The Past, Present, and Future of NSU

Nova Southeastern University has come a long way from its humble origins in a downtown Fort Lauderdale storefront in 1964. From those humble beginnings, NSU has grown into a thriving university with locations across Florida, Puerto Rico, and Colorado, with a student body of 23,000 and more than 210,000 alumni globally. Learn more about the innovative leaders who have shaped NSU's course across six decades.

George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D. (2010-Present)

George HanburyDr. George L. Hanbury II has focused on establishing core values, improving the university’s finances, and raising quality standards in academic programs to earn specialized accreditation. The state-of-the-art Center for Collaborative Research opened on the Fort Lauderdale Campus in 2016, and a Tampa Bay Regional Campus opened in 2019 thanks to the support of Drs. Kiran C. and Pallavi Patel. The Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine admitted its first class of M.D., students in 2018 and achieved full accreditation in 2023. NSU expanded its footprint with the opening of a new campus in Denver, Colo., in 2022.

Past Presidents of Nova Southeastern University

Ray FerreroDuring Ray Ferrero’s tenure, NSU was awarded provisional membership in NCAA Division II in 1998. That same year, the Board of Trustees approved construction of the Alvin Sherman Library in partnership with Broward County, which opened in 2001. Further major developments included the opening of the Carl DeSantis Building in 2003 and the University Center in 2006. It was later named after philanthropist Don Taft.
Ovid LewisFollowing the 1994 merger with Southeastern University of the Health Sciences, Dr. Ovid Lewis was selected as president of the newly renamed Nova Southeastern University. The Horvitz Administration Building opened in 1994, followed by the Maxwell Maltz Building in 1996. In 1997, the Health Professions Division relocated from Southeastern’s old facilities in North Miami Beach to NSU’s main campus in Davie.

Stephen FeldmanDr. Stephen Feldman oversaw the opening in 1992 of the Leo Goodwin Sr. Hall to house the Shepard Broad Law Center and the Leo Goodwin Sr. Residence Hall as its fifth dorm. In 1993, the Miami Dolphins opened their new training facility on campus. They would occupy it for nearly 30 years.

Abe FischlerNova’s first five graduates earned their Ph.D. degrees. Under Dr. Abraham S. Fischler, Nova began developing new educational programs in subjects like education, business administration, law and computer science. Nova earned full accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1971.In 1974, the institution’s name was officially changed to Nova University. Nova introduced online courses for its distance education programs in 1985. By 1992, Nova had created additional new programs and constructed new buildings on campus.
Warren WinsteadAs the first president of Nova University of Advanced Technology, Dr. Warren Winstead developed the master plan, worked to secure funding, and hired the initial staff. He visited Caltech and UCLA to study their curriculum and administrative model to serve as an example for Nova. Classes began in 1967 with 17 Ph.D. students and 17 faculty members. The university’s first building, the Rosenthal Student Center, opened in 1967, followed by the Parker Physical Sciences Center in 1968. The Physical Oceanographic Laboratory also opened in Fort Lauderdale. The University School opened on campus in 1969.