Tag Archive | "Heritage Society"

Heritage Society Welcomes New Members

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Heritage Society Welcomes New Members


By Pam Edward
Special to UM News

Ann House, associate vice president for Advancement Services, is among this year’s Heritage Society inductees.

Ann House, associate vice president for Advancement Services, is among this year’s Heritage Society inductees.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 22, 2016) — When someone travels outside his or her comfort zone—be it geographic, cultural, or academic—it can be a genuinely transformative experience. Just ask the four University of Miami students who spoke of their studies abroad at the 27th Annual Heritage Society Luncheon, held at the Newman Alumni Center last Thursday, to thank donors who have made planned gifts to the University and induct the Society’s newest members, including Ann House, associate vice president for Advancement Services, who will retire in May after a 39-year career at the University.

The students, who were featured in the luncheon’s keynote remarks by Devika Milner, director of Study Abroad, included Vinessa Burnett, ’16, who was inspired by her time in Sydney, Australia, to launch an organization that encourages African-American UM students to pursue study abroad.

Melissa Haun, ’16, called her stay at UBuenos Aires, Argentina, “an exercise in adaptation, humility, and changing the way I thought about the world.” Shelby Koos, ’16, who studied in Cusco, Peru, volunteered in the local community and learned to speak Quechua, the main indigenous language of the Andean region. And Danielle Ellis, A.B. ’15, currently a student in the School of Law, has traveled to Argentina and India, realizing along the way “how diverse the world is and how much I have to learn from others.”

The Heritage Society recognizes those who have included the University in their estate plan or who have used a planned giving vehicle to make a gift. Since the Society’s inception in 1988, more than 1,500 individuals, living and deceased, have been inducted. On this occasion, the Society welcomed its 61 newest members with 138 distinguished guests, including University leadership, trustees, and current Society members, looking on.

In his remarks at the luncheon, President Julio Frenk spoke about the vision for the University’s next ten years that he first articulated in his inaugural address. In particular, he highlighted the initiatives underway to ensure “Access with Excellence,” which means ensuring that students can complete their studies and graduate without undue financial burdens, and to develop a university-wide platform for educational innovation. He cited study abroad as a key effort in these areas, and saluted the Heritage Society for being vital to the University’s long-term success. He told the assembled members “you provide a lasting legacy of leadership in learning, discovery, and service.”

Thomas J. LeBlanc, the University’s executive vice president and provost, spoke eloquently about his own experiences as a high-school student studying in Brazil. He called it a truly life-changing opportunity, and so strongly does he believe in the power of study abroad that, in 2012, he and his wife Anne established the Tom and Anne LeBlanc Study Abroad Endowed Scholarship Fund to provide undergraduate students with financial need the opportunity to participate in one of UM’s Study Abroad Programs.

As associate vice president for Advancement Services, House, M.B.A. ’84, manages a team of 39 professionals who perform the critical functions—ranging from gift processing to talent management—that support fundraising, alumni relations, and donor communication.

As a proud donor, alumna, and parent of a former UM student, House is a big part of why employee giving is so ingrained in the culture of the University. Her journey at UM began in 1976, when she started as a file clerk in the controller’s office earning $2.68 an hour. As she moved up the ranks in advancement, her job at UM evolved into a career and, ultimately, a passion.

House has worked nationally to improve the advancement profession, and has spearheaded initiatives that have a positive impact on the whole University. She is passionate about giving back. “I believe there are enough good things being done at UM that everyone can find something they feel strongly about. My bequest is to support the Elysa K. Mestril Endowed Scholarship at the University, which was created in memory of the daughter of Ana Fernandez (formerly Mestril), one of my direct reports. I became a member of the Heritage Society because people give to people. So when my colleagues asked, I gave.”

Whether for study abroad, student scholarships, or any of the many other areas where our institution benefits from donor generosity, planned giving is among the most powerful tools donors can use to support the University. As Sergio Gonzalez, UM’s senior vice president of advancement and external affairs remarked, “planned gifts have made a significant difference in our continued trajectory of excellence, and will continue to be the cornerstone of our institution’s growth for years to come.”

