The University of Florida has announced a $10 million gift from alumnus Joseph Hernandez in support of its department of chemistry.
The gift will establish a permanent endowment for the department that will provide funds for classroom, research, and student support. In recognition of the gift, the university will name a new chemistry building that is expected to open within a year for Hernandez.
A Cuban immigrant and New York City-based biotech entrepreneur, Hernandez earned a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies from the university in 1996 and a pair of master's degrees two years later, one in business administration and the other in medical sciences. In addition to his expertise is in diagnostic and therapeutic industries, Hernandez is the founder of a number of health-related companies, including Microlin Bio and Sydys Corp., Ember Therapeutics, and Prolias Technologies.
"Joe's gift will seed innovation and accelerate the entrepreneurial spirit within the department of chemistry," said David Richardson, dean of UF's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "Joe is a model for the application of broad scientific knowledge in business, and he is the kind of UF graduate students can emulate as they look to their futures. This endowment will vastly increase the department's momentum as it seeks to build national leadership in research and teaching. Joe's generous support will be pivotal in helping UF achieve its aspiration and its goals."