving as key stakeholders in addressing the most difficult challenges of our time. From the shores of South Florida to the jungles of Madagascar, women are seeking support — and funding — to make a difference. A financial award at FIU is available for women who dream of exploration and discovery. Established with an anonymous gift of $70,000, the Women Explorers Award empowers FIU STEM undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students to follow their curiosity, develop their research and propel their careers forward.

Melanie Esch, who got hooked on sharing her love of fish with the social media world, was one of six award winners last year. Along with a fellow PhD candidate in the FIU Institute of Environment, Peter Flood, Esch created a science communication Instagram account (@the_fishologists) about invasive species for both marine and freshwater science audiences. On Mondays, Esch shares her research through a segment called #MarineMonday. Followers learn about invasive marine species in the Western Atlantic, like the regal damselfish.

Award recipients receive up to $5,000, which can be used to support travel, stipend, supplies and other project-related expenses. Another $5,000 is allocated for professional development activities. This may include additional travel, conference expenses, training, courses or event-related costs for students to present their research. Thanks to her award, Esch says she will continue her research, collecting data to inform local communities on how they can use marine resources sustainably. The anonymous donor hopes this gift will inspire others to give to the university.



In fall 2022, the Anthony R. Abraham Foundation, Inc., pledged $100,000 to support students interested in public service. The foundation has been a major leader in philanthropy for decades and has supported other FIU causes, such as Fostering Panther Pride, in the past. It found an ideal partner in the Maurice A. Ferré Institute for Civic Leadership, housed at the Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs. The Ferré Institute offers two certificate programs and multiple ways for students to learn about and get involved with social justice, community engagement and civic leadership, all aimed at creating positive social change.

Abraham Scholars meet their benefactors at the Ferré Institute. Left to right: Arianna Hernandez ’23, Thomas Abraham, Samantha Santana ’23, Claudia Rodriguez and Norma Jean Abraham.

This gift provides a named endowment and an immediate-use component so student awards can be disbursed immediately. The Ferré Institute welcomed Thomas G. Abraham and Norma Jean Abraham, co-chairs of the Anthony R. Abraham Foundation, in fall 2023 to meet the three inaugural Anthony R. Abraham Scholars: Samantha Santana ’23, a 2022-2023 Ferré Fellow and political science major; Arianna Hernandez ’23, with a degree in criminal justice; and Claudia Rodriguez, international relations major. All three scholars are interested in improving their communities through public service. Earnings from the endowed portion of the gift will advance the institute’s mission through additional scholarships, stipends for travel to internship opportunities and conferences, membership in professional societies and participation in related firsthand learning.




A deep dive into conservation — funding yields help for turtles and opportunities for passionate students

The National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation (NSTSTF) reaffirmed its commitment to enriching FIU’s environmental stewardship efforts and supporting students who otherwise could not participate in research. Their funding formed the National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation Scholarship Endowment to provide undergraduate student scholarships, stipends, supplies, travel, and other research-related expenses. In addition to the endowment, a portion of the funding was allocated towards immediate use, including monetary awards for undergraduates interested in sea turtle research and conservation and those participating in sea turtle rehabilitation and outreach at an FIU partner organization.


Liberty Boyd, a PhD student in the FIU Institute of Environment’s Heithaus Lab, is studying green sea turtle populations and how they use seagrass ecosystems thanks in part to National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation support.

So far, six students have been awarded the NSTSTF Scholarship, and three have been awarded the NSTSTF Rehabilitation and Outreach Award. Allowing undergraduate and graduate students to conduct real environmental research in sea turtle conservation is already forming the next generation of marine scientists, including Aloyse Abreu, a National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation Scholar who studied the foraging behavior of sea turtles off the coast of Saona Island in the Dominican Republic as an undergraduate and who is now in a PhD program.

“Funding from the National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation enabled me to conduct habitat surveys, turtle abundance surveys, sighting density analyses, turtle tagging, health assessments, and social surveys of sea turtles on Saona Island, Dominican Republic — as an FIU undergraduate! I’m set to begin a PhD program in biology at FIU in the fall. I will continue studying the in-water behavior of sea turtles on Saona Island . . ., and FIU undergraduate students will be able to collaborate with me on this project. Truly a full-circle experience!”

