Panthers gather in D.C. for weekend of festivities

FIU Tailgate

Panthers show their pride before FIU’s game against UMD

FIU’s D.C. Alumni Week, Aug. 29-31, was a roaring success (pun intended), bringing together more than 200 alumni, students and friends who turned out to celebrate FIU’s reach in our nation’s capital and cheer on our football team in its season opener against the Terps of the University of Maryland…all with a taste of Miami.

Noshing with Notables: Immigration Reform & Haiti Reconstruction

FIU D.C. Week kicked off with two alumni discussions meant to discuss relevant issues of the day along with FIU experts. On Thursday, alumni sat down to discuss immigration reform over breakfast. The panel included: Max Sevillia ‘98, director of policy and legislative affairs for the NALEO Educational Fund; Jose Parra ‘98,  deputy director of communications for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; and Professor Juan Carlos Gomez, of the College of Law’s Immigration and Human Rights Clinic. With the Senate’s recent immigration bill as a backdrop, the discussion centered  on the prospects for the bill’s passage in the House and its implications for the Hispanic community.

Noshing w Notables Immigration

Left to Right: Andy Diaz (Dept. of Commerce), Juan Carlos Gomez (FIU Law), Max Sevillia (NALEO), and Peter Smith (Social Security Administration)

On Friday, FIU alumnus and entrepreneur Doug Jefferies ’89 showcased his own charitable organization — Mission: Results — which is working to assist in Haitian reconstruction and economic development. Joining Jefferies was Eduardo Gamarra of the School of International and Public Affairs, who detailed much of FIU’s own engagement in Haiti.

“We’ve built homes, we’ve built farms, we’ve done a lot of great stuff,” said Jefferies, “but it’s hard to do sustainable good.”

Taste of Miami Alumni Reception

On Friday, Aug. 30, alumni gathered for a wonderful reception that included Cuban food, gifts and special raffle prizes. Hosted by Jefferies at his STROGA Events space in trendy Adams Morgan, the FIU in D.C. Chapter that evening premiered a promotional video that highlighted our alumni reach in the nation’s capital. Henry Rodriguez’86 ‘88 of the National Institutes of Health won the very Miami raffle prize of a “Caja China” roasting box. Every other alumnus took home a gift bag that included their very own set of dominoes.



President Rosenberg chats with a group of recent FIU graduates

FIU D.C. Week closed out with our Panther football team facing off against the University of Maryland Terps in their home territory. Even though the Panthers fell to Maryland in a 43-10 loss, the fans continued to be supportive. FIU in D.C. Chapter leader Silvia Tergas ’08 summed it up best, saying, “It was a tough finish on the field but we cheered on our Panthers and ended the week as we started, in true FIU family style.”

Special Thanks

The FIU in D.C. Alumni Chapter and the FIU Alumni Association wishes to thank those sponsors that made the weekend possible: STROGA and Douglas Jefferies; Planning Committee Chair Steven Cruz ‘12; EXODO Tequila and Rick Menendez ‘93; CDR Maguire and Carlos Duart ‘94 ‘99; and the Guerra family; FIU School of International and Public Affairs; and FIU Law.

Click here to check out photos of the special weekend.

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