Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Q: How do I become a member of the University of Miami Alumni Association,
and how much does it cost?

A: "All graduates of the University of Miami have a free, lifetime membership in the University of Miami Alumni Association.  In addition, students who have successfuly attained 15 credits have a free, lifetime membership."


Q: How can I obtain a “Photo ID Alumni 'Cane Card”?
A: You may get your Alumni 'Cane Card at the Department of Parking and Transportation, located on the first floor of the Flipse Building at 5665 Ponce de Leon Boulevard on the Coral Gables campus between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding official University holidays, to get your Alumni 'Cane Card. Your first Alumni Card is free. A fee of $20 will be assessed for any lost cards.


Q: Why does my Alumni Card show a different graduation year?
A: Our fiscal year runs from June 1 to May 31 of the following year, therefore if you graduate in December your card will show next year, since December is within our fiscal year. However, your official graduation record and transcript will contain the official year.


Q: How can I update my address with the University of Miami Alumni Association?
A: There are several ways to update your address with the UMAA: 1) Call us at 1-866-UMALUMS; e-mail us your update at alumni@miami.edu; or 3) Register for our free online community services and update your profile on the web.

Board of Directors/Alumni Council

Q: What is the Alumni Council and Board of Directors?
A: The Board of Directors along with the members of the Alumni Council work to link alumni and the University to facilitate a spirit of loyalty, involvement, and life-long commitment to the University of Miami.

The Alumni Council is the representative body of the Association and consists of the Board of Directors and the President and President-Elect or other designated officer of each affiliate group including national alumni clubs, affinity groups, and school/college associations. The Alumni Council as a whole is responsible for electing the UMAA directors, revoking the charters of affiliate groups, and adopting the Constitution and amendments thereto.

The Board of Directors is comprised of eight officers (each serve a one year term), the Executive Director of the UMAA, three Alumni Trustees (each serve a three year term), seven Regional Directors (each serve a one year term), fifteen Directors (each serve a three year term), and three student directors (each serve a one year term).


Q: How many meetings does the Board of Directors have annually?
A: The Board of Directors meets three times annually; two of those meetings are held jointly with the Alumni Council. At these meetings, in addition to the transaction of business of the Association, members are informed about University programs, events, facilities, and concerns. They participate in open forums with students, administrators, and faculty members.


Q: How does one become a member of the Board of Directors and what are their responsibilities?
A: Officers, regional directors and directors are formally nominated through an annual nominations process. The UMAA Nominations Committee considers all potential candidates and develops a slate for officers and a slate for directors from the nominees. The slate of directors is sent to the Board of Directors and to the Alumni Council for approval. The only exception is the Alumni Trustees positions which are chosen separately by the University Board of Trustees’ Trustee Service Committee. Directors serve as Alumni Association leaders and University ambassadors. They actively work with the Alumni Relations staff to implement strategic initiatives and further the mission of our alma mater.


Q: How does one become an Alumni Council member and what are their responsibilities?
A: Alumni Council affiliate group representatives are chosen by virtue of position in their respective affiliate group. Alumni Council members are required to attend the two council meetings annually, serve as spokespersons on behalf of the UMAA, represent and communicate with their respective constituencies, and encourage annual financial support of the University.


Q: What are standing and ad hoc committees?
A: Standing committees are permanent committees that focus on a specific area of the UMAA business. There are six standing committees: Executive, Nominations, Awards, Strategic Planning, Constitution and Bylaws, and Revenue Generating. While the membership on the standing committees is usually filled by UMAA Board and Alumni Council members, there are slots on some of the committees for interested Alumni Association members.

Ad hoc committees are used to assist with the implementation of the Association’s strategic vision. Officers, directors, alumni council members and other alumni volunteers serve on the committees. These committees cover areas such as UMAA Benefits and Services, Development and Annual Fund, Student Outreach, Alumni Affinity Outreach, Communication and the Alumni Center.


Alumni Programs/Events

Q: When is Homecoming and Alumni Weekend scheduled?
A: Alumni Weekend and Homecoming are typically held in late October or early November in conjunction with a home football game. The dates are announced following the release of the football schedule. Click here for the Alumni Weekend and Homecoming website.


Giving to UM

Q: What is the Annual Fund?
A: The University of Miami’s Annual Fund is the most popular way that alumni, parents, students and friends support the University. The Annual Fund is composed of gifts (excluding bequests, planned gifts, grants, gifts-in-kind, memo gifts) of up to $25,000 that go directly in to the University’s operating budget each year.


Q: Why does the Annual Fund need my support every year?
A: Unlike gifts to the endowment, 100% of Annual Fund dollars are spent to provide immediate support to our students and the University. Annual Fund donations pack impressive philanthropic power and advance UM’s vitality, diversity, and quality by supporting key priorities. These gifts have an increased benefit to UM because they are put to work immediately. Example: An annual gift of $100 has the same spending power as the earnings from a $2,000 endowment.