For more information about the various ways you can leave your legacy at the University of Miami, contact Cynthia L. Beamish, executive director of the Office of Estate and Gift Planning, at 305-284-2914 or visit www.miami.edu/plannedgiving.

 

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In a ‘Celebration of the Possible,’ UM Inducts New Heritage Society Members

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In a ‘Celebration of the Possible,’ UM Inducts New Heritage Society Members


By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

UM Motion Picture Students

From left are film students Italome Ohikhuare, Zulena Segarra-Berrios, Nicholas Katzenbach, Amanda Quintos, Joseph Picozzi, and Laura Falcone.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (May 13, 2015) – Could the next Steven Spielberg or Kathryn Bigelow already be enrolled at the University of Miami?

After viewing short clips from some of the films produced by students in the School of Communication’s Department of Cinema and Interactive Media, many of the guests at a recent UM donor recognition event probably think so, and for good reason. The films—which range from a movie about a goofy but brilliant college student who is recruited to help the CIA on a top-secret mission, to a story about a man who realizes that Cuba is no place to raise a child and concocts a plan to become a “Marielito”—took top honors at UM’s recent ’Canes Film Showcase and are now headed to Los Angeles, where they will be screened for top Hollywood producers.

Planned gifts sometimes play a major role in helping such students achieve success, and on May 13, in a ceremony UM President Donna E. Shalala described as “a celebration of the possible,” UM honored those who have made planned gifts to or included UM in their estate plans, when the University hosted its 26th annual Heritage Society Luncheon.

“People who do planned giving really are optimistic,” Shalala said at the induction ceremony, a luncheon held in the first-floor ballroom of the Newman Alumni Center. “They not only have faith in a better future but are making sure they’re a part of making [that future] happen.”

During the luncheon, attendees got a look at that future in the form of the five, young student filmmakers who were in attendance, and they learned about the School of Communication’s plans for a $2 million interactive media center that will house a student-run agency offering advertising, design, public relations, Web, and other services.

Guests also learned about the tremendous impact of UM’s Heritage Society. Since it was established in 1988, more than 1,500 philanthropists have joined the organization, making gifts that Shalala said have a transformative impact on the University.

Over the years, UM faculty and staff have been well represented among the society’s membership, and at the May 13 ceremony, two representatives from the University’s workforce—one a newcomer, the other a recent retiree—were inducted.

Rodolphe el-Khoury, who last year became dean of UM’s School of Architecture, made a planned gift that will support a much-needed design studio building at the school.

“We’re really a collection of buildings, and we think of ourselves as a campus within a campus,” said el-Khoury, noting that many of the school’s classrooms—part of a Marion Manley-designed network of structures originally built as housing for returning World War II veterans—can accommodate only small classes. “We lack the big studio space where our students can work together in large groups. And that’s what the new building will offer—a gigantic area where they can work on their projects and see and learn from what their peers are doing.”

The future Thomas P. Murphy Design Studio Building, so named for the president and CEO of the major South Florida builder, Coastal Construction, which pledged $3.5 million for its creation, will include presentation areas, review spaces, and a computer lab. El-Khoury believes his planned gift in support of the building speaks louder than anything else “I could do to demonstrate my commitment to our school’s cause.”

New Heritage Society inductee Norman C. Parsons Jr., the former executive director of wellness and recreation whose name became synonymous with “health and fitness” over his 43 years at the University, directed his planned gift to a UM athletics program he hopes will be revived one day. “The U needs a men’s golf team, and I pray it happens soon,” said Parsons, who coached the sport to national prominence in the 1980s before it was dropped in 1993.

Parsons, who could not attend the ceremony, said he hopes “many others will join me in this most important endeavor.”

It is an endeavor that lays a “foundation for the future,” said Shalala. Some planned gifts have been pledged so long ago that sometimes they fall off the radar, eventually benefiting the University when least expected. “Every once in a while, a gift pops up that we actually didn’t know about, from a person who years ago had a wonderful experience at the University—either as a student or parent, or they received care at our medical center—and never forgot the wonderful contribution we made,” said Shalala. “Some of our largest gifts have come from people who have put us in their estate plans.”

