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The University of Miami (informally referred to as UM, U of M, or The U) is a private, nonsectarian research university in Coral Gables, Florida, United States. As of 2015, the university enrolls 16,848 students in 12 separate colleges/schools, including the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine in Miami's Health District, a law school on the main campus, and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science focused on the study of oceanography and atmospheric sciences on Virginia Key, with research facilities at the Richmond Facility in southern Miami-Dade County.
The university offers 116 undergraduate, 105 master's, and 63 doctoral degree programs, of which 59 are research/scholarship and four professional areas of study. Over the years, the university's students have represented all 50 states and close to 150 foreign countries. With more than 14,000 full and part-time faculty and staff, UM is currently the sixth largest employer in Miami-Dade County. UM’s main campus in Coral Gables has 239 acres and over 5.7 million square feet of buildings. In the 2017 U.S. News and World Report study of colleges and universities, UM is ranked the 44th best national university in the United States.
Research is a component of each academic division, with UM attracting $346.6 million per year in sponsored research grants. UM offers a large library system with over 3.1 million volumes and exceptional holdings in Cuban heritage and music. UM also offers a wide range of student activities, including fraternities and sororities, a student newspaper and radio station. UM's intercollegiate athletic teams, collectively known as the Miami Hurricanes, compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.UM's football team has won five national championships since 1983 and its baseball team has won four national championships since 1982.
School of Architecture
College of Arts and Sciences
School of Business Administration
School of Communication
School of Education & Human Development
College of Engineering
School of Law
Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
Miller School of Medicine
Frost School of Music
School of Nursing and Health Studies
History of UM
The University of Miami was chartered in 1925 by a group of citizens who felt an institution of higher learning was needed for the development of their young and growing community. The South Florida land boom was at its peak, resources appeared ample, optimism flowed, and expectations were high. Supporters of the institution believed that the community offered unique opportunities to develop inter-American studies, to further creative work in the arts and letters, and to conduct teaching and research programs in tropical studies.
By the fall of 1926, when the first class of 646 full-time students enrolled at the University of Miami, the land boom had collapsed, and hopes for a speedy recovery were dashed by a major hurricane. In the next 15 years the University barely kept afloat. The collapse in South Florida was a mere prelude to a national economic depression. Such were the beginnings of what has since become one of the nation’s most distinguished private universities.
The University survived primarily due to the vision and persistence of its first president, Dr. Bowman F. Ashe (1926-52). Under his administration, the institution overcame bankruptcy, a reorganization, a world war, and then in the post-war years, experienced tremendous growth and expansion.
When the University opened in 1926, it consisted of the College of Liberal Arts, the School of Music, and the Evening Division. During the Ashe presidency, the University added the School of Law (1928), the School of Business Administration (1929), the School of Education (1929), the Graduate School (1941), the Marine Laboratory (1942; presently the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science), the School of Engineering (1947), and the School of Medicine (1952).
Dr. Jay F. W. Pearson assumed the presidency in 1953. A marine biologist by training, charter faculty member, and an assistant to President Ashe since 1929, Dr. Pearson presided during a decade of unprecedented growth. Total enrollment stood at over 10,000 in 1953 and increased to nearly 14,000 by the end of the Pearson presidency in 1962. New facilities and resources were added to keep pace with student enrollment as well as to increase the research strength of the institution. The University also added an undergraduate honors program, expanded the graduate programs to the doctoral level in a dozen fields, established a core curriculum for undergraduates, and vastly increased its research activity.
The University entered a new epoch, a time of reexamination and consolidation under its third president, Dr. Henry King Stanford (1962-81). Stanford’s presidency was marked by further emphasis on research activity, additions to physical facilities, and reorganization of the University’s administrative structure. Several research centers and institutes were established, including the Center for Advanced International Studies (1964), the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Evolution (1964), the Center for Theoretical Studies (1965), and the Institute for the Study of Aging (1975).
