Ever kissed a Florida International University student on the on-campus “Kissing Bridge,” which spans their tranquil Turtle Pond? Tradition has it that if you do, you’re set to stay with that person for life. Recently graduated alumna Serena Jimenez may not have had that kind of luck, but she certainly celebrated success of another kind when she won a Suncoast Emmy Award in 2015 for her work on WPBT-TV’s “Art Loft.” These stories and many more grant this public Miami institution deep character; its enrollment counts 54,000 students strong, making it the nation’s 4th-largest university of any kind. Founded in 1965, FIU has come a long way in a short time, currently offering more than 200 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs. Students’ resumes are strengthened here every day, whether by volunteer work at the Children’s Creative Learning Center, coordination of an on-campus community food pantry, or a variety of other service and leadership-oriented programs and opportunities. An unusually large 93 percent of students here live off-campus, but it should be no surprise; FIU teaches them to become a part of something bigger than just their grades.