Q: If I can only afford a small gift, is it worth it to the University?
A: Absolutely! Regardless of the size of your gift, your participation in the Annual Fund is very important. And most importantly, a gift of any size directly impacts our students and is a vote of confidence that shows you support your alma mater.


Q: I hear a lot about “alumni participation” and “Hurricane Pride”. Why is this important and how does it increase the value of my degree?
A: Alumni satisfaction is measured by annual giving from alumni to their institution. Our “Hurricane Pride” or annual alumni giving rate reached 19%. Our goal is to reach 20% and continue to climb. Every gift an alumnus makes counts as a statement to ranking publications that you support your alma mater.


Q: Can my Annual Fund donation be directed to a specific area?
A: You may request that your Annual Fund gift be directed to any school, college, department or program at the University that means the most to you. The Annual Fund is a method and type of gift; it is not a designation or “Fund.”


Q: When should I make my gift?
A: The University of Miami operates on a fiscal year which begins on June 1 and ends on May 31. Many donors choose to make their gifts closer to the end of the calendar year, in order to take advantage of the IRS tax benefit.


Q: Does UM have annual giving societies?
A: Yes, visit the President's Circle web page for more details.


Q: What are matching gifts and how can I make sure my gift is matched? Am I recognized for my matching gift?
A: Many employers will match gifts made by their employees, retirees, and directors to non-profit organizations; some even offer a higher than 1 to 1 match. You can check online to see if your company is a matching gift company, or you may contact your company's human resources department. By spending a few short minutes filling out a simple form, you can often double the power your gift. Example: If a donor gives $500 to the Annual Fund and his/her company matches that gift with another $500, the donor is recognized for the full $1,000 donation, and then becomes a member of the President's Circle.


Q: Are Annual Fund gifts tax-deductible?
A: Yes! Any gift to University of Miami, a 501c (3) charitable organization, is fully tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Gifts of stock, mutual funds or other appreciated securities have special tax benefits. Please visit Estate and Gift Planning for more information.


Q: How often can I expect to be solicited for the Annual Fund during the fiscal year?
A: The solicitation period for the Annual Fund usually begins in late August and goes right up until the end of the fiscal year on May 31. Throughout this period, you can expect to be solicited several times by the Annual Fund program until you make your first gift that year. For special projects, some alumni may receive a “second ask.” If you make a pledge, you will receive reminder notices until the pledge is fulfilled.


Q: What are the different ways I might be solicited for an Annual Fund gift?
A: Throughout our fiscal year (June 1 to May 31), alumni receive mailings and e-mails from the University of Miami Annual Fund, as well as phone calls from our student callers, the Calling ‘Canes, that provide opportunities to support your school, college, or area . The Office of Alumni Relations also has a staff of three regional directors dedicated to visiting alumni and soliciting gifts by geographic region.


Q: Can I let the University know my preference for being solicited or making annual contributions?
A: Yes: You may let the University know your preference on receiving phone solicitations, mail solicitations, or online solicitations, or any combination thereof. For example, some alumni prefer e-mail solicitations to Go GREEN and help the environment. You can call 305-284-9200 and advise the staff of your preferences.


Q: Why am I encouraged to make a larger Annual Fund gift in a Reunion year?
A: Reunion is a special time for members of a class to reunite with old friends and share the excitement of being back on campus together. It is also time for a class to reaffirm its ongoing commitment to the University.

General Information

Q: How do I become a member of the University of Miami Alumni Association, and how much does it cost?
Q: How can I obtain a “Photo ID Alumni 'Cane Card”?
Q: Why does my Alumni Card show a different graduation year?


Board of Directors/Alumni Council

Q: What is the Alumni Council and Board of Directors?
Q: How many meetings does the Board of Directors have annually?
Q: How does one become a member of the Board of Directors and what are their responsibilities?
Q: How does one become an Alumni Council member and what are their responsibilities?
Q: What are standing and ad hoc committees?


Alumni Programs/Events

Q: When is Homecoming/Alumni Weekend?


Giving to UM

Q: What is the Annual Fund?
Q: Why does the Annual Fund need my support every year?
Q: If I can only afford a small gift, is it worth it to the University?
Q: I hear a lot about “alumni participation” and “Hurricane Pride”. Why is this important and how does it increase the value of my degree?
Q: Can my Annual Fund donation be directed to a specific area?
Q: When should I make my gift?
Q: Does UM have annual giving societies?
Q: What are matching gifts and how can I make sure my gift is matched? Am I recognized for my matching gift?
Q: Are Annual Fund gifts tax-deductible?
Q: How often can I expect to be solicited for the Annual Fund during the fiscal year?
Q: What are the different ways I might be solicited for an Annual Fund gift?
Q: Can I let the University know my preference for being solicited or making annual contributions.
Q: Why am I encouraged to make a larger Annual Fund gift in a Reunion year?

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