In 1981, Edward T. Foote II became its fourth president. Under his leadership, the University was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society; three new schools were created—Architecture, Communication, and the Graduate School of International Studies along with its research component, the North-South Center; average SAT scores of incoming freshmen increased by nearly 100 points; and the University began and completed a series of renovations that converted standard student dormitories into a system of residential colleges.
In addition, Foote was the catalyst behind the creation of the University’s strategic plan, a blueprint for the acceleration of the University’s excellence. A five-year $400 million Campaign for the University of Miami, launched in 1984, surpassed its goal in April 1988 and ended with a $517.5 million commitment.
The 21st Century and Today
The University entered its present phase in 2001 when Donna E. Shalala became its fifth president. President Shalala was the longest serving Secretary of Health and Human Services in U.S. history. She served in the Clinton Administration from 1993-2000 and oversaw a $600 billion budget. Prior to that, she was Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin – Madison for six years, the first woman ever to head a Big Ten University. President Shalala also served as president of Hunter College, The City University of New York, for seven years. President Shalala, who spearheaded extraordinary progress in all areas, stepped down as president in May 2015.
On October 16, 2003, the University announced Momentum: The Campaign for the University of Miami, the most far-reaching and ambitious comprehensive campaign in its history. The historic fundraising drive surpassed its $1 billion goal in January 2006, a year and a half ahead of schedule, and the University established a new goal to raise an additional $250 million by the end of 2007. The campaign came to end December 31, 2007, having raised $1.4 billion‹making UM the first university in Florida to successfully mount a billion-dollar campaign.
For the sixth year in a row the University of Miami was ranked in the top 50 in U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Colleges issue. In the 2015 report, UM is ranked No. 48 in the National Universities category. Under President Shalala’s leadership the University experienced an extraordinary rise in these popular rankings, up from No. 67 in 2001. U.S. News also listed several UM graduate programs in its 2014 America’s Best Graduate Schools rankings.
In 2012 the University publicly launched Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami, a $1.6 billion initiative to support academic resources, learning opportunities, and strategic initiatives throughout the University. The campaign goal was reached in May 2015.
In Fall 2014 the University enrolled 16,774 students in 115 bachelor’s, 104 master’s, and 63 doctoral programs. Student selectivity for incoming freshmen continues to be highly competitive, with a mean SAT score of 1320; about half graduated in the top 5 percent of their high school class and 66 percent graduated in the top 10 percent. Enrolled students represent all 50 states and 121 other countries. UM alumni live in all 50 states and 154 countries; more than 49,000 in Miami-Dade County.
In April 2015 Dr. Julio Frenk, dean at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Mexico’s former minister of health, was named the University’s sixth president. A noted leader in global public health and a renowned scholar and academic, President Frenk assumed the presidency on August 16. The University's first Hispanic president, Frenk views Miami as uniquely positioned as a gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean, and the University to be a leader in discourse throughout the hemisphere and beyond.
The University of Miami is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degrees.
- The University of Miami is consistently ranked among the top research universities in U.S. News & World Report’s annual "Best Colleges" issue. In the 2017 report, UM is ranked No. 44 out of 310 institutions nationwide.
- The Miller School of Medicine cracked the top 50 in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015
- “Best Graduate Schools” rankings, and continued its climb in the 2016 rankings. For 2016, the School is ranked No. 45 and has moved up 11 spots since 2006.
- U.S. News & World Report listed several other UM graduate programs in its 2016 America’s Best Graduate Schools edition, including clinical psychology, health care management, physical therapy, and geological sciences.
- The Miller School of Medicine’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute was rated the nation’s No. 1 ophthalmology program for the twelfth consecutive year in U.S. News’s annual 2016 Best Hospitals rankings.
- Financial Times ranked the School of Business Administration’s Executive MBA program No. 19 among all U.S. stand-alone Executive MBA programs, and No. 1 in Florida.
- HispanicBusiness magazine ranked the School of Business Administration No. 9 in the country for Hispanic students.
- The University is ranked No. 28 on the Top 100 Social Media Colleges list from StudentAdvisor.com, which tracks how schools engage audiences through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, iTunes, and other social media.