— Aloyse Abreu, Biology & Natural and Applied Sciences major, FIU Undergraduate to Graduate Program Fellow



FIU business students interested in supply chain management and logistics are about to get access to an even broader and more prestigious program, thanks to a $1.25 million gift from freight payment platform PayCargo.

In 2018, the College of Business introduced a Bachelor of Business Administration in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. That same year, it was the first business school in Florida to launch a Master of Science in Logistics and Supply Chain Management Program. In 2022, QS World University Rankings named the program No. 7 in the U.S. With substantial new funding from PayCargo, the college will continue to build a world-class location for graduate and undergraduate study of supply chain management.

“On behalf of the PayCargo family, which includes over 30 FIU graduates, we are delighted to provide the gift to support FIU’s College of Business and the newly named PayCargo Supply Chain and Logistics Program,” said Eduardo del Riego ’82, PayCargo CEO. “Our partnership will allow FIU to create more connections to key businesses driving the growth of our industry, as well as educate the students on leading-edge technologies and concepts that will help solidify South Florida as a center of excellence for logistics and supply chain.”

PayCargo and del Riego have a history of supporting FIU initiatives, most notably with a $1 million gift to enhance the FIU tennis complex.


FIU Law climbed 38 spots to rank No. 60 among the nation’s law schools—and No 32 among public schools—according to U.S. News & World Report.

In June, FIU earned the highest score in the State University System according to the Florida Board of Governors performance-based funding metrics.

In fall 2022, FIU became the fastest-rising university in U.S. News & World Report’s public university rankings, jumping 62 spots in a decade.


FIU Transformational Donor Lee Caplin

A major gift from Gita and Lee Caplin established the Lee Caplin School of Journalism & Media within the College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA). Lee Caplin, entrepreneur, executive producer of the Sony Pictures Academy Award-nominated feature film “Ali” and producer of the HBO multi-Emmy-Award-winning television series “True Detective”, created the Immersive Studio for Altered Reality (iSTAR) at CARTA, exposing students to Extended Reality (XR) technologies, including virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality. At iSTAR, students learn how to develop and test immersive XR experiences.

“I am delighted to invest in the evolution of this extraordinary university’s programs and the vibrant communities it serves so well. FIU reflects the diversity and promise of our times. This gift will enable the university to continue its unique trajectory and further enhance its graduates’ success,” Caplin stated.

The Caplins’ transformative investments are positioning FIU on the cutting edge of journalism and media education and research.


FIU continues to climb the U.S. News & World Report rankings, coming in at No. 64 in the nation among public universities in the most recent rankings released in September 2023. FIU has jumped 64 spots among public universities and 91 spots overall in the past decade.

In addition, the university came in at No. 12 most innovative and No. 9 for undergraduate teaching among public universities.

FIU also ranked No. 2 in the nation for undergraduate international business for the fifth consecutive year.

This year, U.S. News’s rankings were calculated with a greater emphasis on measuring positive outcomes for graduating students.


“Cybersecurity is one of the most critical issues of our time,” says Marlene Zapata ’01, MPA ’04, program associate with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Cyber Initiative, which is why the foundation made a $5 million, five-year grant to FIU.

The gift acknowledges FIU’s expertise in the field and its commitment to serving a highly motivated and diverse student population eager to solve big problems. “With Hewlett’s support and incredible network, FIU will expand its cyber teaching and research capacity and inspire FIU’s talented students to join the national cyber policy workforce,” says Brian Fonseca, founding executive director of Cybersecurity@FIU and director of the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy.

With the new funding, the university will build on the work of the Gordon Institute as it joins forces with faculty members and researchers from the Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs, the College of Engineering & Computing, the College of Business, the College of Law, and the Division of Information Technology. With the addition of new faculty members, graduate assistants, post-doctoral students and enhanced programming for students, FIU aims to become a world leader in cyber policy research and workforce development.

“We must continue to help build a diverse pipeline of professionals who will have the expertise to tackle today’s complex cybersecurity issues through various lenses,” adds Zapata. “I’m excited to see how Cybersecurity@FIU continues to grow and develop the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.”