She noted that during the Momentum2 campaign, UM focused more attention on this area of philanthropy, securing more than $270 million in planned giving. “For a young university, that’s a tremendous achievement that will benefit future generations,” said Shalala.

Sergio M. Gonzalez, senior vice president for University Advancement and External Affairs, echoed Shalala’s remarks, noting that the institution has exceeded its goal for endowment giving and that such giving helps fund programs in perpetuity that range from professorships to student scholarships.

Said Gonzalez, “Planned giving touches lives.”

 

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Heritage Society Luncheon Showcases the Power of Planned Giving


By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

Among the Heritage Society’s many members are UM employees, including this group that attended the 25th anniversary luncheon last Thursday. Standing, from left to right, are: Kenneth B. “JR” Wiggins Jr., director of the UM Citizens Board; Robert Johnson, professor of sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences; Georgina “Georgie” Angones, assistant dean for alumni relations and development at the School of Law; Jeanne Krull, director of advancement services in University Advancement; Cynthia Beamish, executive director of the Office of Estate and Gift Planning; and Adriana Verdeja, development director in the University Advancement. Seated, from left to right, are: Monica Hoo, director of online communications for Advancement System Services; Lynne Gibson, director of development for the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music; Sarah Artecona, assistant vice president of community relations; and Kyle Paige, senior development director of the Office of Estate and Gift Planning. Not pictured is Steven Green, professor of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Among the Heritage Society’s many members are UM employees, including this group that attended the 25th anniversary luncheon on May 1. Standing, from left to right, are: Kenneth B. “JR” Wiggins Jr., director of the UM Citizens Board; Robert Johnson, professor of sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences; Georgina “Georgie” Angones, assistant dean for alumni relations and development at the School of Law; Jeanne Krull, director of advancement services in University Advancement; Cynthia Beamish, executive director of the Office of Estate and Gift Planning; and Adriana Verdeja, development director in University Advancement. Seated, from left to right, are: Monica Hoo, director of online communications for Advancement System Services; Lynne Gibson, director of development for the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music; Sarah Artecona, assistant vice president of community relations; and Kyle Paige, senior development director of the Office of Estate and Gift Planning. Not pictured is Steven Green, professor of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (May 8, 2014) – The offers came pouring in before Monica Hoo could even ask for assistance. Emails, phone calls, and voice mails from friends, coworkers and doctors—all of them wanting to know how they could help save her dying brother. Juan Pablo Rodriguez, a 17-year-old straight-A student and captain of his judo club in Bogota, Colombia, had been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

One of the many who offered help was a University of Miami UHealth pediatric oncologist, who reviewed Juan’s medical records and continued to follow his case even after the teen was admitted to a New Jersey medical facility for treatment.

Juan would eventually pass away, but his battle with ALL and the way in which a community of co-workers and doctors rallied to try and save him inspired Hoo to make a planned gift to UHealth’s pediatric oncology/hematology program in hopes that no other child will have to endure what Juan went through.

“This was something I felt I had to do,” says Hoo, director of online communications for UM’s University Advancement division. “Juan was my youngest brother, and we were so close, and although he wasn’t treated here, the way the UM family stepped up to help made me proud to be a ’Cane.”

Hoo was among dozens of new members inducted May 1 into the University’s Heritage Society, a donor recognition group of more than 1,500 people that is unique in that its members have made a planned gift to or included UM in their estate plans.

At the 25th anniversary Heritage Society Luncheon held at the Newman Alumni Center, where new and existing members were honored for their generosity, UM President Donna E. Shalala said planned giving is the “cornerstone of our institution’s growth.”

UM, she said, hopes to secure $240 million in planned gifts by the end of its $1.6 billion Momentum2 campaign. So far, thanks to the generosity of 670 donors, the institution has raised more than $220 million of its planned giving goal. “We don’t have a huge endowment,” said President Shalala. “In many ways, in this [Momentum2] campaign, our focus on planned giving is going to be our endowment for the future.” She also noted that in the past two years, Heritage Society members have made a number of multimillion-dollar commitments, providing vital support to multiple areas at the University.

