Stories of Impact and Generosity

SOAR logoStories of Impact and Generosity at Florida International University

A giant leap for engineering and computing

The College of Engineering & Computing is expanding into a new, 125,000-square-foot, cutting-edge facility on the Modesto A. Maidique Campus – a result of its swift rise to success in academics and research and its role as a national leader in producing workforce-ready graduates.

Wertheim gift transforms music education for the future

A $10 million gift from Dr. Herbert and Nicole Wertheim continues to transform music education and provide exceptional opportunities for students studying the performing arts at FIU. To commemorate their generosity, FIU recently announced the newly named Wertheim School of Music and Performing Arts.

Star student: Jaquan Starling approaches engineering with a humanist edge

For Starling, a Darlene and Jorge Perez Honors College Scholar, engineering isn’t just about building better technology; it’s also about questioning the ethical and societal implications of new frontiers. Today's he's on an educational path that allows him to approach the hard sciences with a humanist lens.

Civil rights activist and Time 100 honoree Desmond Meade JD '14 shares his real FIU story

Desmond Meade JD '14, president of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, shares how the opportunity to earn a law degree from FIU shaped his journey as a returning citizen and in the fight to restore the right to vote for 1.4 million Floridians. 

CEO Howard Lipman shares the keys to Next Horizon's continued success

The CEO of the FIU Foundation highlights why generous supporters are eagerly investing in the university through Next Horizon: The Campaign for FIU.

Alumnus' gift creates exceptional experiences for Chaplin School alumni

Alumnus John McKibbon '75 and his wife Letitia made a $5 million gift to the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management that will enhance alumni outreach, implement formal integration of technology and innovation into the curriculum, and create student scholarships.

Alumna's grant will help minority-owned small businesses thrive

Alumna Silvana Massolo's decision to launch her own advertising business didn’t come without personal sacrifice, but it paid off. She now works with small businesses across the United States. Those early startup days inspired her to create a grant for alumni entrepreneurs in the communication, art and design fields, with preference given to minority-owned ventures.

Alumni and students at a basketball game

Your participation matters: Alumni, you’ve been challenged!

Panthers challenging Panthers. It’s helped encourage and inspire the pursuit of excellence at FIU over the decades. And now, a Panther couple has made a bold challenge to fellow graduates to step up and do their part for FIU. The donors, who have chosen to remain anonymous, made a historic $1 million gift that will match 1:1 all alumni gifts from $50 to $25,000. The challenge will remain active until all funds have been expended.

The gift encourages alumni to support FIU wherever they choose. With FIU’s rising national profile and recognition, the time is opportune for Panthers to give back to the alma mater that means so much to them. Alumni giving helps FIU rise in national rankings, and the university is now poised to expand its outreach and engagement among all alumni as the institution approaches the 50th anniversary of its opening. Read more. 

Giving in the spirit of "The 305"

Every year on March 5, alumni and other Panther family members come together for FIU 305 Give Day to celebrate alma mater by giving to the FIU causes that inspire them. "Every donation, no matter the size, makes a difference," says Nairobi Abrams, director of loyalty and participation at the FIU Foundation.

Panther family's scholarship enables students' success during vital internship experiences

Inspired by their daughter's experience in the program, the Auslanders, a proud Panther family with two generations of alumni, are helping ease dietetics and nutrition master’s students’ financial burden as they complete the unpaid internship required for state licensure.

Largest alumni gift to Honors College boosts exceptional students

Alumni Tina Vidal-Duart and Carlos Duart (who is also an FIU Trustee) have made a $1.2 million gift to the FIU Honors College to establish two student scholarship endowments. It is the largest gift the Honors College has received from its alumni to date.

Law alumnus' generosity is shaping future lawyers' career success

Abe Ovadia's law firm got its start in the spare bedroom of his mother’s apartment during the Great Recession. Now, with over 70 employees and four regional offices, he's helping current law students' job hunt with a gift supporting FIU Law's career planning and placement office.

Alumna supports globally focused students

Three-time alumna Jill Farrell ’75, MS ’81, Ed.D. ’99 reflects on her notable ties to FIU and why she chose to give back to the university.

Ignite Campaign co-founder Stephen Fain reflects on a decade of impact

Stephen Fain, Ed.D., is the founding director of Ignite, a founding member of the FIU faculty, and professor emeritus in the College of Education. Since its creation in 2011, Ignite has become the most successful faculty and staff fundraising campaign at any public university in the United States.

Alumna's scholarship bolsters medical students facing financial, personal hardships

As a student, Dr. Michele Benjamin MD '20 benefited from scholarship support. Now she wants to give back. And so, the beneficiary has become a benefactor. The family medicine resident is the first of the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine’s alumni to establish an endowed scholarship for future medical students.

Endowments build excellence while providing financial stability

Endowments are the financial bedrock of a university’s drive to develop and sustain excellence. They provide the vital margin to support and advance outstanding teaching, research and service that uplifts our students, community and world – and elevate FIU.