Tina Vidal-Duart ’02, MIB ’04, CEO, CDR Health, Inc., executive vice president, CDR Maguire, Inc., and her husband, Carlos Duart ’94, MST ’99, established two scholarship endowments at the FIU Honors College, Vidal-Duart’s alma mater, and this fiscal year contributed significantly to the Chip Cassidy Distinguished Professorship with their named gift establishing the Vidal-Duart Wine Studies Program at the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, the only wine studies program in the country named by a Hispanic family, among other giving to FIU. “Carlos and I credit our success to our origins at FIU and are committed to ensuring future generations of students are afforded the opportunity of an incredible education and life-changing experience,” says Tina Vidal-Duart. Highly engaged Panthers, the couple has served in various leadership roles at FIU. Tina Vidal-Duart is now an FIU Foundation board member, and Carlos Duart helps lead FIU’s Board of Trustees as vice-chair.

The late professor Chip Cassidy, who was director of the Wine Program at the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management.


Founding faculty member Dr. Stephen Fain

A founding FIU faculty member, Stephen M. Fain joined the university in 1971 as an assistant professor in the School of Education before FIU had even opened its doors to students. Although he’s recently retired, his name will forever live on in FIU history as that of an original Panther.

With a $650,000 gift, the Fain Family established the Stephen M. Fain Faculty Fellows Endowment Fund and named the Stephen M. and Judith M. Fain Faculty Senate Room at FIU’s Green Library. With proceeds from the endowment, FIU will annually award the Fain Medal to a faculty member who has advanced FIU’s mission, just as Fain did. The university will also grant medal winners a $10,000 stipend and display their names on Fain Fellows plaques in the Steven and Dorothea Green Library and the Glenn Hubert Library.

“My father’s dedication to helping students, faculty and the surrounding communities grow and advance aligns perfectly with what the university stands for,” says Fain’s son, Peter, the fund’s primary donor. “For more than 51 years, he was a role model to us and those who worked alongside him at FIU. His commitment, compassion and loyalty to FIU showed in everything he did both on and off the FIU campus.”

Fain, who is FIU’s longest-serving employee, was named professor emeritus in 2006. “When I came to this place, I always thought we would be a major 21st-century university. I am proud and grateful to my children for this endowment, and I am pleased that this award will recognize and celebrate the contributions of faculty who play a significant role in shaping the university.” —Dr. Stephen Fain



Thanks to Trish and Dan Bell’s visionary support and giving by other generous donors, FIU is building a multifaith chapel on the Modesto A. Maidique Campus. The Trish and Dan Bell Chapel celebrated a groundbreaking in April 2023. The road realignment project is complete, and construction is underway.

This 18,300-square-foot multifaith chapel is being built lakeside, adjacent to the Ronald W. Reagan Presidential House. From above, the structure will resemble two fish, an important symbol in various faiths. The multifaith chapel will include a sanctuary with seating for 250 people, a large event space, two reflection/prayer rooms, a large counseling room, two smaller counseling rooms, two conference rooms and office space. The second phase of construction will include exterior gardens and features.

Fundraising for the Trish and Dan Bell Chapel is a priority for FIU. To date, $17.3 million has been raised. FIU has dedicated a multifaith chapel development officer to the project, Tara Orezzoli, who will continue the momentum. Orezzoli’s goal is to ensure that prospects interested in building a multifaith chapel at FIU have the opportunity to become part of it during the construction phase. She will also engage donors committed to advancing interfaith dialogue in this important project.

Orezzoli’s efforts are supported by a multifaith chapel capital working group staffed by the FIU Foundation and focused on fundraising and communications. The committee is responsible for developing multifaith and interfaith programs for the university and local community during construction and beyond. These will include workshops, lectures and classes.

Programs at the Trish and Dan Bell Chapel will aim to nurture the spiritual and moral aspects of identity and improve the health and well-being of the communities FIU serves.

Learn more at The Trish and Dan Bell Website


In 2023, The Wall Street Journal ranked FIU fourth best among public universities. The rankings were based in part on a student and alumni survey and measurement of student outcomes.


FIU’s demography has helped forge its destiny.

Opened in 1972, FIU has come of age in a city of immigrants, predominantly of Cuban origin. Today, FIU is designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution with a large population of Cuban American students. It has also become a hub for the study of Cuban affairs, with extensive cultural heritage collections on Cuba and two longstanding research and education centers dedicated to studying Cuba, Latin America and the Caribbean.

As part of this evolution, FIU is building a first-of-its-kind destination to showcase its Cuba-related collections, expertise and programming. FIU CasaCuba will invite visitors to gather, exchange ideas and experience Cuban history and culture. Located in an iconic, state-of-the-art center at the entrance of FIU’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus, CasaCuba will have galleries for interactive exhibits, a forum space and a venue for events, performances and programming.