Those areas run the gamut, benefiting programs, facilities, and students. Robert Johnson, a professor of sociology and a member of the Heritage Society for ten years, and his husband Layne Tidwell directed their planned gift to scholarships for LGBTQ students, especially “those who may find themselves in a situation of not being able to pay for their tuition because many of these students who come out in their college years have difficulty initially with their families acceptance,” said Johnson. “Families are an important resource for any college student, and if that resource happens to dry up, it threatens their future education. It’s important to have a backstop for those students.”

Hoo, who attended the luncheon with her husband Darrel, made her planned gift shortly before her brother’s passing. “Towards the end, my brother chose to fight rather than give up,” she said.

In addition to praising Dr. Julio C. Barredo, the UHealth oncologist who monitored Juan’s case, Hoo also thanked her many co-workers for their outpouring of assistance, saying her planned gift was made just as much in their honor. In particular, a group of her colleagues set up an online fundraising drive, raising money to send Juan care packages of his favorite items—Batman comic books and Dr. Who T-shirts, hats, and socks.

Juan surely must have been in Hoo’s thoughts when Stephen D. Nimer, director of UM’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and a leukemia specialist, addressed luncheon attendees, explaining the important work now underway at the center. Saying that “cancer touches everyone,” Nimer highlighted the new world-class physicians and researchers recently recruited to Sylvester, a growing interventional oncology program that is treating cancers not approachable via surgery, a promising new drug that’s proved effective in treating leukemia, and new satellite locations in Plantation, Hollywood, and soon, Coral Springs, Florida.

The Office of Estate and Gift Planning can help you explore planned giving options that balance your philanthropic goals with your financial needs and tax-planning strategies, helping you plan for your future while allowing you to make a difference in the lives of others. For more information, please visit www.miami.edu/plannedgiving or contact Cynthia L. Beamish, executive director, at 305-284-2914 or um.plannedgiving@miami.edu.

 

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Faculty and Staff Among Those Inducted into Heritage Society


From left, Georgie Angones, Kyle Paige, Lynne Gibson, Kenneth B. Wiggins, and Cynthia Beamish were among those inducted into the University of Miami Heritage Society.

From left, Georgie Angones, Kyle Paige, Lynne Gibson, Kenneth B. Wiggins, and Cynthia Beamish were among those inducted into the University of Miami Heritage Society.

Having worked in the tropics since 1966, Steven Green, professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology, understands the importance of preserving these unique biodiverse habitats. “There are ethical, humanitarian, and practical reasons for conserving our planet’s tropical regions,” said Green, a former chair of both the Faculty Senate and the Department of Biology as well as a founding director of the DuMond Conservancy for Primates and Tropical Forests. “We need to protect wildlife and its tropical forest habitat while giving future generations an opportunity to enjoy their beauty by creating local support through ecotourism and other sustainable utilization.” Read the full story

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A Growing Heritage: UM Employees among New Inductees of Heritage Society

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A Growing Heritage: UM Employees among New Inductees of Heritage Society


From left, University of Miami employees M. Judith Donovan Post, Jeanne Krull, Holly Freyre, Adriana Verdeja, and Michael Alessandri gather at the Newman Alumni Center after the Heritage Society induction ceremony. Post attended the ceremony as the representative of an estate, while the others were inducted in the society, joining the ranks of more than 1,500 other members.

Its eye-catching and colorful paint scheme visible from afar, the University of Miami’s Mobile Autism Clinic arrived in an underserved Miami neighborhood one day, its small team of clinical psychologists conducting free screenings for autism and giving out information on how to get help for the condition.

Michael Alessandri, the clinical psychologist who helped build a center dedicated to serving people with autism, wasn’t onboard, but he more than anyone was responsible for the mobile clinic’s presence there, seeking financial support for its creation. Read the full story

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