- Princeton Review named UM a Best Southeastern College in 2014, and ranked it No. 3 for Race/Class interaction.
- The University of Miami is ranked No. 193 of 400 top world universities by the Times Higher Education, which bases its 2012-2013 World University Rankings on teaching, research, knowledge transfer, and international outlook.
- The Active Times ranked the University of Miami No. 39 on its list of the 50 Fittest Colleges, schools that emphasize on keeping students active, promote athletics, and provide healthy dining options.
Student life @UM
The university is affiliated with 31 fraternities and sororities. Five of them (Alpha Epsilon Pi, Lambda Chi Alpha, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Chi, and Zeta Beta Tau) have houses on campus. Among the service groups organized by students are Amnesty International and Habitat for Humanity. Students organize the Ibis yearbook, UMTV (a cable TV channel carried on Comcast Channel 96, which includes nine programs, many of which have won national awards), UniMiami (a Spanish-speaking Cable TV broadcast), the student-run Distraction Magazine and the campus radio station WVUM.
Since 1929, students have published The Miami Hurricane newspaper twice-weekly. The paper has been honored in the Associated Collegiate Press Hall of Fame.
UM has appointed individuals in the various departments to handle students' problems and complaints called "Troubleshooters." UM also has an Ombudsman to mediate complaints that cannot be resolved by the troubleshooters. Since 1986, UM has an Honor Code governing student conduct.
The university has a number of student honor societies. The Iron Arrow Honor Society (which also inducts faculty, staff and alumni) is the highest honor awarded by the university. The university maintains a chapter of Mortar Board. In 1959, the Order of Omega was founded at UM, and it remained a one-campus honorary until 1964. It is now a national honorary for fraternity and sorority members with a chapter continuing at UM.
The University of Miami's athletic teams are the Hurricanes, commonly referred to as the "Canes". They compete as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I level, competing primarily in the Atlantic Coast Conference for all sports since the 2004–05 season. The Hurricanes previously competed in the Big East Conference from 1991–92 to 2003–04. Men's teams compete in baseball, basketball, cross-country, diving, football, tennis, and track and field; while women's teams compete in basketball, cross-country, diving, golf, rowing, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.
The University of Miami's mascot is Sebastian the Ibis. Its marching band is the Band of the Hour. The Miami Maniac is the mascot for baseball games.
The football program has been named national champion five times over the past three decades (1983, 1987, 1989, 1991, and 2001)and has appeared in the AP Top 25 frequently during this time. Alumni of the Miami Hurricanes football team include five members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and two Heisman Trophy winners. Mark Richt was hired as the 24th head football coach on December 4, 2015.
For 70 years, from 1937 through 2007, the Hurricanes played their home football games at the Miami Orange Bowl. Beginning with the 2008 season, the University of Miami began playing its home football games at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. The university signed a 25-year contract to play there through 2033.
On December 12, 2009, the global sports network ESPN aired a documentary on the UM football program, The U, which drew 2.3 million viewers, the most ever for a documentary on the sports cable network. As of the 2011 National Football League season, UM had the most players active in the NFL of any university in the nation, with 42.
The UM baseball team, coached currently by Jim Morris, has won four national championships (1982, 1985, 1999 and 2001). Ryan Braun was named "National Freshman of the Year" by Baseball America while playing for the school in 2003, and won the Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Player of the Year award as a junior. They play their home games at the on-campus baseball stadium, Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field, named for New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who contributed $3.9 million toward the stadium's 2007–2009 renovation.
A smaller facility, Cobb Stadium, is located on the University of Miami campus and is used by the university's women's soccer and men's and women's track and field teams.UM's men's and women's basketball teams play their home games at Watsco Center on the Coral Gables campus. Jim Larrañaga is the head coach of UM's men's basketball team. UM's men's basketball team has twice reached the NCAA Championship's "Sweet 16" (1999–2000 and 2012–2013). Katie Meier is the head coach of UM's women's basketball team.