Fundraising for CasaCuba continues, with nearly $25 million raised towards a $40 million goal. In 2023, FIU selected a new architect, HKS. Architectural renderings are eagerly anticipated in the coming year. HKS joins Thornton Construction as the team that will bring CasaCuba to life.

CasaCuba also named a new executive director, Lili Betancourt Space ’00, a firstgeneration Cuban American, a native of Miami and an FIU alumna. She previously served as CasaCuba’s interim executive director and director of development. 

“It is a tremendous privilege to bring into existence a Cuban cultural heritage center rooted in FIU’s expertise and anchored in a city that has borne witness to the rich history and legacy of Cuban Americans and many other immigrant populations,” says Betancourt Space.

The CasaCuba Board of Advisors recently named new leadership. Chair Mario Murgado, president and CEO of Murgado Automotive Group, will serve alongside vicechair George Corton, managing principal of Westside Capital Group.

Corton, formerly of the FIU Foundation, is among a group of visionary FIU leaders who conceived of building a Cuban home at FIU.

Lili Betancourt Space ’00,
CasaCuba’s executive director

Alumni Giving, Participation, and Engagment


Diane Ramy Faulconer ‘74, MSM ‘74 entered FIU as a health sciences student in 1972. She had a nursing diploma, worked as a nurse at Mount Sinai Medical Center and took night classes. By 1974, she earned a bachelor’s in health sciences and a master’s in management from FIU.

Almost 50 years later, after a successful nursing management and consulting career, Faulconer has become FIU’s top alumna donor.

Her philanthropic investments at FIU started in 2014 with a planned gift supporting scholarship endowments for graduate students in nursing, health sciences and business. Today, Faulconer’s giving has funded more than 135 scholars in addition to these endowments.

Faulconer is also among FIU’s most engaged philanthropists. She meets with her scholars, serves on the Dean’s Leadership Council at the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences (NWCNHS) and watches her philanthropy at work.

In 2018, Faulconer made a gift to endow and name the Collaborative Advanced Rehabilitation/Research & Education (CARE) Center. Her investment equipped a simulated home environment and human performance lab at the CARE Center, which she periodically visits to see students in action.

Having learned to care for patients by practicing with other nursing students, Faulconer appreciates the high-tech Simulation Teaching and Research (STAR) Centers on the Modesto A. Maidique and Biscayne Bay campuses. Students gain experience and confidence by injecting, intubating, resuscitating and utilizing the centers’ 30+ high-fidelity mannequins in clinical and hospital settings. The newest patient is HAL S5301, an ultra-high-fidelity patient simulator and conversationalist powered by AI.

“It’s impressive, highly utilized labs like FIU’s that recruit students and attract visits from other institutions,” said Faulconer on a recent tour.

In 2022, Faulconer made a gift naming the Diane Ramy Faulconer STAR Centers and establishing two endowments. Her investments will increase the use of simulation in teaching and create the Diane Ramy Faulconer Distinguished Lecture Series in Simulation Education, drawing audiences nationally across nursing and health professions.

“I want the Diane Ramy Faulconer STAR Centers to be hubs for simulation innovation known nationally and internationally.” Faulconer’s new STAR Center programs will launch in 2024-2025.

Left to right: Dr. Howard Holness, interim associate dean of administration, NWCNHS; Henry Henao, director and clinical assistant professor, Diane Ramy Faulconer STAR Center; Dr. Jorge Valdes, acting dean, NWCNHS; Diane Ramy Faulconer ‘74 MSM ‘74; Dr. Lynne Richard, interim associate dean of academic affairs, NWCNHS; and Mark Fonseca, assistant director and assistant teaching professor, Diane Ramy Faulconer STAR Center.

Diane Ramy Faulconer ‘74 MSM ‘74, RN, is a distinguished recipient of the Torch Award (2015), the Commencement Medallion as an Outstanding Alumna (2016) and the Alumna of the Year Award (2018). She was also inducted into the Golden Panther Society — a select group of alumni who embody Generosity, Inspiration, Influence and Excellence — and, in 2022, received a custom FIU blazer in recognition.


Vida & Estilo Restaurant Group, led by FIU alumnus Matias Pesce, MSF ’18, is behind some of the most recognizable brands in Miami and Las Vegas. Thanks to the group’s partnership with the hospitality program at the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, FIU students will get the education and support they need to become leaders in the industry.

