Stories of Impact and Generosity at Florida International University
Portrait of a Dreamer: Cesia Bulnes '19
In 2019, Cesia Bulnes graduated from FIU's College of Engineering & Computing and the Honors College as a Worlds Ahead Graduate. During her studies, she received a full-tuition scholarship from TheDream.US, a partner that is dedicated to supporting students who are Dreamers. Meet Cesia.
COVID-19 Response
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck and FIU announced its shift to remote learning and work in March, leaders of the FIU Foundation knew the university's Next Horizon capital campaign would need to address the immediate, serious needs. Students, faculty and staff, and the surrounding community were suffering, and the FIU Foundation and university were in a position to help. 
Click here to read on.

Medical enterprise responds to help community during pandemic

Florida International University's academic medical enterprise, with its many health care disciplines and strong community orientation, swiftly responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, furnishing a variety of frontline medical services. Through a partnership with Miami-Dade County, the Florida Department of Health and the Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition, FIU has operated a COVID-19 test site at the fairgrounds since April 2020.

Philanthropy in times of crisis: Howard Lipman

Before his current role as CEO of the FIU Foundation and previous executive positions in university advancement, Howard Lipman served as the President and CEO of the Greater Miami and The Keys Chapter of the American Red Cross. In that position, he was tasked with fundraising for disaster relief, preparing him with a unique lens to view philanthropy in the current climate of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Researchers inform decisions, promote community health

FIU researchers from across disciplines have concerted efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. From creating programs that track the virus's spread to examining the efficacy of emerging telemedicine technology among underserved communities, their work seeks to advance understanding of the novel coronavirus that has infected millions worldwide.

University and donors drive PPE initiative to assist frontline responders

To help alleviate the shortage of personal protective equipment for health care workers and other frontline personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic, units and colleges university-wide joined bands to produce more than 6,000 reusable face shields on 3D printers for workers at Baptist.

FIU think tank provides research, resources during pandemic

FIU's Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center is leveraging its expertise as South Florida's leading, urban think tank to help local governments and organizations understand the scope of the pandemic's effect on at-risk communities. The center's work is advancing the conversation about who is lacking resources, what can be done about it and why establishing trust in communities matters.

A community of supporters bolsters South Florida hospitality Industry

Thanks to a grant from SOBEWFF® & Chaplin School Hospitality Industry Relief Fund, alumna Heather De La Torre and her husband Jesus, owners of Jr's Gourmet Burgers in Miami Springs, were able to pay their employees throughout the closure of their restaurant as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, the FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management teamed up with the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival to establish the Hospitality Industry Relief Fund, which helped pay employees at independently owned restaurants and bars struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Donor Impact
Less than two years ago, FIU held a celebration to commemorate the public launch of the Next Horizon campaign. By the end of November 2020, the campaign had raised more than $580 million of its $750 million goal – and it exceeded its 2019-2020 fiscal year goal of $71 million, raising $75.85 million – securing gifts that will drive student success and help create world-class programs at FIU.

Click here to discover how the FIU Foundation continues to reach the Next Horizon, and click here to read about recent notable gifts.
A New Generation of Philanthropists

With his gift, Alberto Garcia Marrero '19, MBA '20 helped create Pathway to Philanthropist, a new program that serves as a path for donors to build their personal philanthropy while making prominent impact at FIU today. The two-time graduate was driven to give back because of the help he received when he was an undergrad – a time when he could barely cover his living expenses.

Click here to read Alberto's story and to learn more about the Pathway to Philanthropist program.

Training the next generation of physicians: Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine

The Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at FIU is empowering those who have heard the call of duty to become the next generation of community-minded doctors through state-of-the-art training and an education that emphasizes diversity and compassion.

Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator fellows: Where are they now?

Now with three cohorts in the books, former Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator fellows share what they are up to and how the incubator gave them their head start into the business world.

Bacardi USA donates $5 million to FIU

FIU's Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management announced earlier this year a $5 million gift from Bacardi USA dedicated to a new and unique educational program tailored for the spirits industry, the Bacardi Center of Excellence, which will position the top-ranked school as a leader in beverage management education.

Building the Future of FIU
With the movement arising throughout the nation calling for an end to racial injustice and inequality, FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg announced the creation of a new university advisory group, the Equity Action Initiative, to review and recommend initiatives to address issues of inclusion and equity, particularly as they concern FIU. El pagnier Hudson, Valerie Patterson '81, MHSA '85, PhD '95, and Delrish Moss are spearheading the effort. The SOAR staff had the opportunity to interview the three committee leaders about the initiative.

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Leaving a legacy: What endowments mean for donors and the university

At FIU, we often say creating an endowment lets donors leave a legacy. But what does that really mean for a donor and for FIU?