Florida International University alumni Tina Vidal-Duart and Carlos Duart have made a $1.2 million gift to the FIU Honors College to establish two student scholarship endowments. It is the largest gift the Honors College has received from its alumni to date.
“We are humbled to be in a position to make this gift,” said Tina Vidal-Duart. “Carlos and I credit our success to our origins at FIU and are committed to ensuring future generations of students are afforded the opportunity of an incredible education and life-changing experience.”
Duart and Vidal-Duart both received their bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the FIU College of Business, and Vidal-Duart is also a graduate of the Honors College. Duart serves as president of CDR Maguire, Inc., a national consulting firm specializing in engineering and emergency management. Vidal-Duart, his wife, is CEO of the company’s affiliate, CDR Health Care, Inc. that specializes in disaster health and medical services.
Attributing much of their success to their FIU education and the professional connections they made during their studies, the couple have long served the university in various capacities. Duart was recently appointed to FIU’s Board of Trustees by Governor Ron DeSantis and previously served on the FIU Foundation Board of Directors as well as advisory councils in the College of Engineering & Computing, College of Business and Honors College. He is the recipient of FIU’s Torch Award and College of Business Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. Vidal-Duart is a recipient of the FIU Alumni Association Torch Award for Distinguished Alumni and a member of the FIU Foundation Board of Directors. She previously served on the Honors College advisory board and the FIU President’s Council.
The Vidal-Duart Scholarship Endowment will support the Honors College’s general student population; and the Vidal-Duart First Generation Scholarship Endowment will support the college’s Pell grant-eligible students who are among the first generation in their families to attend college. Preference will be given to engineering and business majors for both scholarships, which are expected to be awarded beginning in the 2022-2023 academic year. Additionally, recipients will be offered the opportunity to complete internships at CDR Maguire and CDR Health Care.
“Tina and Carlos’ gift is transformational. Their generous donation will allow students to realize their professional dreams,” said Juan Carlos Espinosa, dean of the Honors College. “This is part of their FIU legacy and made even more special for me as Dean because Tina is an alumna of the Honors College.”
The Honors College is home to 2,400 ambitious, curious and open-minded FIU students from every academic college and major. The college’s curriculum, taught by a diverse and multidisciplinary faculty, is designed to complement all majors to encourage students to think critically and broaden their perspectives. Every Honors student is guaranteed an internship opportunity, and 70 percent major in areas of strategic emphasis for the state of Florida, including STEM and other fields that meet critical workforce and economic development needs. Additionally, Honors students have completed more than 35,000 hours of community service.
“Carlos and Tina have proved time and again that they are committed to the success of FIU and its students. They are exemplary alumni who are leading the way by providing opportunities to FIU students for generations to come,” said George Corton, vice president for development and innovation philanthropy at FIU.
This gift benefits the Next Horizon campaign to raise $750 million in support of student success and research excellence at FIU.