Administrative records of Ray F. Ferrero, Jr., fifth president of Nova University




184 boxes

Biographical Sketch

Ray F. Ferrero, Jr., J.D., served as the fifth president of Nova Southeastern University from January 1998 to December 2009. He is recognized as being a visionary leader who is strongly committed to the growth and improvement of the university and the community it serves. He is a distinguished lecturer, a tireless civic activist, a prominent trial attorney, and a man devoted to his family -- wife Raquel, daughter Denise Rae, and son Raymond Gregory.

Ferrero has also served his city, county, state, and nation well as an attorney and a civic leader. He graduated from St. John’s University in New York with a BBA in 1955 and became a Captain in the Marine Corps. He is a graduate of the University of Florida Law School and was a partner in the Fort Lauderdale-based firm of Ferrero & Middlebrooks, P.A. He was a past president of the Florida Bar, the Broward County Bar Association, the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers and Broward County Trial Lawyers Association. He also served as a state delegate to the American Bar Association and a past member of the Board of Governors of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America.

Ferrero was named Chairman of the Board for The Broward Alliance for the fiscal year 2009. The Broward Alliance is Broward County’s official public/private partnership for economic development. In addition, he is a past president of the Florida Association of Colleges and Universities, the only non-governmental organization in the state of Florida that represents the common interests of all three sectors, private, state universities, and junior colleges, of the state's higher educational system. He is the past chairman of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida (ICUF), a diverse association of 28 not-for-profit, private institutions of higher education, and also served as the chair for ICUF’s council of presidents. He is a past chairman of the Broward Education Consortium, which includes Nova Southeastern University, Florida Atlantic University, Barry University, Broward Community College and the Broward County School District.

His work on behalf of the community has been recognized with numerous awards and honors. Women in Distress, Broward County Chapter, named President Ferrero Man of the Year in 1988, and he is also a recipient of the John F. Kennedy Leadership Award. In 1976, he received the President’s Award from the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, presented to the lawyer who has made the most significant contribution to the cause of justice in the State of Florida during that year.

Ferrero was selected as one of six South Floridians to receive the Silver Medallion Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice and was one of three South Floridians honored by the Urban League of Broward County for the Diversity Champion Award. He was honored by the American Psychological Association with the Presidential Citation Award, and also received the Catholic Charities’ Spirit of Charity award in the Individual category. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation honored Ferrero during its 2001 “Tribute to the Family” event. Ferrero was also honored with the 2002 CEO Lifetime Achievement Diamond Award presented by South Florida Business Journal, the South Florida CEO Magazine recognition as “One Hundred Most Powerful People in South Florida” and the Sun-Sentinel Excalibur 2002 Award - Broward County Business Leader of the Year.

Ferrero has received the City of Ft. Lauderdale Citizen of the Year Award in 2003, the Pillar of the Community Award presented by Victory Living Leadership Programs in 2005, the Miami-Dade/Broward County State of Israel Bonds Israel Freedom Award, and the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. In 2007, he received the Presidential Role Model award from Minority Access, Inc.

Scope and Content

Correspondence, legal documents, financial records, memos, reports, subject files, and clippings comprise the bulk of the records of Ray F. Ferrero, Jr., president of Nova Southeastern University and primarily span the years 1998-2009, the years of his presidency.

Ferrero’s involvement with the university began in 1984 as a member of the Board of Trustees. He served as chairman of the Board of Trustees from October 1988 until September 1995. He then held the post of vice chairman until becoming president in 1998. During his six years as chairman of the Board of Trustees, Ferrero played a major role in bringing about the merger of Nova University and Southeastern University, which ultimately resulted in the university’s then position as the largest independent university in the southeast and the seventh largest in the United States.

In Ferrero’s 12 years as president, enrollment increased 72 percent, from 16,921 in 1998 to 29,154 in 2009. In addition, NSU’s student population has grown more diverse under President Ferrero and NSU regularly ranks first in the number of doctoral degrees awarded to minorities. In 2007, NSU successfully completed its 10-year reaffirmation of accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Ferrero has also overseen a transformation of NSU’s main campus with more than 2 million square feet of construction projects completed during his tenure. He is largely responsible for the creation of the Alvin Sherman Library, Research and Information Technology Center. Determined to make NSU Broward County's university, President Ferrero actively participated in developing a unique joint-use facility between NSU and the Broward County Board of County Commissioners. This new 325,000-square foot library serves NSU students and faculty, as well as the citizens of Broward County.

In 2003, the Jim & Jan Moran Family Center Village opened as the new home to the Mailman Segal Institute for Early Childhood Studies. The 110,000-square-foot facility allows students, faculty members, and researchers to observe, experience, and learn about best practices in early childhood education and family support.

In 2004, the Carl DeSantis Building opened as the new home to the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship. The five-story, 261,000-square-foot facility includes cutting edge technology for the business school’s undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs.

In August 2006, the university opened the new Don Taft University Center, a 366,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, multiuse facility that stands as the largest structure on the main campus. This centerpiece, which redefines NSU’s relationship with its students, faculty and staff members, and the community, features a student union, wellness and fitness center, performing arts venue, and a convocation center sports arena.

In August 2007, the university opened The Commons, a new state-of-the-art residence hall. The new hall includes 526 student beds, classroom and meeting space, indoor and outdoor common space, and 16 community living rooms – creating communities within a community.

In 2008, NSU opened the Rolling Hills Graduate Apartments residence hall, which provides 373 beds for graduate students and increased the total capacity in NSU’s residence halls to nearly 1,500. In the same year, NSU also merged with the Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale, opening the Performing and Visual Arts Wing of the Don Taft University Center, and opened the $5 million University Aquatic Center, the largest water volume pool in Florida at the time and which includes a 10-lane, 50-meter pool.

Ferrero also expanded the university’s presence in Florida and beyond. NSU has Student Educational Centers in all major Florida cities east of Tallahassee, including Miami, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, West Palm Beach and Southeast Florida.

Access or Use Restrictions

Presidential collections are closed to the public. Permission must be obtained from the current University President. Certain files are restricted to protect identities of former staff and/or students.

Document Type

Finding Aid

Finding Aid Created


Finding Aid Creator

Michele Gibney


Nova Southeastern University Archives