FIU President Dr. Mark B. Rosenberg hosted by Dryeco, Zaner-Bloser and Due North

“The Future of FIU” and how the continued expansion of Florida International University will serve the community was the educational theme of an Aventura Marketing Council Chairman’s Roundtable luncheon hosted by Dryeco – South Florida’s eco-friendly dry cleaner; Zaner Bloser – developing and publishing effective educational programs; and Due North – facilitating gateways to America for  international professionals and entrepreneurs.

AMC Chair Cliff Schulman of Weiss, Serota, Helfman welcomed first-class business and community leaders gathered at Christine Lee’s at Gulfstream Park along with Michael Shore, Dryeco Green Cleaners President; Chy Davidson, Zaner-Bloser Regional Manager South; and Michael Leitman of Due North.


AMC members were quick to learn FIU’s expansion plans could result in a recurring economic benefit of $541 million a year and generate thousands of jobs – above and beyond the $8.9 billion annual impact FIU already provides to the local community.

FIU is currently seeking ways to expand its physical space and grow strategically. One option involves adding the fairground land immediately adjacent to the Modesto A. Maidique Campus – at no cost to Miami-Dade County or students. Acquiring the land would accommodate new academic and research space; undergraduate student housing facilities; more space for student services and recreational facilities; parking garages; and opportunities for joint programming at Tamiami Park.

Discussing best and brightest achievements, Rosenberg said, “Serving 54,000 students, FIU is the country’s largest producer of a majority of minority students. We’re adding about 2,000 students a year and over the next ten years, we’re going to graduate 130,000 students – 85 to 90 percent of whom will stay right here. They are the future of our community because they will end up in leadership positions in public and private sectors.

“Our partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools is focused on student achievement and that’s why we’ve made significant progress in new enrollment. When I started as FIU President in 2009, we had 450 students in dual enrollment – today we have 5,800 MDCPS students taking FIU courses.

“About 1,000 students from Aventura attend FIU and we have about 2,200 FIU alumni living in the Aventura community. The current amount of financial aid we’re dispersing to Aventura residents attending FIU is nearly $6.5 million and scholarship funds total over $600,000.

“At FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus, we recently announced the creation of a new science-based MAST Academy run by MDCPS, where students are working with FIU faculty in our science labs. A new Royal Caribbean training facility on campus will help our students get internships with the cruise line; and a new residence hall overlooking Biscayne Bay will open by the 2016 academic year.”

Before the meeting’s final bell, Rosenberg emphasized, “FIU understands our responsibility to the community. We share the mission of MDCPS to improve the quality and increase the quantity of deserving students who are now more qualified for a college education. If they want to stay in our community they can do that by being at FIU.”

By Bari Auerbach


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