Tag Archive | "Office of Commencement"


Schedule for Spring Commencement Ceremonies and Regalia Distribution

The Spring 2017 Graduate and Undergraduate Degree ceremonies will be held at the Watsco Center on the Coral Gables Campus at the following dates and times:


 Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.

 All Schools and Colleges, all graduate degrees (except Law and M.D. degrees)


 Friday, May 12, 2017 at 8:30 a.m.

College of Arts & Sciences
Division of Continuing and International Education

Friday, May 12, 2017 at 1:00 p.m.

School of Architecture
School of Communication
School of Education and Human Development
Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
Frost School of Music
School of Nursing and Health Studies

Friday, May 12, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

 School of Business Administration
College of Engineering


If you are a doctoral advisor walking with a doctoral candidate at the Graduate Degree Ceremony on Thursday, please report to the Graduate Lineup Site at the Fieldhouse with your doctoral candidate. The Doctoral Advisors and General Faculty are part of the academic procession, which begins 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the ceremony. Kindly RSVP to [email protected] to confirm your attendance as a Doctoral Advisor.

Regalia distribution (excluding School of Law and Miller School of Medicine faculty) will be held the following dates and times at the Toppel Career Center located at 5225 Ponce De Leon Blvd:

  •  Tuesday, May 9, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m    
  • Wednesday, May 10, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • For more information regarding cap and gown distribution, please call Toppel at 305-284-5451 or e-mail [email protected]. For more information on commencement, including reception locations and times, visit miami.edu/commencement.


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Sharing Advice on Bettering Our World

UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 27, 2017) —They may not be household names in the United States, but the six speakers who will share their wisdom with nearly 3,800 graduates during the University of Miami’s spring commencement ceremonies are extraordinary individuals who have spent their lives bettering our world.

Hailing from six countries, they include three glass-ceiling shattering women: a Norwegian doctor and an Irish lawyer who were the first female heads of state of their respective nations, and an undersea explorer who was the first woman to lead the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Academy of Sciences.

The other speakers, all men, are equally impressive in terms of their trailblazing experiences and accomplishments. Among them are a British doctor who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth, an economist and philosopher who won a Nobel Prize for his work in welfare economics, and a Venezuelan television magnate whose gutsy genius unified 40 million Spanish-speakers in the United States and elevated Latin America’s profile.

Over three days and six ceremonies at the Watsco Center, each of these distinguished changemakers will receive honorary degrees from UM President Julio Frenk, beginning with:

Sir Michael Marmot at the Miller School of Medicine ceremony at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10


Sir Michael Marmot

 The immediate past president of the World Medical Association, Michael Marmot has been at the forefront of research into health inequities for more than 40 years. Knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2000 for his contributions to public health, he was principal investigator of the Whitehall Studies of British civil servants, which showed that health follows a social gradient—the lower a person’s status, the worse his or her health.

As chair of the World Health Organization’s Commission on Social Determinants of Health from 2005 to 2008, he led a global effort to improve and eradicate the causes of poor health. The commission’s work, presented in the report Closing the Gap in a Generation, found significant differences between countries, and within countries, including our own.

The author of The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World, Marmot is currently a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London, which he chaired for 25 years, and an adjunct professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Harvard University.


Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen at the Graduate School ceremony at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 11


Amartya Sen

The recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences and the 2011 winner of the U.S. National Humanities Medal, Amartya Sen is perhaps best known for his pioneering work in welfare economics and social choice theory. His own boyhood observations of the Bengal, India, famine that killed as many as three million people—but only the poor—left an indelible impression that would inform his later work.

His 1981 book, Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation, showed that in many cases of famine, economic and social factors, not declining food supplies, lead to starvation. The author of numerous other books that have been translated into 30 languages, he also has made significant contributions to ethics and political philosophy, public health, gender studies, and assessment of the well-being of people in a society.

The son and grandson of academics who is also a former master of Trinity College, Sen was literally born on an academic campus and has been a professor at numerous colleges, including Oxford University, University of London, and the University of Delhi. The past president of the Econometric Society, the American Economic Association, the Indian Economic Association, and the International Economic Association, he is currently a professor of economics and philosophy at Harvard University.



Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and chancellor of the University of Dublin, at the School of Law ceremony at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 11

Widely regarded as a transformative figure in Ireland, barrister Mary Robinson became Ireland’s first female president in 1990, fighting for equality and women’s rights and helping build Ireland’s modern image during her seven years in office.