With a $500,000 pledge, the company established two new funds at the Chaplin School. The Vida & Estilo Hospitality Program Fund will help create and build out training and programming to elevate the skill levels of both executive leadership teams and emerging leaders in the hospitality industry, while the Vida & Estilo Student Support Fund will foster student enrichment and experiences that include scholarships, stipends and student programming.

“I feel a sense of gratitude to FIU for the education and experiences I received,” says Pesce. “And as an alumnus who has benefited from an FIU education, I want to pay it forward by supporting current and future students, helping them access the same educational opportunities I had.”

One of Florida’s largest privately owned restaurant groups, Vida & Estilo isn’t just making a significant donation to FIU. The group’s senior leadership, general managers and directors also look forward to mentoring FIU students on the Biscayne Bay Campus, sharing real-life business applications and highlighting career opportunities.

“My FIU education has helped me to enrich my critical thinking and problem-solving skills through different perspectives according to different generations, backgrounds and cultures,” Pesce says. “The credentials and qualifications from a prestigious institution such as FIU are a very important achievement that every student should be proud of.”


In a world of scarce resources, data must inform decision. In the case of illegal wildlife trafficking, a bad decision can be disastrous. Realizing this, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation began funding Global FinPrint in 2015 so FIU researchers could lead a global collaboration to measure where reef sharks are at greatest risk and where they are functionally extinct and to benchmark the status of reef sharks around the world. With 371 reefs surveyed in 58 countries, the data is unprecedented in quality and quantity.

White-bellied pangolin. Photo courtesy of ZSL.

Now, researchers at the College of Arts, Sciences & Education, along with partner institutions including Oxford University, are able to expand this sort of comprehensive data collecting to the pangolin, a scale-covered animal considered the world’s most-trafficked mammal, again thanks to the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. All eight pangolin species are listed as Vulnerable to Critically Endangered. Operation Pangolin aims to compile and study data and use the resulting information to inform conservation strategies and protect the pangolin from illegal trafficking. This six-year collaborative effort currently focuses on pangolin populations in Africa with plans to expand into Asia.

In addition to learning about the behaviors of this unusual and poorly studied animal, Operation Pangolin will increase awareness of this creature’s plight and the devastating effects of the illegal wildlife trade.


Florida International University President Kenneth A. Jessell and Torch Award recipient and 2022 Alumnus of the Year Regynald G. Washington ’74

FIU recognizes its outstanding alumni at the Torch Awards, the highest honor bestowed upon alumni and faculty by the FIU Alumni Association. At the 2004 Awards, alumnus Regynald G. Washington ’74 (past president of Paradies Lagardere Travel Retail Dinning Division), a graduate of the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, was recognized with an Outstanding Achievement Award for the positive impact he has made on his profession, the community and the university, including his service as a member of the Chaplin School’s Executive Advisory Board.

Washington was designated Alumnus of the Year, a distinction bestowed on a past Torch Award Recipient who has made exceptional contributions to our international, national, state, and community welfare. Alumnus of the Year demonstrates the highest standards of integrity and character that positively reflect and enhance the prestige of Florida International University.

We are extremely proud of our Panthers and happy to congratulate and thank Mr. Washington for his exemplary achievements and well-deserved success.


The triple frontier between Peru-Colombia-Brazil along the main stem of the Amazon River is an area of extraordinary freshwater diversity, including large, globally important wetlands, rivers and forest ecosystems. These areas are vital to Indigenous peoples and local communities, who have generations of rich knowledge and deep biocultural connections to them. Thanks to a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, FIU is advancing the protection of this critical and dynamic transboundary riverscape, encompassing over four million hectares in the Western Amazon region of South America.

Gordon and Betty Moore established their foundation to create positive outcomes for future generations. In pursuit of that vision, they fund path-breaking scientific discovery and environmental conservation, among other support. FIU is proud to help them carry out their mission.

Protecting the riverscape of the Amazon requires teamwork. This new three-year effort unites several areas of FIU: the College of Arts, Sciences & Education, the Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs, the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center, the Institute of Environment and the departments of Earth and Environment and Global and Sociocultural Studies. It is co-led by researchers Elizabeth Anderson, Simone Athayde, Clinton Jenkins and Paulo Olivas. In collaboration with numerous South American partners, these dedicated FIU scientists are pursuing an integrative, co-produced effort to advance shared knowledge on social-ecological dynamics in governance, mapping and protection.


