A week ago Saturday, the BankUnited Center held the last of 21 high school and non-UM college graduation ceremonies, wrapping up a breathtaking whirlwind of activity on campus that began with the confluence of two historic events. A live broadcast of the Billboard Latin Music Awards from the BUC and the renaming of the Student Activities Center for UM’s now-departed fifth president, Donna E. Shalala, brought thousands of visitors—and all of the parking, logistics, and traffic challenges that go with mass events—to campus on April 30.
Yet the Billboard broadcast, the Shalala celebration, and the myriad other events that followed over the next six weeks went off without a major hitch or complaint, prompting a note of heartfelt thanks from Lorenzo Muniz, general manager of the BankUnited Center.
“For the BankUnited Center to have thousands and thousands of individuals attending these events and not receive a single complaint is beyond outstanding!” Muniz wrote in singling out the GCA grounds and maintenance crews, the UM Police Department, and the Department of Parking and Transportation for special appreciation. “Our police have been wonderful and our parking superb!”
Larry Marbert, vice president for real estate and facilities, to whom Muniz sent his thanks, is in hearty agreement. “It was a great job, and I want to congratulate everyone for rising to the occasion,” Marbert said. “It does, however, underscore the need for further planning and coordination for the growing number of future events.”