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Fernandez Family Foundation makes $1M gift for scholarships at FIU Ferré Institute for Civic Leadership
Left to right: Carlos Ferré (son of Maurice Ferré), Miguel “Mike” Fernandez, and Meme Ferré (daughter of Maurice Ferré)

Fernandez Family Foundation makes $1M gift for scholarships at FIU Ferré Institute for Civic Leadership

November 8, 2023 at 8:58am

The Miguel B. Fernandez Family Foundation has made a $1 million gift to FIU’s Maurice A. Ferré Institute for Civic Leadership in the Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs to support student scholarships.

The gift will establish the Miguel B. Fernandez Family Foundation Civic Leadership Endowment Fund, which will award scholarships to first-generation students who are affiliated with the Ferré Institute. Some of these students participate in the institute’s Fellowship Program – which includes public engagement and work with faculty and professionals in the community – while others participate in undergraduate or graduate certificate programs. By working with mentors and engaging in the institute’s comprehensive programs, students will be equipped to embrace their roles as active contributors to local and global communities. Scholarships will be awarded starting with the fall 2024 semester.
The gift also has supported construction of the Ferré Institute’s large suite of offices in the Green School’s new building – an environment designed to help innovative ideas and collaborative efforts flourish.
“We have to understand leadership is about serving; it’s not about ruling,” said Miguel “Mike” Fernandez. “Many people in politics and civic life do not even recognize that the importance of their job is to serve the people. I know FIU will do an incredible job in providing us with the next generation of leaders for this community—and our nation.”
Fernandez is chairman of MBF Healthcare Partners, L.P., a private investment firm located in Coral Gables, Florida, focusing on investing in healthcare service companies nationwide, and founder and/or majority shareholder of over 20 healthcare-related companies.
“We are grateful for the Miguel B. Fernandez Family Foundation's investment in the institute and the Green School,” said Green School Dean Shlomi Dinar. “This will enable us to further advance civic engagement, social justice, and resilient leadership.”
Founded in 2021, the Ferré Institute honors the life and work of its namesake, the first Puerto Rican-born mayor of a major continental U.S. city and the first Latino mayor of Miami. Through academic, research and engagement programs, the institute’s research and scholarship examine a wide range of issues championed by Ferré, including civic engagement and leadership, resilient community infrastructure and social justice.

“I am truly humbled and thankful for the generous contribution made by the Miguel B. Fernandez Family Foundation to the Maurice A. Ferré Institute for Civic Leadership,” said Agatha Caraballo, founding director of the institute and associate teaching professor of public policy and administration. “This $1 million gift is a resounding endorsement of our mission to empower the next generation of civic leaders.”