Dr. Modesto “Mitch” Maidique, who served as president of Florida International University (FIU) for over half of its history and is the current executive director of FIU’s Center for Leadership, has been named as one of 30 Living Legends selected by Miami Today. Dr. Maidique along with the other award recipients was honored at an invitation-only presentation ceremony followed by a dinner reception on March 28 at the Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College in downtown Miami.
The 30 Living Legends were selected as part of the 30 year anniversary of Miami Today, a nationally recognized, award-winning publication providing Miami-Dade County’s business community with news on business, real estate development, government and civic life.
"We wanted to celebrate these Legends of Miami as a way to honor them and the community - the most fitting way for Miami Today to wrap up its first three decades," said the newspaper’s vice president, Carmen Betancourt-Lewis, who spearheaded the anniversary celebration.
“It was a signal honor to be among those selected,” said Dr. Maidique, who was named in 2009 as President Emeritus of FIU in recognition of his leadership, dedication and accomplishments during his 23 year tenure as university president. “I was proud to stand side to side with men and women who not only have shaped the direction for Miami but also have brought to that task a commitment for excellence.”
The photos of the 30 Living Legends flashed on the giant outdoor screen of the American Airlines Arena on March 28. The Living Legends include Paul Cejas, Armando Codina, Senator Bob Graham, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Paul and Swanee DiMare, Peter Dolara, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Phillip and Patricia Frost, David Lawrence Jr., Manny Medina, Eduardo Padrón, Jorge Perez, and Sanford Ziff.
Major FIU donors amongst those honored.
Among those honored were major donors to FIU during Dr. Maidique’s presidency. Through their contributions, individuals such as Cejas, Codina, Frost, Perez and Ziff helped shape the growth of the university.
Miami Today also named 10 Historic Legends who shaped the community but have passed away; these included Ted Arison, Leonard Miller and Alvah Chapman Jr.- the name sake of FIU’s graduate school of business.
“Including Mitch Maidique in such a distinguished group is a natural,” comments Dr. Adams, chair of the Board of Advisors for the Center for Leadership. “Dr. Maidique led the transformation of Florida International University, Miami's first and only public research university classified in the highest ranking awarded by the Carnegie Foundation. Under his leadership, FIU more than tripled in physical size and grew to nearly 40,000 students; sponsored research grew to well over $100 million; endowment increased sixty fold; and the university became one of the largest in the United States.”
“He continues to build his legacy, as executive director of our Center, ensuring that leaders will have the competencies that will equip them to positively and effectively transform their organizations and their societies.”
Article by: Jane Schreier Jones