Tag Archive | "Student Activities Center"

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Prominent Leaders Convene at UM to Discuss the Future of the Americas

By Robert C. Jones Jr. UM News

UM President Donna E. Shalala welcomes her former boss, Bill Clinton, and a roster of distinguished international leaders to begin a dialogue on what the next 20 years will hold for the region.

UM President Donna E. Shalala welcomes her former boss, Bill Clinton, and a roster of distinguished international leaders to begin a dialogue on what the next 20 years will hold for the Americas.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (December 11, 2014) – Twenty years ago, University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala was a cabinet member in Bill Clinton’s administration when the then-U.S. president convened leaders from 34 democracies in the Western Hemisphere for the first Summit of the Americas in Miami, a conference that provided them with a forum to establish an agenda for trade and social issues and to articulate a vision for their future.

On Thursday, Shalala, who was U.S. secretary of health and human services for two terms in the Clinton administration, helped her former boss unveil another historic conference, welcoming a roster of international leaders from across Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States, as the Clinton Foundation’s Future of the Americas got underway on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus. Read the full story

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Onion Rings Are Back at the Rat, Thanks to Pat

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Onion Rings Are Back at the Rat, Thanks to Pat

onionringsBy Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (January 30, 2014) — Watch out Burger King, Hardee’s and Sonic. The University of Miami’s Rathskeller is gaining on you in the onion rings department. The most underappreciated of fast-food sides is now back on the popular eatery’s menu, much to the delight of Coral Gables City Manager Pat Salerno, who unwittingly orchestrated their comeback.

“They’re excellent,” said Salerno. “If you like onion rings, these are as good as it gets.”

Onion ring lovers who agree with Salerno’s assessment of the Rat’s newest side dish can thank the 1973 UM grad. Near the end of a Development Agreement meeting between the University and City of Coral Gables last November, Salerno jokingly lamented that “those delicious onion rings that sustained me through my college years are no longer on the menu” at the new Rathskeller in the school’s Student Activities Center.

UM President Donna E. Shalala promised she’d look into the matter, and when students returned from holiday break in January, the Rat’s menu had an old offering with a new name: SalernOrings.

Salerno taste-tested the crispy delights two days after their debut, enjoying them so much that he ordered a second portion.

The deep-fried delicacy was the city manager’s culinary staple when he attended the U. “I would get a hot dog or hamburger and an order of onion rings. That was the standard for me, my favorite thing to eat at the Rat,” he recalled.

So how do SalernOrings compare to his undergrad fav? “From my recollection, they’re equal to or better,” he said. “If you’ve ever had onion rings before, some are good, and some of them are just bland. These have the right amount of sweetness, crunch, and flavor.”

Which is due in large part to the way they’re prepared. “We looked for a product and a recipe that would take the best advantage of our commitment to fresh cooked-to-order food,” says Rathskeller manager Everett Price. “We think these onion rings, made as each order comes in, provide a much better flavor experience than items that have been prepared in bulk and sitting under a warmer.”


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UM, City of Coral Gables Tout Fruitful Partnership

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UM, City of Coral Gables Tout Fruitful Partnership

UM Gables Meeting

Front row, left to right: UM Trustee Ed Williamson; Joe Natoli, UM senior vice president for business and finance and CFO; Leonard Abess, chair of the UM Board of Trustees; UM Trustee Jose Bared; Coral Gables Commissioner Pat Keon; UM President Donna E. Shalala; Coral Gables Mayor Jim Cason; UM Trustee Arthur Hertz. Back row, left to right: Coral Gables Commissioner Frank Quesada; Coral Gables City Manager Pat Salerno; UM Trustee Arva Parks McCabe; Coral Gables City Attorney Craig Leen; Coral Gables Commissioner William Kerdyk Jr.; UM Trustee Manuel Kadre; Coral Gables Clerk Walter Foeman.

From the completion of major construction and renovation projects, to a traffic calming initiative that has helped decrease the number of cars on the road, to subtle yet valued services such as a bicycle repair station and pickup bags for doggie waste, the University of Miami and city of Coral Gables had plenty of accomplishments—big and small—to tout Tuesday during their annual Development Agreement meeting.

Held at UM’s new 119,000-square-foot Student Activities Center, the meeting was the third since UM and Coral Gables hammered out a 20-year development agreement in October 2010 that guides the school’s growth and extends cultural, athletic, and academic programming to the city’s residents—a partnership UM President Donna E. Shalala said “continues to thrive and benefits” both parties. Read the full story

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Amid the Buzz and Excitement of Homecoming, UM Celebrates the New Student Center Complex

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Amid the Buzz and Excitement of Homecoming, UM Celebrates the New Student Center Complex

scc dedication

From left, Marcia McNutt, president of the Graduate Student Association; Bhumi Patel, president of Student Government; and Jenna Winchester, president of the Student Bar Association, explain how the Student Center Complex has transformed the Coral Gables campus.

Inside the newsroom of The Miami Hurricane student newspaper, multimedia editor Erika Glass was about to sit down at her computer to hammer out a story for the next edition. “What I like about our new space in the Student Activities Center, is that it’s a true newsroom,” she said. “It’s allowed us to be much more productive and efficient.” 
Not far from the paper’s second-floor office, students sat at tables outside the renovated Whitten University Center, some of them talking with classmates, others reading textbooks, or enjoying an afternoon snack.