As a philanthropist and businessman, Miguel “Mike” Fernandez is passionate about civic leadership. So, it’s no surprise he chose to make a significant gift to support FIU’s Maurice A. Ferré Institute for Civic Leadership. With a $1 million gift, Fernandez established the Miguel B. Fernandez Family Foundation Civic Leadership Endowment Fund to support the Ferré Institute.

“We have to understand leadership is about serving; it’s not about ruling,” says Fernandez, who has vast leadership experience. He is chairman of MBF Healthcare Partners, L.P., a private investment firm located in Coral Gables, Florida, focusing on investing in healthcare service companies nationwide, and founder and/or majority shareholder of over 20 healthcare-related companies.


Carlos Ferré, Donor Mike Fernandez and Meme Ferré

“Many people in politics and civic life do not even recognize that the importance of their job is to serve the people,” Fernandez said when he and his son, Alexander, visited the institute this past summer. “I know FIU will do an incredible job in providing us with the next generation of leaders for this community — and our nation.”

Launched in 2021, the Ferré Institute builds upon the legacy of its namesake, who was a founding father of modern Miami and the first Hispanic and Puerto Rican-born mayor of a major U.S. city. Its mission is to advance civic leadership and engagement, social justice and inclusive civil infrastructure through academics, research and community-oriented programs. With the Fernandez Family Foundation’s support, fresh ideas and practical solutions will flow freely among Ferré Fellows, instructors and community leaders, leading to positive change.

Snapshot of Giving

Fiscal year 2022-2023

Next Horizon, The Campaign for FIU

A Better and Bolder University

Made Possible by the Next Horizon Campaign for FIU

With the close of the immensely successful Next Horizon campaign, we continue an era of philanthropy characterized by investors directly contributing to the university’s success and, consequently, the success of our communities. We are pleased to include a brief report of the campaign’s highlights, from its beginning in 2009 to its public launch in 2019 and close on June 30, 2023.

$750 campaign goal; Nearly $850 raised in gifts and commitments.

Student Success


raised for for student success


raised in support of first-generation student scholarships


raised for scholarships


raised for Fostering Panther Pride


an advanced designation by the Center for First-Generation Student Success

Research Excellence


raised for research excellence


new professorships and chairs established

Top 25
U.S. public university in number of patents
Carnegie-designated R1 research university for Very High Research Activity since 2015

endowment growth: from $95M market value (FY 2010) to $306M market value (end of FY 2023)

Community Impact


raised for FIU museums


raised in pandemic relief

residents trained in the Certificate Program in Construction Trades
Launched the
Linda Fenner 3D Mobile
Mammography Center
Expanded the reach of the
Green Family Foundation



in alumni giving


new endowments created (86% increase since FY 2010)

raised through the Ignite faculty and staff giving campaign

raised for capital purposes: outright gifts supporting FIU’s financial or physical infrastructure. Includes $168.4M for endowments, $73.4M for buildings and a $40M gift from MacKenzie Scott for student success

major facilities in progress, renovated or opened during the Next Horizon campaign

supporters contributed


first-time donors participated

Giving at a Glance

Next Horizon Campaign


In 2019, the FIU Foundation unveiled a Donor Wall in the MARC Building Lobby recognizing donors with cumulative giving of $1M+. In 2023, we unveiled a second Transformational Donor Wall (see back cover) to honor these donors with cumulative giving of $12M to $100M+:

  • Mitchell “Micky” Wolfson, Jr.
  • Dr. Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Family Foundation
  • MacKenzie Scott
  • The Green Family Foundation
  • The Chaplin Family
  • The Knight Foundation
  • The Batchelor Foundation
  • Chad Moss ’94
  • Trish and Dan Bell
  • Baptist Health South Florida
  • Gita and Lee Caplin

We are grateful to the following leadership volunteers for their service on the Next Horizon campaign steering committee and their generous giving:

Honorary Chair

Herbert A. Wertheim, OD, SCD ’96, MD ’13

Campaign Co-Chairs

Humberto “Burt” Cabañas ’76
Chad Moss ’94
Albert Taño, MD
Debbie Taño

Campaign Steering Committee

Michael M. Adler
Cesar L. Alvarez, Esq.
Tony L. Argiz ’74, CPA ’76
Darlene M. Boytell-Pérez,
ARNP ‘89, MSN ‘96
Richard Brilliant, MS ’93
Tom M. Cornish ’85
Phillip A. G. Frost, MD, SCD ’93
Gerald C. Grant, Jr., ’78, MBA ’89

Kimberly J. Green, DPS ’11
Steven J. Green, LLD ’09
Tibor Hollo
Albert Maury, BBA ’96, BAcc ’02
Justo L. Pozo, CPA ’80

We also recognize the service of the late R. Kirk Landon on the campaign steering committee.


