Volume 76, Number 4 | June 14 - 20 2006

Xavier alumnus gives $5 million to build new, high-tech auditorium

In the largest single gift in Xavier High School’s 160-year history, Miguel (Mike) B. Fernandez, a Florida-based healthcare industry entrepreneur and alumnus of Xavier’s class of 1972, has pledged a $5 million donation to the Jesuit preparatory school for boys on W. 16th St. The funds will be used to build a multipurpose auditorium. The gift was announced on June 9 by Reverend Daniel J. Gatti, S.J., Xavier High School president.

“The new building will be Xavier’s first in 45 years,” said Father Gatti. “Through this generous donation, we will be able to provide a first-class, high-tech auditorium and theater to enrich our students’ educational experience.”

The auditorium, designed by Holzman Moss Architecture, LLP, will provide space for student rehearsals and performances, class assemblies, drama productions, concerts, lectures and special presentations. The theater and meeting spaces will be available on a rental basis to outside groups, allowing community members to also benefit from the new space.

Born in Cuba and raised in New York City, after graduating from Xavier, Fernandez relocated to South Florida, where he began selling life insurance and developed innovative ideas for managed healthcare. Today, Fernandez is well known in the managed-care industry for recent sales of firms he has owned for a combined total of more than $600 million. He is currently chairman of MBF Healthcare Partners, a private equity firm with more than $200 million in equity to invest nationwide in the healthcare industry. Additionally, his diverse business ventures include participation as a board member with a number of for-profit companies, including Pediatrix Medical Group (PDX).

Fernandez currently serves on the boards of the United Way of Miami-Dade and the University of Miami, in Florida. He and his family have given millions of dollars to fund programs and buildings that focus on child development and higher education.

“Xavier High School provided the cornerstone of my education and the fundamentals that have led to my business success,” said Fernandez. “I am very proud to be able to support the fine work being done to help students at my alma mater. As a father of five, I feel the future of our world depends on the proper development and education of our children.”

“Mike Fernandez values education in a young person’s life and his dedication to service and philanthropy embodies what Xavier is all about,” said Father Gatti. “We are proud of his accomplishments both professionally and personally. He serves as a great motivator for our students, alumni and community.”

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