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FIU receives largest gift from an alumnus

FIU receives largest gift from an alumnus

July 1, 2017 at 12:00am

Chad Moss ’94 has made the largest donation from an alumnus in FIU history. His $10 million gift to the College of Engineering & Computing will create the newly named Moss School of Construction, Infrastructure and Sustainability. The contribution comes through the charitable foundation of his company, Moss & Associates.

With more than half of the world’s population living in urban environments, the school’s creation reflects a broader view of the industry and new approaches and methods for building a sustainable urban infrastructure.

The donation will create three endowments to help students succeed and access higher education. Earnings from the Moss Endowed Chair in Construction Management will be used to recruit a nationally distinguished director for the school.

Another endowment will be dedicated to helping students through scholarships. Each scholarship is inspired by and named after outstanding colleagues and professionals from Moss & Associates. The Sasha Seco Women in Construction Scholarship and the Kevin Love Fostering Success Scholarship are both namesakes of alumni now working at the company.

The other endowment will support key areas that will expand the school and the students’ learning opportunities, such as faculty and post-graduate research and technology resources.

“Chad Moss has shown incredible vision and entrepreneurship in Miami and across the country,” President Mark B. Rosenberg says. “This generous and history-making donation will help us educate a new generation of construction professionals who will have an impact on our community and beyond.”

Moss says his motivation is simple: “It’s about the future, the students and providing them with the very best that they deserve. There’s a lot of ingredients to success. But giving back is the most important one.”

Moss is currently the executive vice president of Moss & Associates — a billion-dollar national construction management company with extensive experience in a variety of sectors. The company has received more awards than any Florida-based construction services firm and has worked on numerous large-scale projects.

Laying the foundation

Moss serves on the construction management school’s industry advisory council and on the board of the FIU Foundation. With an earlier $250,000 gift, Moss and his family helped establish the Moss & Associates Built Environment Informatics Lab (BEIL) at FIU, which houses state-of-the-art virtual reality systems that offer numerous educational and research opportunities.

Moss regularly teaches a variety of construction management and real-estate courses at FIU. He has also given to FIU’s Fostering Panther Pride program, which supports former foster care and homeless students. His $50,000 donation was matched by the state, resulting in $100,000 to the program. He also served as a mentor to a student in the program.

Creating bridges to the community

Moss serves on the board of a Broward nonprofit organization called Helping Abused Neglected Disadvantaged Youth (HANDY), which assists youth in foster care.

Several years ago, he led a collaborative initiative between FIU and HANDY that resulted in a scholarship program: FIU provides first-generation scholarships to qualifying HANDY students pursuing higher education.

Civil engineering alumnus Kevin Love ’15 arrived at FIU through this program.

During Love’s junior year at FIU, he met Moss, found a mentor in him and landed an internship at the company. After graduation, Love joined the company full-time as project engineer at the El Paso branch.

“I can’t make up a word to describe the way Chad has impacted my life,” Love says. “He plays the elder brother role. He’s always there for me.”

Love says earning a college degree means a lot to anyone — but especially to former foster care youth.

“It’s bigger than career and money,” he explains. “It’s being perseverant. Knowing
that I had the support system and the opportunity from HANDY through Chad…It made it realistic.”

For Moss, being able to help Panthers find employment is a double blessing. FIU grads find great jobs and his company gets some of the best employees in the business.

“Moss & Associates is proud to be affiliated with FIU,” he says. “I encourage all FIU alumni and South Florida business leaders to solidify your relationship with FIU. If you want success in South Florida, you need FIU grads to make it happen. About 10 percent of our professional workforce at Moss comes from FIU. They are well-prepared, many of them are from the community and they work hard.”  

Pictured above: Chad Moss ’94, center, seated, is joined at the table by President Mark B. Rosenberg and Senior Vice President for University Advancement Howard Lipman as his proud family stands behind him. From left, parents Bob and Sandra Moss and brother and sister-in-law Scott and Katherine Moss. Beside them is Associate Vice President for University Advancement George Corton.