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Faculty and Staff Support the U: From Creativity to Business Skills, Associate Dean Helps Music Students Have It All

Steven Moore

Steven Moore

As associate dean of undergraduate studies at the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music, Steven Moore understands the importance of student scholarships. “Talented students should have an opportunity to attend the University of Miami regardless of their financial situation,” he says. “That’s why I support our students by giving to the Frost School and the University through United Way.”

At the Frost School, Moore seeks to develop well-rounded students who can create, communicate, and inspire others through music. “We also want to cultivate their entrepreneurial skills, providing opportunities for them to develop multiple streams of income. Today, a musician might have a performing job but also teach students,  arrange and record music, or focus on music production. Having a range of skills helps keep life interesting.”

Moore has built his own varied career in the music field. He learned the trumpet at an early age and became an award-winning conductor and teacher at the high school and collegiate levels. A strong believer in music literacy, he wrote Play It from the Heart: What You Learn from Music about Success in Life, a book published by the National Association for Music Education.

Moore enjoys conducting and recently led the Frost School’s string chamber orchestra in a concert celebrating Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo. Making music with others has been my life’s passion,” he says.

Moore came to the University in July 2013 with his wife, Kimberly Sena Moore, a music therapist with the Frost School, and their two children. Formerly chair of the Department of Music at the University of Central Missouri, he shares Dean Shelly Berg’s vision of building the very best and most relevant school of music in the country.

“We already have a world-class faculty and student body here,” he says, encouraging other faculty and staff to give back to the University and help continue its forward momentum.

“Helping to fund scholarships is just one of the ways to contribute,” he says. “Many people have a passion for the arts, medicine, or science, for example, and want to support those fields. But I would suggest making an unrestricted donation that can be put to good use wherever the need is the greatest.”

Read about other faculty and staff who support the U.

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Alumnus’ Gift to Launch Speaker Series on the First Amendment

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 30,2014)—James Hoffman, A.B. ’80, has made a $50,000 pledge that will create the James Hoffman Family Endowed Speaker Series in the School of Communication at the University of Miami. The gift will be used to fund an annual lecture on the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“Our founders knew how tyranny operated, and this knowledge offered them the insight to craft the First Amendment to the Constitution,” said Hoffman, a businessman in the Denver area. “This led to a set of rights that became the fabric of the new society. It is essential that students are forever mindful of these rights that guarantee our democracy.”

Hoffman, a longtime UM volunteer and past president of the UM Alumni Association’s Denver Alumni Club, and his wife, Joy, are pleased to present this gift to the School of Communication “with the hope of continuing free expression in all its forms.”

Professor Sam Terilli, chair of the Department of Journalism and Media Management, expressed his gratitude to Hoffman and his family for this commitment.

“The First Amendment and journalism are inextricably linked not just through the free press clause, but through all of the freedoms encompassed by the amendment,” Terilli said. “These freedoms are the subject of daily news coverage and public debate. This series will allow us to offer students, faculty, and the public a wonderful opportunity each year to look beneath the surface and understand the deeper issues.”


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A New Place to Call Home: Braman Miller Center for Jewish Student Life Breaks Ground

Special to UM News


From left are Jeffrey Miller and Debra Braman Wechsler, Hillel at UM Capital Campaign co-chairs; UM President Donna E. Shalala; and Noreen Gordon Sablotsky, chair of UM Hillel’s Board of Directors.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 16, 2014)—On the final day of the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot, University of Miami Hillel held a groundbreaking ceremony to officially begin construction on the new Braman Miller Center for Jewish Student Life.

Thanks to a lead naming gift of $2.5 million from two of Miami’s most distinguished families, the Bramans and the Millers, who were on site for the groundbreaking, UM Hillel will be renovated to meet the needs of more than 2,000 Jewish and non-Jewish UM students alike. Plans include a new lobby, kosher café, dining room, multipurpose classroom space, and prayer sanctuary.

“Here at the University of Miami, Hillel gives Jewish students a place to call home—a place where they can connect with their culture, deepen their spirituality, energize their commitment to community service, and develop relationships that will last a lifetime,” said UM President Donna E. Shalala.

The event, which was attended by 80 UM students, trustees, donors, local and national Hillel leaders, and members of the local Jewish community, was held outside the current Hillel building and in front of a “sukkah,” or booth, made from branches and palms, following Jewish tradition.

“Hillel helps nurture and engage our community. Here, students find meaning and purpose. Yes, they find food, and many times, they find themselves,” said Jacob Solomon, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. “Hillel is the best chance the Jewish community has to impact Jewish identity. Across continents, 18 time zones, and on 550 campuses in North America alone, this foundation helps build the future of the Jewish people.”

Eric Fingerhut, president and CEO of Hillel, said, “Our success in building Jewish life on campus depends greatly on our university partners. President Shalala, thank you for that partnership and for the good soil on which to grow and thrive here on campus.”