And over on the Foote Green, students joined alumni and employees in taking pictures in front of the 7-foot U Statue that has become one of the most recognized landmarks on campus.
 As they have since the beginning of the fall 2013 semester, the components of the University of Miami’s Student Center Complex buzzed with activity last Thursday. But what made the day particularly special was that the UM community—from administrators and trustees to alumni, donors, and students—gathered for the official dedication of the complex that Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia Whitely described as “transformational.”

“Today, we recognize an age-old notion that a dream can become a reality,” Whitely said at the ceremony, which was held inside the SAC’s third-floor grand ballrooms with more than 400 in attendance—some of them in town for the University annual Alumni Weekend and Homecoming activities.

For some in the audience, it was their first time seeing the sprawling Student Center Complex, the crown jewel of which is the 119,000-square-foot Student Activities Center.

“More than any other building on campus, the Student Activities Center is the house that ’Canes built,” said UM President Donna E. Shalala. “It’s allowed us to become a true residential campus…and it is a building about people and for people.”

To view a video about the Student Center Complex and the Student Activities Center, click here.


The 119,000-square foot Student Activities Center is the crowning jewel of the Student Center Complex.

A $20 million lead gift from the Fairholme Foundation, as well as a 2006 referendum in which students voted overwhelmingly to impose a fee on themselves, made the center possible. Other gifts funded everything from student organization suites to a patio and terrace.

Student organizations began moving into the building in August. Among its features: a media suite that houses The Miami Hurricane, Ibis yearbook, and Distraction magazine; offices and cubicles for student organizations; a study lounge that’s open 24/7, and a new Rathskeller. Designed by Arquitectonica and built by Fort Lauderdale-based Moss & Associates, the center, along with the U Statue, the refurbished Whitten University Center and the UC Patio, has united the student body—a fact Marcia McNutt, president of the Graduate Student Association, reiterated during the dedication ceremony.

“Our organization’s mission is to increase a sense of unity among graduate students, and the Student Center Complex has helped make that possible by providing a central location,” she said.

Jenna Winchester, president of the Student Bar Association, called the SAC “a wonderful place” that’s allowed law students to “step outside our four walls and feel we’re truly a part of the student body.”

Bhumi Patel, president of Student Government, said she’s noticed more and more students taking advantage of the facility, whether to prepare for exams in the new study lounge or dine at the Rat. “It’s the jewel of our campus,” she said.

Tracey Berkowitz, of the Fairholme Foundation, credited students for endorsing the referendum that partly funded the SAC’s construction. “If it weren’t for their efforts, we wouldn’t be standing here today,” she said, her husband Bruce at her side.

The Student Center Complex has lived up to its promise of serving as an ideal venue for student-related events. Between August 19 and October 31, the complex hosted 2,505 events, 816 of which were in the SAC, 873 in the University Center, and 816 around outdoor spaces, such as the breezeway, the patio, and the Rock.

“Many thousands visit every day for meetings, events, and just to socialize, plus many more visit the Rathskeller, Starbucks, and the other retail spaces,” said Daniel Westbrook, executive director of the Whitten University Center and Student Activities Center.


Sebastian the Ibis and Miami artist Xavier Cortada officially unveil “Flight of the Ibis,” the digital tapestry Cortada created for the center’s third floor

Prior to the dedication ceremony, UM alumnus and world-renown Miami artist Xavier Cortada officially unveiled “Flight of the Ibis,” the 15-foot by 30-foot digital tapestry he created for the third-floor atrium. Depicting a number of stylized ibis, some which Cortada photographed on campus, the three-panel fabric mural pays tribute to the character of the marsh bird on which the University’s mascot is based. As the legend goes, ibis are always the last to leave before a hurricane, and the first to reappear after danger passes—the kind of risk-taking optimism Cortada said the U has imbued in generations of students, including himself.

“In many ways, that’s what this University allows us to be because it’s like a mangrove forest that protects us, that nurtures us, that cares for us, and I think it is our responsibility, once we take flight and do whatever we do in our lives, to come back,’’ said Cortada, A.B. ’86, M.P.A. ’91, J.D. ’91, who has left his own indelible mark on the University and beyond.

A member of Iron Arrow and a former speaker of the student Senate, his conscience-raising art installations have graced venues and locales as diverse as the White House and the World Bank and Switzerland and Cyprus—and now the newest crown jewel at the U.

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UM Dedicates Kornspan Study Lounge

Scott and Susan Fleischner Kornspan Study Hall Dedication

Participating in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Kornspan Study Lounge were, from left: Jennifer Lefebvre, a student in the School of Law; Edwing Medina, vice president of the Graduate Student Association; Patricia Whitely, vice president for student affairs; UM President Donna E. Shalala; Susan Fleischner Kornspan and Scott Kornspan; Thomas J. LeBlanc, executive vice president and provost; and Bhumi Patel, president of Student Government.

As students at the University of Miami’s School of Law during the late 1980s, Scott and Susan Fleischner Kornspan liked interacting with undergraduate and graduate students—an activity that was easily facilitated by the school’s location on UM’s Coral Gables campus.

“I went to Georgetown as an undergrad, and I enjoyed my student life there,” said Susan, J.D. ’90. “As a law student at UM, I wanted to be on campus with the undergrads. For me, there was no demarcation of students. We were all at the same university.” Read the full story

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