e-Veritas Archive | May, 2015

Family, Friends, and ‘Canes Celebrate the Life of Former First Lady ‘Bosey’ Foote

By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

Bosey Foote Celebration of Life

At last Friday’s memorial service, members of the Foote family perform a musical tribute to Roberta “Bosey” Foote.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (May 29, 2015) – When Roberta “Bosey” Fulbright Foote arrived at the University of Miami in 1981 with her husband, the school’s newly appointed president, Edward “Tad” Foote II, she knew instantly that something needed to be done to beautify the school’s Coral Gables campus.

Back then, Memorial Drive was what UM Board of Trustees member Charles E. “Chuck” Cobb described as a “sea of asphalt,” an expansive area for faculty parking that Bosey Foote wanted to replace with green space. But doing so wouldn’t be easy. Her husband knew that eliminating those parking spaces would quite probably upset some of the faculty. Yet Mrs. Foote persisted, and the asphalt eventually met its end, giving way to the lush plant life that was part of a campus beautification program spearheaded by the University’s first lady.

Last Friday, with the Coral Gables campus in full bloom, family, friends, and members of the University community paid tribute to the woman who made it her mission to turn the school’s grounds into a “campus in a tropical garden.”

“She wasn’t a horticulturalist, but she had an innate ability to know what worked and looked right,” Thaddeus Foote said at the Celebration of Life for his mother, who died of complications from cancer on May 5 at the age of 76. “Thirty-five years later, this campus sings with beauty.”

More than 150 people, including President Emeritus Foote, attended the memorial service, gathering under a tent on what is now fittingly called the Foote University Green to listen to and share stories about the Arkansas-born mother, grandmother, and wife who always believed in making spaces beautiful.

Noting that she volunteered at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Thaddeus Foote, who took a teaching job at the Coral Gables-based garden, described his mother as “elegant, even while sweating with pruning shears on the side of Old Cutler Road. I can’t tell you how grateful a son I am,” he said, holding back tears. He held up a mango, noting that it was one of his mother’s favorite fruits, and he encouraged everyone to take with them one of the Captiva Island seashells from her collection, which was displayed on a table at the memorial service.

Another son, William Foote, said his mother was “altruistic” and “cared deeply about making the world a better place.” She supported efforts such the Miami Coalition for a Safe and Drug-Free Community, which her husband founded in 1988, and long ago, she became a volunteer for the Frontier Nursing Service, helping to deliver health care to residents in rural communities in the Appalachian Mountains.

It should have come as no surprise that she wanted to help others, William Foote noted. Born Roberta Waugh Fulbright, she was the daughter of the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright, the prominent American statesman who initiated the international exchange program for scholars known as the Fulbright scholarship.

Music performed by the two sons and other Foote family members moved many of those in attendance, including Lynden B. Miller, who first met Bosey Foote 67 years ago when the two girls were in the fifth grade in Washington, D.C. Miller called her longtime friend “the sister of my heart.”

“We shared everything,” even the belief in using plants to improve public spaces, said Miller. “We talked on the telephone for hours…We were in each others weddings…We finished each others sentences,” she recalled. In the early 1970s, when Bosey Foote moved to St. Louis, where her husband became dean of the law school at Washington University, the two friends didn’t see much of each other. “But there was always the telephone,” said Miller. “I only wish there was a phone I could call her on now.”




Posted in Briefly Noted, In Memoriam, NewsComments Off

UM Launches New Digital Tool for Improving Affordable Housing Needs


Robin Bachin, assistant provost for civic and community engagement, discusses the MAP mission at The Beacon Council.

By Andres Tamayo
UM News

MIAMI, Fla. (May 29, 2015) – University of Miami officials last week officially launched the Miami Affordability Project, or MAP, an interactive online tool that provides rich data about affordable housing and development.

In a meeting at The Beacon Council, more than 100 community officials, executives, and local media turned out for the event, which has been more than a year-and-a-half in the making and was spearheaded by UM’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement and the Center for Computational Science.

The MAP program is free to use and visualizes neighborhood-level housing market dynamics, and assists in developing data-driven strategies for housing and community development.

“The overall goal of our housing and community development work is to increase the availability of affordable housing and to promote balanced, people- and place-based revitalization strategies that are sensitive to the history and culture of neighborhoods,” said Robin Bachin, assistant provost for civic and community engagement.

The project, which focuses on improving housing opportunities for residents of low- to moderate-income Miami neighborhoods, was funded through grants from JPMorgan Chase and the Jessie Ball DuPont Fund.

Miami ranks first in the nation in severe cost burden, meaning that more people in Miami than in any other metropolitan area spend 50 percent or more of their income on housing.

“With the development of MAP, courtesy of Dr. Bachin and her team at the CCE, we will now be able to better measure, better manage, better provide for affordable housing because our basic assumptions will be right, not wrong,” said Michael Liu, director, Miami-Dade Public Housing and Community Development. “It will be based on empirical data and analysis not on myth and anecdote.”

Liu joined fellow community officials Arden Shank, president and CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida, and Barbara “Bobbie” Ibarra, executive director of the Miami Coalition for the Homeless, as speakers. The launch also featured speakers from JPMorgan Chase and The Beacon Council.