She was the first Irish head of state to officially visit Britain, and in her quest to promote human rights, the first head of state to visit Somalia after its civil war and famine in 1992 and the first to visit Rwanda after its 1994 genocide. Before her term as president ended, she accepted the post of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, employing her powerful voice to investigate and expose human rights abuses across the world from 1997 to 2002.

Today Robinson, to whom President Barack Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, heads the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, a center for education and advocacy on sustainable and people-centered development in the world’s poorest communities, and serves as chancellor of University of Dublin. She is also a member of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007 to promote peace and human rights.



Gro Harlem Brundtland

Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Norwegian prime minister and former director-general of the World Health Organization, at the 8:30 a.m. ceremony on Friday, May 12, for the College of Arts and Sciences

A founding member of The Elders, physician Gro Harlem Brundtland was working in Oslo for Norway’s public health service when she was offered the post of minister of the environment. Propelled by her belief that health and the environment are inextricably linked, she accepted, launching a remarkable career as a politician, environmentalist, peace builder, and health and human rights advocate.

The first woman and youngest person to serve as Norway’s prime minister, she chaired the United Nation’s World Commission on the Environment and Development, which, known as the Brundtland Commission, coined the concept of sustainable development in its landmark report, Our Common Future.

During her tenure as director-general of the World Health Organization, she increased access to lifesaving drugs in poor countries, dramatically reduced the incidence of polio, halted the spread of the SARS virus, promoted awareness of the links between poverty and disease, addressed violence as a health issue, and negotiated an agreement on tobacco control—earning Scientific American’s recognition as “Policy Leader of the Year.” But perhaps her favorite title is the one Norwegians call her, “landsmoderen” or “mother of the nation.”



Marcia McNutt

Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences, at the 1 p.m. ceremony on Friday, May 12, for the School of Architecture, School of Communication, School of Education and Human Development, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music, and School of Nursing and Health Studies

Although Marcia McNutt was valedictorian of her high school class and earned perfect scores on her SATs, her college professor of physics, her chosen field of study, warned her she would fail. She went on to graduate summa cum laude, becoming a geophysicist, pioneering undersea explorer, and the first woman to head the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Academy of Sciences.

Appointed to the USGS in 2009 as part of President Obama’s “scientific dream team,’’ McNutt spent the next year adeptly dealing with major crises around the word—from earthquakes in Haiti and Chile to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that spewed millions of gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico. For that, she planned an overnight trip to Houston but stayed three months overseeing the scientists and engineers at BP headquarters who were working feverishly to estimate the volume of the spill and cap the blown-out well.

In 2013 she left the USGS to become the first female editor in chief of Science, the venerable journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where she founded the Science Advances, Science Immunology, and Science Robotics online journals.

Now, as president of the National Academy of Sciences, McNutt is committed to ensuring that the organization Congress established in 1863 continues providing “independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology”—and proving that she should never be underestimated.


Gustavo A. Cisneros, chairman of Cisneros, for the 5 p.m. ceremony at on Friday, May 12, for the School of Business Administration and College of Engineering


Gustavo A. Cisneros

 The chairman of Cisneros, one of the largest, privately held media, entertainment, telecommunications, and consumer products organizations in the world, Gustavo A. Cisneros took a $500 million gamble in 1992 and bought the U.S.-based Spanish-language Univision network with two other investors.

Already owner of one of Venezuela’s leading television networks, the Caracas-born Cisneros was confident the type of programming he developed in Venezuela would thrive in America. He was right. The neutrally accented Spanish-language programs and shows Cisneros introduced helped unify the 40 million Spanish-speakers in the U.S. and made Univision a valuable business; in 2007 Cisneros and his group sold it for $12 billion.

Yet Cisneros, who is one of the richest men the world and, according to The New York Times, “one of Latin America’s most powerful figures,” eagerly shares his wisdom and leadership. He uses his power and wealth to enhance Latin America’s profile on the global stage, increasing its access to information and advancing its technological growth to promote education, democratic principles, and individual liberty across the region.

For more information about the commencement ceremonies, visit the Commencement homepage.








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Former UM President Donna Shalala Honored at Fall Commencement


Former UM President Donna Shalala Honored at Fall Commencement

An estimated 975 students received newly minted degrees at the largest fall graduation ceremony in UM’s history.

By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

shalala-commencementCORAL GABLES, Fla. (December 15, 2016) – Enveloped in the joy and excitement of its newest graduating class of ’Canes, the University of Miami welcomed home one of its most beloved daughters on Thursday, bestowing upon her the same honor she so graciously presented to artists and activists, diplomats and doctors, and scientists and scholars during her 14-year tenure as the institution’s unquestionable leader.

