Behind the names of NSU’s buildings and colleges


Every day, NSU students walk into buildings adorned with the names of people they don’t know much about. To understand more of the university’s unique history, here’s a bit of information about just a few of the benefactors that our colleges and buildings are named after.

Steve and Madelaine Halmos of Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography
In 2016, Steve and Madelaine Halmos donated a financial gift to NSU, with the goal of expanding research in marine biology and creating a scholarship fund for students intending to go into the field. Steve Halmos is a businessman and entrepreneur, according to NSU’s website. He is said to have a deep love for scuba diving, the ocean and marine life from moving from California to Key Biscayne as a child. For more information, visit .

Jim and Jan Moran of the Jim and Jan Moran Family Center Village
According to his website, The Morans and JM Family Enterprises initiated a $6 million challenge to NSU in 2001 to expand the early childhood outreach programs. Jim Moran was an “automotive pioneer,” having had a career in the business that lasted over six decades. Moran started his life without much excess of income, but made up for it with hard work and a strong desire to succeed. Among many other accomplishments, Jim was awarded the NSU President’s Community Award, the university’s highest honor. To learn more, go to

Emeritus Abraham S. Fischler of the Abraham S. Fischler College of Education
Abraham S. Fischler was named NSU President in September of 1970, and remained in the position for 22 years before resigning in 1992. Fischler had a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the City College of New York, a master’s degree in science education from New York University and an Ed.D. from Teacher’s College, Columbia University. After earning his degrees, he went on to become an assistant professor at Harvard University, and later a full professor at University of California, Berkeley. For more information on NSU’s second president, visit

James Farquhar of the Farquhar Honors College
James Farquhar, according to NSU’s website, is often referred to as “Mr. Nova,” as it is believed that the university may not have survived without him. Farquhar donated 100 acres to the university, which was just budding. Later, in 1969, Farquhar donated $750,000 to NSU after the university was almost forced to shut its doors, as reported by the Sun Sentinel. In addition, the Sun-Tattler stated he and his family independently donated $15-25 million to the university during and after his life. To learn more, visit

Shepard Broad of the Shepard Broad College of Law
Aside from his millions of dollars donated to hospitals, universities, synagogues and other charities, Shepard Broad has also made quite an impact on NSU. In 1989, according to the Sun Sentinel, Broad gifted $3 million, resulting in the college of law’s naming. In addition, a plaque commemorating Ruth Broad, Shepard Broad’s wife of 57 years, sits behind Horvitz Administration building. Shepard Broad had a difficult childhood in Russia. After losing his parents at a young age and eating bread rations to survive, he immigrated to the U.S. alone. He worked several jobs and went to New York Law School at night. For more information, visit