The readers’ forum

Let’s support FIU’s expansion plans


As one of 200,000 alumni of FIU and president of the FIU Alumni Association Board of Directors, I am writing to express my deepest gratitude to the Miami-Dade Commission.

On Thursday in a unanimous decision the commission asked Mayor Carlos Gimenez to find an alternative site for the Dade County Youth Fair & Exposition and to draft up language for a county referendum to allow FIU to use the youth fair land.

Once the referendum is approved, this will allow FIU to continue to serve the community by providing a world class education to its 55,000 students.

FIU, the seventh largest university in the nation, provided me an education that prepared me for the world of today and tomorrow. My family and I are extremely grateful. Additionally, I have had the pleasure of meeting hundreds of alumni who equally credit FIU for their success.

I regularly read in the Miami Herald the strides that FIU has made in research and academic growth. A major institution like FIU creates thousands of jobs and prepares tens of thousands of our fellow residents for the real world. FIU is an integral community partner.

I applaud FIU, the Fair and the county for working together to find a solution that will benefit our entire community.

Frank J. Pena ‘99, president of the FIU Alumni Association Board of Directors

Thank you, FIU

I’ve been reading about FIU and the Fair in your paper the last few months, and I wanted to share my story and why I think as voters we should do everything possible to support FIU — my alma mater. I grew up in Hialeah. As an A student at Hialeah-Miami Lakes, the only school I applied to was FIU.

My family was here and I needed their support and they needed mine, financially and emotionally. The education I received was top-notch.

Professors provided hands on experience in ways few universities do. For 15 years, I’ve had a successful career in construction as a manager. More often than not, I hire FIU graduates. My point is simple. FIU provides South Floridians an amazing education.

I read about alumni in your own paper all the time and I can’t imagine denying other bright students the opportunity to attend the university. We can’t say there’s a brain drain in Miami and do nothing to change that. FIU needs room to grow.

It needs the support of people who want to see this community flourish. Let’s get our priorities straight.

Georgia Aguila, Class of ‘96, Hialeah

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