Black Alumni Society



The UM Black Alumni Society’s First Black Graduates Project acknowledges “UTrailblazers”—those who blazed the trail in breaking the color barrier at the University of Miami in the 1960s and ’70s. To celebrate their courage, successes, and contributions to the University community, the project is proud to host UTrailblazers, a signature event on the Coral Gables campus February 24-25, 2017.  

Weekend Celebration

Friday, February 24, 2017
Robert and Judi Prokop Newman Alumni Center
6200 San Amaro Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33146

12 p.m. Registration Opens - Newman Alumni Center
12:30 Guided Campus Bus Tour - Leaves from Newman Alumni Center

1 to 3 p.m. UTrailblazers Library Exhibition - Otto G. Richter Library
Reception and special presentation by history professor Donald Spivey

4 to 8 p.m. Opening Ceremony - Newman Alumni Center
Join us for a reception of heavy hors d’oeuvres and nonalcoholic beverages, followed by an overview of the First Black Graduates Project; a tribute to Henry King Stanford, UM’s third president and an unwavering advocate for black students from 1962 to 1981; an alumni/ student forum; student dance and spoken word performances; special recognition of faculty and administrators; and a keynote address by Miami attorney Harold Long, A.B. ‘68, J.D. ‘71, a founder and past president of United Black Students. Supported by UM Human Resources.
Attire: Business casual
Cost: $25 general admission; free for UM students

Saturday, February 25, 2017
Donna E. Shalala Student Center
1330 Miller Dr, Miami, FL 33146

3:30 p.m. Registration Opens - Shalala Student Center

4 to 6 p.m. Making History - Shalala Student Center
Share your story through video interviews and portraits

6 p.m. UTrailblazers Gala - Shalala Student Center
Master of Ceremonies Finesse Mitchell, B.S.C. ’95, conducts a fun-filled and profound journey through UM history. You’ll enjoy cocktails and dinner; sensational performances by recording artist Nicole Henry, B.S.C. ’00, and Frost School of Music students; and a keynote address by attorney, educator, and community leader George Knox, J.D. ’73.
Attire: Business or cocktail
Cost: $75 general admissions; $50 for UM students; Sponsor a table for $750

The UTrailblazers Richter Library exhibition runs from February 1 through February 25.

Phone: 305-284-2872 or Toll Free at 866-UMALUMS (862-5867)

Mail: Download the registration form or call the number above to request a copy by mail. Return your registration form and payment (payable to the University of Miami) to UM Alumni Association, c/o The First Black Graduates Project, 6200 San Amaro Drive, Suite 200, Coral Gables, FL 33146

Registration deadline: Pre-registration closes and walk-up registrations are encouraged after Friday, February 17, 2017

Confirmations: Online confirmations will be received instantly upon completion of your registration, and manual registration confirmations will be sent within 48 hours after it is received.

Cancellations: Should your plans change, cancellations must be received in writing on or before Friday, February 17, 2017 to be considered for a full refund.

Learn more about hotel and travel information.

Blazing the trail, building the dream

About the First Black Graduates Project

Thirty-five years after it opened for classes in 1926, the University of Miami admitted its first black students. The First Black Graduates Project aims to identify University of Miami black graduates from 1961 to 1979, document their personal histories, and raise funds for scholarships that will positively impact the lives of current UM students and generations to come.

Members of the UM Black Alumni Society created The First Black Graduates Project after attending "Unity in Diversity: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Desegregation at the University of Miami," a semester-long series of speakers, an art exhibition, a concert, and other events in the spring of 2012. Through dedicated alumni outreach and archival research, the project continues to chronicle this important part of our history and honor those who blazed a trail of courage, diversity, and inclusion at the U.

Read more about the project's origin in Miami Magazine.

Get Connected

The First Black Graduates of the 1960s and 1970s blazed a trail at the University of Miami. Browse the Directory of First Black Graduates. To update your contact information or help find lost alumni, click here.

Share your Story

You can join the Black Alumni Society
on this fascinating passage through our history. Share your trailblazing stories,
photos, and memories using one of
the forms below.

Share your story - print and send
Share your story - online form

Become a Volunteer

Become a volunteer to assist with research, outreach, fundraising, planning of the UTrailblazers celebration and presentation of the First Black Graduates Project.


Contact a Project Co-Chair:

Denise Mincey-Mills, B.B.A ’79
Phyllis Tyler, B.B.A ’79
Antonio Junior, A.B. '79

For additional information, contact the Office of Alumni Relations: 1-866-UMALUMS (862-5867) or

Make a Gift

As part of this project, the First Black Graduates Endowed* Scholarship was created to support students at UM who have financial hardships. Invest in the future of the U today by making a gift.


If you cannot attend these events, but would like to make a donation toward the First Black Graduates Endowed* Scholarship Fund, please visit You may also contribute toward weekend programming costs or sponsor a UM student’s ticket by calling 305-284-2872 or toll-free at 1-866-UMALUMS (862-5867).

Contact Arlene Johnson, B.G.S.C. '03 M.A.L.S. '06, Development Director, Annual Giving, at 305-284-6232 or

* If the First Black Graduates Endowed Scholarship Fund is not fully funded with payments totaling $20,000 by January 31, 2017 and then fully funded with pledges and payments totaling $50,000 by January 31, 2021, the Fund will be reclassified into a non-endowed fund for the same purpose.