Florida International University’s (FIU) Metropolitan Center recently announced a $1 million endowment gift from the Related Philanthropic Foundation.
The gift will help bolster the center’s world-renowned applied research and job-training initiatives, as well as its ongoing efforts to provide policy solutions to organizations throughout South Florida. In recognition of the generous donation, which will support FIU’s Next Horizon campaign, the university will rename the center as The Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center.
Among the first uses of the gift will be to provide financial support to doctoral students who are currently researching policy solutions that lead to a more economically and environmentally resilient South Florida. Funding will be targeted to students in underserved communities.
“It’s an honor to support and partner with The Metropolitan Center, especially after it’s been such an incredible resource for countless Miami businesses and organizations over the years,” said Pérez, chair and CEO for Related. “We share the center’s goal of serving and empowering residents across the demographic spectrum. We’re excited about the future growth opportunities we will help generate for the community at large.”
The Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center will continue to be an integral part of FIU’s Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs. The $1 million donation marks a significant milestone in the Related Philanthropic Foundation’s mission of empowering and supporting organizations driving positive impact in the areas of economic development, education, health and well-being, the environment, and arts and culture.
“This initiative and Mr. Pérez’s support will greatly enhance the Green School’s visibility in the community and throughout the state and reinforce FIU’s already excellent reputation as an engaged public research university,” said Howard A. Frank, director of the Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center.
Since its founding, the Metropolitan Center has a 22-year record of training graduate students in policy sciences, spearheading cutting-edge research on economic development and affordable housing to local governments and nonprofit organizations throughout the tri-county area. This latest research effort will build upon the Metropolitan Center’s recently published studies, Miami-Dade County Prosperity Study and Liberty City Economic Opportunities Report.
“Miami is changing at an unprecedented pace, making research into areas such as affordable housing, resilience and economic growth critical for the city’s future,” said Jon Paul Pérez, Jorge M. Pérez’s son, who is the vice president of Related. “The center already has an incredible legacy, and I’m certain that together, we can help build a stronger, more inclusive Miami.”
In addition to research and technical assistance, the center offers cost-effective, customized training and organizational development solutions to nonprofits and local governments throughout South Florida, and has attained national and international reach most recently through the Mandela Washington Fellows Program.
“We thank Mr. Pérez and The Related Group for their support of our FIU,” said Howard Lipman, CEO of the FIU Foundation Inc.
“With these funds, the Metropolitan Center can continue with its mission of supporting our community with policy solutions.”