The innovative project is only the second of its kind – the first was done in New York. For more information on the MAP and its capabilities, visit http://comte.ccs.miami.edu/housing/.

Posted in News, ’Canes in the CommunityComments Off

Hillel Honors President Shalala for Tearing Down Walls of Ignorance

From left are  Jeffrey Miller, Hillel at UM Capital Campaign co-chair, President Shalala, Sidney Pertnoy, and Eric Fingerhut, president and CEO, Hillel International.

From left are Jeffrey Miller, Hillel at UM Capital Campaign co-chair, President Shalala, Sidney Pertnoy, and Eric Fingerhut, president and CEO, Hillel International.

In one of her last acts as UM president, Donna E. Shalala, who ardently supported University of Miami Hillel through her 14-year tenure, accepted Hillel International’s Maimonides Award last week. As Jeffrey Miller, who was joined by brother Stuart Miller, chair of the UM Board of Trustees, and sister Leslie Miller Saiontz, told Shalala at the organization’s annual Renaissance Gala in New York City, “Tonight’s honor is simply an exclamation point for your tireless efforts to welcome diversity and tear down the walls of ignorance. By heartfully supporting Hillel, you helped open up the eyes and hearts of both Jewish and non-Jewish kids.”

Hillel International established the Maimonides Award, named for the preeminent Jewish philosopher, astronomer, scholar and physician, last year to recognize a university leader whose dedication to higher education has promoted a deep commitment to Jewish and secular learning and devotion to the community.

“In addition to being a tremendous friend of the Jewish community and University of Miami Hillel, President Shalala has established a path of excellence for the University of Miami in the arenas of higher education, research, and health care,” said Sidney Pertnoy, chair of Hillel International.

UM Hillel’s new home on the Coral Gables campus, the Braman Miller Center for Jewish Student Life, is currently under construction and scheduled to open this fall. Jeffrey Miller is co-chair of the Hillel at UM Capital Campaign.


Posted in Honors, NewsComments Off

Feminist Scholar and Liberal Arts Champion Passes Away

Shari (Benstock) Gabrielson Goodmann copy

Shari Gabrielson Goodmann. Photo by Fritz Senn.

Shari Gabrielson Goodmann, a longtime University of Miami faculty member and champion of liberal arts who was widely known for her feminist scholarship and literary biography as Shari Benstock, passed away on May 26 from complications related to early-onset dementia. She was 70.

A faculty member at the University of Miami from 1986 to 2006, Gabrielson Goodmann founded the program in Women’s and Gender Studies and served as chair of the English Department and associate dean for faculty affairs in the College of Arts and Sciences. Read the full story

Posted in Briefly Noted, In MemoriamComments Off

Propelled by Gratitude, Twice-Paralyzed Hockey Player Rides for The Miami Project

Special to UM News


Surrounding Marc Buoniconti, seated, are, from left, Teague Egan, Tom Smith, Chris Smith, John McCarthy and Barth A. Green, M.D.

MIAMI, Fla. (May 28, 2015)— Tom Smith, a twice-paralyzed former hockey player, rode 2,100 miles from Massachusetts to The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis at the Miller School of Medicine last month, concluding his 38-day Reality Ride Challenge to raise funds and awareness for The Miami Project’s spinal cord injury research programs, which he credit for his recovery.

“The Reality Ride Challenge is a testament to what great doctors and therapists can do for someone with paralysis,” said Smith. “My goal is to build this ride into a fundraising platform to help The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis expedite the process of finding a cure so that everyone in a wheelchair can have the same opportunity to recover that I had.”

Smith, a former patient of Barth A. Green, M.D., the chair of neurological surgery and co-founder of The Miami Project, was first paralyzed in August of 2008 during an intense hockey play but was able to walk again after receiving treatment and therapy at The Miami Project. A similar injury occurred at another hockey game in 2009. Upon recovering, Smith decided he wanted to give back. With the Reality Ride Challenge his team raised $100,000 for The Miami Project’s paralysis research programs.

“What Tom and his team have been able to accomplish through the Reality Ride on behalf of The Miami Project is nothing short of remarkable,”said Miami Project President Marc Buoniconti. “Their determination to make this a reality in order to help others devastated by paralysis is admirable and we are proud to call them our friends.”

The ride left from Boston on March 25, with each day consisting of  65 miles on a bicycle, two miles in a sitting wheelchair bike, and one mile walking. The ride, which traced Smith’s path from his accident in Massachusetts to his recovery at The Miami Project, was also a brutal test of physical endurance and mental fortitude.

At The Miami Project’s research facility, Buoniconti and Green led a welcoming party with dozens of well-wishers that included family, friends, and researchers.

The Reality Ride Challenge is symbolic for riding and walking for those who cannot, said Smith, who completed the distance with advisor Teague Egan and others who joined for segments along the way.

Smith said that he is a “living, breathing, walking example of how the world-class doctors, scientists, physical therapists and nurses at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis improve the daily lives of those living with paralysis.”

Posted in NewsComments Off

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