Through our teaching, engagement, research, and creative activities, CARTA drives the information, innovation, and cultural economy of South Florida. With a focus on experiential learning, for many students, CARTA is the launching point to what is next- as was showcased to the more than 1,200 alumni, faculty, staff, and other FIU community members during the New Horizon Campaign Kickoff event. Here’s a look back at FIU’s festivities and showcase, which included CARTA’s faculty, research, community and student successes from start to finish.
The opening of the celebration included the unveiling of the Wall of Gratitude, which honors those benefactors that have committed $1 million or more to the university. The interactive, digital wall- located on the first floor of the Management and Advanced Research Center (MARC) building- features many CARTA contributors, including Dr. Herbert and Nicole Wertheim, dedicated philanthropists who made the Wertheim Performing Arts Center possible. Due to their generosity, students can participate in various student-run productions annually. The donor wall also features The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which have partnered with CARTA and the Creative Class Group to create the Miami Urban Future Initiative (MUFI).
Also commemorated is CARTA’s professor emeritus Dr. Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver, who’s work has culminated in the development of the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication. With her donation, the ability to empower both women professionals and academics in all the fields of communication, and develop visionaries and leaders who can make a difference in their communities and their profession will continue for generations to come. Further CARTA supporters recognized on the Wall of Gratitude included alumnus Steven Cruz, Mana Enterprises of Miami, LLC, Lee Caplin of Bridgegate Pictures, Ambassador Paul L. Cejas, The McClatchy Company, and Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation. All of these generous donations have helped to increase the experiential learning possibilities for our students as they become future industry innovators.
“Over the past several years we have built a strong foundation to serve as a launching point to what is next for our community and our students,” said Brian Schriner, dean of the College of Communication + The Arts. “It is with gratitude that we acknowledge the many people who have joined in our efforts to move the college forward. From the donors that understand our vision, to the faculty and staff that carry out that mission, and to the students who embody both.”
CARTA’s incredible faculty and student’s collaborations were recognized throughout the event. David Chang- Art + Art History professor and chair-unveiled the official Next Horizon Campaign portrait alongside president Mark B. Rosenberg and provost Kenneth Furton. In addition, the School of Music’s very talented alumnus Tony Succar and his Mixtura Band entertained the audience as did performances by FIU’s Marching Band- led by School of Music’s Barry Bernhardt.
At the core of our mission is our students. Just a few of the experiential learning opportunities available to students were on view at the Next Horizon kickoff. Students from the student-run and faculty-led creative agency- BOLD- showcased their work and the department of Communication’s peer coaches were on hand to offer public speaking tips. The department of Journalism’s Eye On the Rise was on deck to raise awareness and educate South Florida communities about the impact, challenges and threats of sea level rise.
Through the work of our faculty, students, staff, and community as well as the impact of philanthropists that believe in our vision, CARTA is poised to continue its strong foothold in the community and into the Next Horizon.