Donna E. Shalala—who took over the presidential reins of an already illustrious UM in 2001 and elevated it to new heights, opening academic and research facilities, boosting its national ranking, and raising billions of dollars—received an honorary doctor of humane letters at what was the largest UM commencement ever held at the Watsco Center.

“I may have been president of this University for 14 years, but today, for the first time, I can say I’m really a Miami Hurricane,” Shalala, dressed in academic regalia, said from the Watsco Center, where an estimated 975 students received newly minted degrees.

“Today you transition from a campus climate that nurtures belonging into a world that is, itself, in transition,” UM President Julio Frenk said to those graduates. “You can and must use all you have learned here to build a bond that unites us through compassionate and committed engagement.”

Shalala, who was the nation’s longest-serving U.S. secretary of health and human services, a position she held for all eight years of the Clinton administration, stepped down as UM’s fifth president at the end of the 2014-15 academic year, taking on new responsibilities as president and CEO of her former boss’s nonprofit, the Clinton Foundation.

Though she no longer helmed the University, Shalala was never far from the UM community’s thoughts, especially those of students, hundreds of whom stream through the doors every day of the three-story student center renamed in her honor. On Thursday, Shalala offered them advice, teaching life lessons which she said can actually be learned from a popular college mascot who had always been her “best friend” on campus and “symbolizes all that is good in this community”—Sebastian the Ibis.

Noting that the ibis is the last animal to leave before a hurricane strikes and the first to return after the storm, Shalala called on students to be brave like Sebastian and “have the courage to stand up for your values and stand up for one another.”

“One of my proudest moments on this campus was during the terrible days of 9/11,” said UM’s former president, now a trustee professor of political science and health policy at the University. “Our student leaders reached out to their Muslim and Sikh classmates and made it clear this was a safe campus for them. One of them, the leader of Hillel, our Jewish center, summed it up for all of them when he said, ‘An attack on one of you is an attack on all of us.’ ”

In times of great peril and even greater promise, Shalala told students, “you will be asked to solve some tough challenges and confront our oldest demons.”

She urged them to maintain positive attitudes, no matter what the circumstances. “When any of our teams are behind, Sebastian never loses hope,” she said. “We all suffer setbacks and disappointments in life. The most important thing is to pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off, and keep going. Approach each day with gratitude and curiosity, with open eyes and open ears, open hearts and open minds. When something unexpected comes—and believe me, it always comes—you’ll have the emotional and intellectual tools to handle it.”

The overwhelming majority of graduates at the ceremony enrolled at UM when Shalala was still president, and as they listened to her sage advice, she told them they should emulate Sebastian in treating everyone with kindness, dignity, and respect. “Our world is shaped not only by big events, but by the sum of hundreds of small actions—actions that we take every day,” said Shalala. “Define the future in your individual relationships. The simplest of kind gestures, however insignificant they may seem, can be woven into a brilliant tapestry of compassion, love, and strength.”

While the students of UM’s 2016 fall graduating class are going on to different careers, graduate and professional school, and volunteer service, they all face the great challenge of their lifetime of embracing “what makes us different from one another, recognizing that there’s a lot to gain by practicing tolerance and understanding—and a lot to lose in practicing fear and mistrust,” said Shalala.

She encouraged graduates to take risks. “When I was in your position years ago, I didn’t know exactly where life would take me,” said Shalala, “but I promised myself that I would never play it safe. I’ve kept that promise. As you prepare to leave the University of Miami, my deepest hope is that you won’t play it safe either.

For Toya Brown, who received an accelerated bachelor of science in nursing, graduation day was “the first day of the beginning of the rest of my life,” said the New Orleans native, who plans to take the nursing exam to become board certified and then start applying for jobs in a field she fell in love with because of the compassion nurses must show towards patients.

Brown was one of a multitude of outstanding UM students who graduated Thursday. A total of 16 current and former Hurricane student-athletes also received degrees, bolstering the Department of Athletics’ strong reputation of graduating its scholarship athletes, as is evidenced by the most recent NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 90 percent. That figure is well above the national average of 84 percent and ties UM for 15th among Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institutions.

In addition, UM’s black student-athletes are succeeding in the classroom at some of the highest rates in the country, recording an overall GSR of 90 percent—the fourth best in the nation, behind only Stanford, Duke, and Northwestern, and tied with Notre Dame and South Carolina. UM has been in the top 10 in this category for the past five years.

Commencement was also special for Nilda Peragallo Montano, dean of UM’s School of Nursing and Health Studies, who received the President’s Medal in recognition of her many in achievements. An internationally recognized nursing scientist, Peragallo Montano fostered monumental growth and significant improvement in the curriculum, facilities, and programs at school during her 13 years as dean.

