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FIU mourns the loss of Board of Trustees Chair Emeritus Albert E. Dotson Sr.

FIU mourns the loss of Board of Trustees Chair Emeritus Albert E. Dotson Sr.

President Rosenberg sent the following message to the university community today

May 30, 2021 at 12:30pm

Update: FIU will host funeral services and a homegoing celebration for Albert E. Dotson Sr. on June 10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. View the livestream here.

Dear FIU family,

Miami has lost a community pillar, our FIU has lost one of its greatest champions and we have lost a friend. It is crushing to share with you that Board of Trustees Chair Emeritus Albert E. Dotson Sr. passed yesterday at his home. He was surrounded by family members and loved ones. 

Al joined the FIU Foundation, Inc. Board of Directors in 1983 and served on it until 2001, when he became a founding member of our Board of Trustees. He served on our board with distinction for a decade, including as chair from 2009 to 2011. In the 10 years since his retirement from our board, he served on both athletics and medical school committees and maintained his passion and fire in the belly for our institution and your well-being throughout.  

Al was energized by a commitment to both uplifting our entire community and for social justice. Of his innumerable contributions over the past four decades, Al left the greatest mark in our hearts as the man who told anyone who would listen that FIU stood for the “Finest Institution in the Universe.” He was kind, passionate and singularly focused on paving the way for FIU’s ascent.

He played an integral role in the founding of the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, as well as the College of Law. Without his leadership, neither of these key programs would have been possible. A longtime supporter of athletics, he was among the advocates who saw a future for football at FIU and helped secure Riccardo Silva Stadium.

Al also established the Dotson Family MLK Speaker Endowment, which supports the recruitment of renowned speakers for the university’s annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration Breakfast. We honored Al’s legacy and generosity with the naming of the Earlene and Albert Dotson Pavilion in the MARC building. What an irony that this very structure was built in part in response to his leadership at FIU decades earlier to help solve a space shortage at the time.  

The Panther Nation mourns the loss of this authentic human being who set a high bar for all of us. Our hearts go out to his wife Earlene and the entire Dotson family. We are grateful for the family’s continuing engagement with us and for Earlene’s steadfast support of Al’s work at the university and in the community.


We will celebrate the life of this giant of our community on June 10 at MMC. Please look for details in the coming days.




Mark B. Rosenberg