FIU has nearly 200,000 alumni. We’re one of the 10 largest universities in America. So it might stand to reason that we’re connected to some incredible people and places. While they’re not all direct connections, some may surprise you. Six degrees of Kevin Bacon, if you will. So next time one of these individuals or brands come up in conversation by the water cooler, you will be ready to show some FIU Pride. Happy Friday!
Our alumni never cease to amaze us. Richard Blanco, who was the inaugural poet for President Obama, wrote a poem titled “One Today”. U2 kicked off their Joshua Tree 2017 Tour and it included the poem, projected on the stage screens as people entered the stadium to reflect and discuss America and the American experience.
2. President Trump
The new United States labor secretary and the only Hispanic in President Donald Trump’s cabinet is a South Florida native. Former FIU College of Law Dean R. Alexander Acosta is the first FIU administrator or faculty member to serve in a cabinet-level position.
3. Ben Affleck
Dennis Lehane MFA ’01 is the author of some amazing best-selling books, including Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone and Shutter Island. He also happens to be an FIU Creative Writing Program alumnus. Lehane connects FIU to Martin Scorsese, Ben Affleck and Clint Eastwood. They all directed movies based on his novels and most recently Ben Affleck stared in Live By Night, based on the novel by Lehane.
4. Disney Princess Elena of Avalor
Disney introduced its first ever Latina princess in 2016 and the woman behind the voice is FIU alumna Aimee Carrero. Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Miami, she earned a degree in international relations from FIU in 2008 and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting.
5. Michael Jackson
Just type “Michael Jackson FIU” and the connection will be clear. FIU alumnus, musician and composer Tony Succar created a tribute album to the late King of Pop and even performed right here at the inaugural TEDxFIU.
6. Louvre Museum in Paris, France
The architect who designed our Frost Art Museum, Yann Weymouth, was also the chief designer of the Louvre’s glass pyramids.