Under her leadership, student enrollment, and the school’s M.S.N. and D.N.P. programs are now ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 Best Graduate Schools.

With a career devoted to improving the health status of minorities and other underserved populations, she expanded the school’s prominence in the global health arena, leading the 2007 birth of its Center of Excellence for Health Disparities Research, or El Centro, made possible by a National Institutes of Health grant of more than $7 million.

She also led the school’s transition from a small, cramped World War II-era building located on the edge of the Coral Gables campus to the modern 53,000-square-foot four-story M. Christine Schwartz Center for Nursing and Health Studies.

Long a proponent of simulation-based scenarios and the benefits such training offers in preventing mistakes before nursing students head into live clinical situations, Peragallo Montano pushed for the creation of a Simulation Hospital at UM, which opens on the Coral Gables campus next year.

She is headed to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to lead that institution’s nursing school.


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December 2016 Commencement Dates and Regalia Information

The December 2016 Commencement Ceremony will be held in the Watsco Center on Thursday, December 15 at 10 a.m., for all graduate and undergraduate degrees awarded from all schools and colleges, except M.D. degrees from the Miller School of Medicine. Faculty participating in the ceremony should assemble at 9 a.m.

If you are attending as a dissertation advisor to a Ph.D. candidate, please email [email protected] and include your candidate(s) name so we may properly plan for seating. If you need further information regarding commencement, call 305-284-1821 or email the director, Lexi Cimmino, at [email protected].


Faculty who placed an order for rental regalia may pick up their regalia at the Toppel Career Center during the distribution days on Tuesday, December 13 and Wednesday, December 14 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. For more information please contact the Toppel Career Center directly at 305-284-5451.

Visit miami.edu/commencement for more information regarding the ceremony.

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Donna Shalala to Address the Class of 2016


Donna Shalala to Address the Class of 2016

UM News

Donna E. Shalala

Donna E. Shalala

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (December 1, 2016)—The nearly 1,000 University of Miami students set to receive their newly minted degrees at the Watsco Center on Thursday, December 15 will hear advice from a familiar and beloved figure on campus: UM’s immediate past president and the nation’s longest-serving secretary of health and human services, Donna E. Shalala.

In addition to delivering the commencement address, Shalala—a distinguished scholar, political scientist, administrator, and public servant who currently directs the Clinton Foundation’s philanthropic efforts around the world—will receive an honorary degree for her extraordinary leadership in bettering our institution, our nation, and the world.

During her 14 years as UM’s fifth—and first female—president, Shalala led the charge to elevate every aspect of the U—increasing research expenditures by 62 percent; establishing UHealth-the University of Miami Health System and solidifying the Miller School of Medicine as Florida’s top NIH-funded medical school; launching nearly $2 billion in new construction, including the student center that now bears her name; raising an unprecedented $3 billion in two Momentum campaigns for scholarships, academic and research programs, and facilities; and elevating UM’s iconic split-U logo from one of the most recognizable college athletic brands to a symbol of excellence throughout the University.

Before joining the U, Shalala strengthened a range of U.S. and international institutions, earning a host of honors and shattering many glass ceilings. After earning her B.A. at Western College for Women in 1962, she joined President John F. Kennedy’s new Peace Corps, teaching at an agriculture college in Iran and earning the respect of men unaccustomed to women having a say.

She later earned her Ph.D. degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and held tenured professorships at Columbia University, The City University of New York (CUNY), and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, rising to become president of CUNY’s Hunter College from 1980 to 1987 and chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1987 to 1993—the first woman to head a Big 10 university.

Tapped as President Bill Clinton’s secretary 
of health and human services in 1993, and serving through both of his terms, she earned The Washington Post’s admiration as “one of the most successful government managers of modern times.”

In 2007, while juggling her duties at UM, she answered President George W. Bush’s call to co-chair the Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors with former U.S. Senator Bob Dole. Two years later, she led the Institute of Medicine’s Initiative on the Future of Nursing. Her committee’s 2010 report remains the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s most downloaded health report.

A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Shalala is one of the most honored academics of her generation. A 2011 inductee into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, she has been awarded more than four dozen honorary degrees and elected to seven national academies. She has received numerous other honors, including the nation’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, bestowed by President Bush in 2008 for helping “more Americans live lives of purpose and dignity.’’

More recently, Shalala, who remains trustee professor of political science and health policy at UM, received the 2010 Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights, the 2014 Harry S. Truman Legacy of Leadership Award, and the National Academy of Medicine’s 2016 David Rall Medal.

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