Florida International University
Foundation And Subsidiaries

Statement of Net Position


Cash and investments
$ 423,166,081
Contributions receivable, net
Depreciable capital assets, net
Nondepreciable capital assets, net
Other assets
Total assets
$ 457,495,873

Liabilities, Deferred Inflows And Net Position

$ 17,014,886
Deferred inflows related to rental income
Net position
Total liabilities and net position
$ 457,495,873

Statement of Revenues, Expenses and Changes in Net Position


Investment earnings
Other revenues
Total revenues
$ 2,295,556


Programs, scholarships and building support to Florida International University
General and administrative
General support to Florida International University
Total expenses
$ 64,183,111
Transfers to Florida International University
Other activity
Support from Florida International University
Gain (loss) before endowment contributions
Endowment contributions
Change in net position
Net position, beginning of year
Net position, end of year
$ 414,431,900

Building For The Future


The FIU Foundation aims to connect people, passions and possibilities through philanthropy, financial stewardship and engagement. The Foundation strives to enrich the quality of education at the university by supporting scholarships, endowed chairs and professorships and other programs that rely on private funding. The Foundation accepts charitable donations to support FIU in its goal to be a leading urban public research university that is focused on student learning, innovation and collaboration.

With $457,495,873 in total assets, a portion of which is endowed to support academic initiatives, the Foundation provided over $42 million, including the state match on the First-Generation Scholarship Program, in fiscal year 2022-2023 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 below this section.

Foundation Support of FIU Programs

Foundation’s Investment Portfolio Allocation

Asset ClassJune 30, 2023 AllocationAsset Characteristics
Public Equity62%Capital appreciation, global diversification; highly liquid
Private Equity16.5%High return potential; illiquid
Real Assets8.7%Capital appreciation and income generation; various levels of illiquidity
Hedge Funds0.3%Absolute return potential; semi-liquid
High Quality Bonds and Cash12.6%Capital preservation and limited income generation; highly liquid

Endowment Market Value

Investment Returns

Florida International University Foundation
Board of Directors 2022-2023


Humberto “Burt” Cabañas ‘76
Founder & Chairman

Vice Chairperson
Adalio T. Sanchez ‘87
S Group Advisory, LLC
Development Management
Committee, Chair

Andre L. Teixeira ’92, MAcc ‘93
The Graham Companies
EVP & Chief Financial Officer
Finance Committee, Chair

Jill M. Granat, Esq. ‘87
Restaurant Brands International
General Counsel
Legal and Bylaws Special Committee, Chair

Interim Chief Executive Officer
Pablo G. Ortiz, EdD ‘91
FIU Foundation, Inc.

Stewart L. Appelrouth, CPA, MS ‘80
Citrin Cooperman Advisors, LLC
Partner, Taxation and Litigation Consulting Audit Sub-Committee, Chair

Richard Brilliant ‘93
Carnival Corporation
Chief Risk & Compliance Officer
Long-term Strategic Planning
Committee, Chair
Audit Sub-Committee,
Vice Chair

Juan R. Figuereo ‘81
Revlon Products Corporation
Retired, EVP & Chief Financial Officer
Finance Committee, Vice Chair
Foundation Enterprise Growth Committee, Chair

Kenneth A. Jessell
Florida International University

Michael A. Kappitt ‘92
Subway Chief Operating
& Insights Officer
Campaign & Foundation Marketing, Chair

Chad Moss ‘94
MFO Worldwide, CEO
Moss Construction, Executive Vice President
Moss & Associates, Co-Founder
Moss Foundation, Inc., President
Athletics Sub-Committee, Chair

Marcel L. Navarro ‘93
MMG Equity Partners
Investment Sub-Committee, Chair
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

David M. Zinn, MST ‘98
Ocean Azul Partners
Founding and Managing Director
FIU Ventures Sub-Committee, Chair


Robert “Bob” A. Baer, Sr. ‘89
Central Civil Construction

Carmel J. Barrau, MD, FACP
Unihealth of South Florida, Inc.