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Faculty and Staff Support the U: Associate Provost Keeps Her Alma Mater Moving Forward

Mary Sapp

Mary Sapp

Mary Sapp knows that financial support from faculty, employees, and alumni is a big reason the University of Miami is rising steadily in the national rankings. “These contributions play a major role in improving the quality of our educational and research programs, as well as our campus facilities,” says Sapp, M.S. ’86, associate provost for planning, institutional research, and assessment.

Sapp’s own generosity has earned her membership in UM’s Loyalty Society, which honors alumni donors who make gifts for two or more consecutive years. “On a personal level, I feel good about helping to keep our University moving forward by donating to my alma mater each year through the Annual Fund,” she says.

Sapp’s office conducts ongoing research on the University’s programs, studying such key indicators as the academic credentials of students and faculty, graduation rates, and research grants. “We analyze those data to help senior leadership with planning and strategic decisions,” she says. “It’s certainly a lot more rewarding to provide reports that show the great progress we’re making.”

A native of Ohio, Sapp came to Miami in the early 1980s with her husband, Stephen Sapp, professor of religious studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. The Sapps, who have two grown sons, Eric and David, spent several years living on campus when Stephen Sapp was the resident master at Eaton Residential College. “We really enjoyed being around students and found it to be a very energizing experience,” Mary Sapp says.

Sapp had earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in quantitative psychology before joining the University of Miami, initially as an IT consultant and then as associate director of planning and institutional research. While working and raising a family, she completed her master’s degree in computer science at UM.

“I believe strongly in the value of education, particularly at the university level,” she says. “Education can level the playing field so that minority, immigrant, and low-income students can succeed on their personal merits.”

With its cultural diversity, high academic standards, and beautiful campus, Sapp regards UM as a very special place to work. “When you believe in what you are doing, you can get involved with our University in so many ways, including athletics and cultural activities. There are so many opportunities for personal enjoyment and professional development, and becoming a donor at any level is one of the ways to show your support for our U.”

Read about other faculty and staff who support the U.



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Register Now for Inaugural Edna C. Shalala 5K Run/Walk

EDNA-C-SHALALA-5K-RUN-WALK-FLYERRegister now for the inaugural Edna C. Shalala 5K Run/Walk and save $5 on the registration fee, which will benefit the Edna C. Shalala Women’s Athletics Fund. Can’t make it Saturday, December 13? Don’t fret. You can still support women’s athletics and honor President Shalala’s mother, a devoted former athlete and avid supporter of women’s sports, three different ways.

The run/walk, which will wind past athletic facilities and showcase much of the Coral Gables campus, will begin at 10 a.m. and feature many student-athletes, coaches, administrators, the Spirit Squad, cheerleaders, and Band of the Hour. Race participants will receive a commemorative T-shirt, medal, entry into a post-race tailgate, and a complimentary season ticket to all remaining 2014-15 women’s basketball home games.

Registered participants (with race bib) also will receive complimentary admission to the Hurricanes women’s basketball game against Coppin State University, which begins at 1 pm. at the BankUnited Center the same day.

Registration is $30 for University employees who sign up before November 3.  Use the code “Special” to receive the discount.  If you are unable to participate and wish to provide a financial donation, you may choose one of these options:

  • Send a check payable to the University of Miami, with the memo “Edna Shalala Fund for Women’s Athletics,” to:
    UM Athletics, Hecht Athletic Center, 5821 San Amaro Drive, Coral Gables, Florida 33146, Attention: Jenn Strawley.
  • Donate directly to the fund, which will benefit women’s athletics and count toward Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami.
  • Designate a contribution to the “Edna C. Shalala Fund” through the United Way by signing on to your MyUM account, clicking on United Way on the left, then “Athletics” and “Edna C. Shalala Fund.”     

Established in 2011, the Edna C. Shalala Fund for Women’s Athletics was created on the occasion of her 100th birthday, and is used to enhance women’s athletics and support the continued success of the University’s women’s athletic teams.

Once a nationally ranked amateur tennis player, Ohio-born Edna Shalala graduated from college in 1933 and worked as a physical education teacher. During the summer, she won several big tennis tournaments and qualified for the national championships three years in a row. Ever the competitor, she played in her last national event just before going on her honeymoon.

Eleven years after her twin daughters Donna and Diane were born, Edna graduated from law school. She had a long and successful career as managing partner of a busy probate firm and practiced law well into her 90s. She also played competitively on the senior amateur circuit—earning a ranking of No. 1 in the Middle West—until 1996.

“Edna Shalala has been a tremendous proponent for women’s athletics both nationally and within the University of Miami athletics community,” said Jenn Strawley, deputy athletics director and senior women’s administrator. “The continued growth of women’s athletics at Miami requires the support of our fans and community. This event and the Edna C. Shalala Fund for Women’s Athletics make a difference in the lives of our student-athletes.”


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