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Strait family gives $2 million to help fund Alumni Center


FIU’s Alumni Center is one step closer to becoming the new home for our university’s alumni, friends and visitors thanks to a $2 million planned gift from Richard W. Strait ’76 and Marcia L. Martinez-Strait, MS ’77.

This transformational gift is the university’s largest alumni contribution to date, and will support the operation of the future Alumni Center, which is a part of FIU’s Worlds Ahead vision.

Richard W. Strait ’76 and Marcia L. Martinez-Strait, MS ’77 show their Panther pride around the world.

Richard W. Strait ’76 and Marcia L. Martinez-Strait MS ’77 show their Panther pride around the world.

“FIU continues to be a major institution for preparing professionals and leaders to function in the 21st century global world,” said Richard, who received an MBA from the College of Business and is president and owner of Straitshots, Inc. “That is why we support the Alumni Center. FIU is a young university, but just look at what we’ve already accomplished in 40 years.”

Richard is a lifetime member of the Alumni Association, which serves more than 200,000 alumni represented in every state and in more than 30 countries worldwide.

Richard W. Strait ’76 and Marcia L. Martinez-Strait, MS ’77He is also a member of the College of Business Alumni Chapter, and in 2010 joined the President’s Council. His wife, Marcia, received a master’s degree in education from the College of Education, and
is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the College.

“We are so grateful for donors such as the Straits who share our commitment to realize this vision,” said Bill Draughon, associate vice president of University Advancement and former executive director of the Alumni Association, who has led the charge to create the Center.

A site directly east of the Blue Garage at MMC has been chosen for the 30,000 square-foot Alumni Center, and floor plans have been rendered.

“What was once a dream is starting to become a reality,” added Howard R. Lipman, senior vice president of University Advancement and president and CEO of The FIU Foundation, Inc. “The Alumni Center will be a first-class facility that will celebrate the excellence of Panthers around the world.”

Richard Strait said he also hopes this gift inspires more alumni and friends to continue to build the university’s philanthropic culture.

“Come to FIU, see what is going on, feel the vibrancy of the university. How can anyone not want to give back when they see what FIU is giving to this community?” he said. “Under the leadership of President Rosenberg, FIU is becoming one of the truly great institutions of higher learning and achievement.”

– Jessica Señorin Tolbert

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