Cristina di Mauro ‘01
Senior Executive Vice President
Corporate and Commercial Banking Business Executive
Development Management Committee, Vice Chair

LaTéssa Dotson Hall
Richard P. Hall Eagles Foundation, Inc.
Executive Director, Founder
Membership & Board Management Committee, Co-Vice Chair

Ira D. Giller, A.I.A.
Giller & Giller, Inc.
Real Estate Sub-Committee, Vice Chair

Walter B. Gonzalez, Jr., Esq. ‘96
Goja, LLC

Gerald C. Grant, Jr. ’78, MBA ‘89
The G Financial Group
Investment Sub-Committee, Vice Chair

Noel J. Guillama-Alvarez ‘99
OXIO Health, Inc.
Chairman & CEO

Yolangel “Yogi” Hernandez Suarez, MD, MBA, FACOG
Florida International University
Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine

Jeffrey L. Horstmyer, MD, FAAN
Brain Center
Chairman and CEO
James W. Loewenherz, MD, FACP, FASN
James W. Loewenherz, MD, PA

Francisco Lopez, Jr., Esq. ‘96
Ryder Systems
Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Juan J. Martinez ’90, MAcc ’93
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Robert M. Namoff ‘74
Allied Universal Corporation
Chairman of the Board

Claudia Puig
Univision Communications/Television/Radio/Digital
President and General Manager

Thomas C. Ragan
Ragan & Freeman LLP

Orlando Roche ‘88
First Horizon Bank
Market President
Carlos A. Sabater, CPA ‘81

Jason A. Saltzman
Chairman of the Board

Rakesh and Rachanee “Mei” Sarna ‘21
Rakesh Sarna Scholarship Program

Richard P. Tonkinson
Tonkinson Financial, Inc.

Tina M. Vidal-Duart ’02, MIB ‘04
CDR Health, Inc., CEO
CDR Maguire, Inc., Executive Vice President
Athletics Sub-Committee, Vice Chair

Candido J. Viyella
Earthview Capital, LLC
President & CEO


Trish and Dan Bell
Bell Family Foundation
Trish Bell, Membership & Board Management Committee,
Co-Vice Chair


Sergio Abreu Jr. ‘94, MBA ‘98
TECO Energy, Inc.
Regional Manager, External Affairs

Juan Carlos Alexander, Esq. ‘04
FIU Alumni Association President

Noel C. Barengo, MD, PhD, MPH
Florida International University,
Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work
Associate Professor,
Translational Medicine; Division of Medical and Population Health Sciences Education and Research; and Department of Health Policy and Management

Elizabeth M. Béjar, PhD, MS ‘98
Florida International University,
Provost, Executive Vice President,
and Chief Operating Officer

T. Gene Prescott
The Biltmore Hotel

Santana Way
FIU Student Government Association
Vice President


Neal O. Amdur*
John K. Aurell
Oscar Bustillo
Alvah H. Chapman, Jr.*,
Chairperson Emeritus
Jordan Davidson*
Victor I. Eber*
Leon J. Ell*
Catherine H. Fahringer*
Stanley J. Glaser*
Gui L. P. Govaert*
J. Stephen Hudson
Lester R. Johnson
Roz Kovens, Jr.
William M. Lehman, Jr.
Morris Levitt
Modesto A. Maidique
Albert Morrison, Jr.*
W. James Orovitz*
David L. Perlman*, Chairperson Emeritus
Ricardo Nuñez-Portuondo
Earl W. Powell
Joan Peven Smith
Theodore Spak*
Amancio V. Suarez
Norman R. Weldon
Gerald Thomas Wolfe ’80 ‘86
Sonny Wright
Charles Zwick


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)*
Mr. 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
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)


This fiscal year, the FIU Foundation recognized our Transformational Donors with the unveiling of a permanent installation in the MARC building lobby on the Modesto A. Maidique Campus.

We look forward to adding more of our transformational supporters in the future.

FIU Foundation, Inc.

11200 SW 8th Street, MARC 5th Floor, Miami, FL 33199
305-348-6298 | Nexthorizon.FIU.Edu| give.fiu.edu

Interactive Presentation by EWS – Division of IT