UM Alumni Association Welcomes New Alumni

May 6, 2016

Spring Commencement ceremonies at the University of Miami BankUnited Center gathered the families of more than 3,500 Class of 2016 graduates for their official invocation to their new family of more than 174,000 alumni. This particular group of graduates is the 90th class to graduate from UM. Ceremonies took place over three days on May 5-7th. President Julio Frenk announced proudly that this ceremony was his first spring commencement since he came to UM in 2015. He encouraged graduates to go forth and continue to make our alma mater proud, remain open-minded citizens, and maintain the notion that we are all students of life.

Each of the three undergraduate ceremonies had their own Commencement Speakers, which included Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Oscar Arias, HIV/AIDS and climate change activist Stephen Lewis, and award-winning journalist Gillian Tett. Speakers offered their advice to the newly minted alumni sitting before them, and recounted stories of how they found their place in life. Mr. Lewis, a passionate student of social justice, left graduates with the resounding advice to “take the thing you feel most passionate about and pursue it with everything you can.”

Watch the ceremonies. For a full recap of commencement, visit Follow the conversation using the official hashtag: #UMGrad.


The UM Alumni Association honored 51 Alumni Marshals as part of the Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement Ceremonies. It's a tradition that takes place twice each year as selected members of the Loyalty Society and the James W. McLamore Society are invited to serve based on engagement and contributions to the University. Alumni Marshals participate in the Commencement Ceremony’s academic procession and wear their regalia alongside faculty, trustees and senior administrators. Alumni Marshals represent our alumni family of more than 174,000 strong -- only 500 of whom have had the honor to date.   |  Learn more about the Loyalty and McLamore Societies


More than 175 legacy family members joined the UM Alumni Association last Wednesday for the Third Annual Graduating Legacy Reception. The ceremony recognized the children and grandchildren of UM alumni. At this year’s ceremony the graduating legacies were presented with an official legacy stole that could be worn during Commencement. It was the first time the UM Alumni Association gave this item to students as a gift with the intention that they would someday pass it down to their children and grandchildren who attend the U.   |  See photos


Two dozen soon-to-be University of Miami graduates, their guests, and allies happily weathered the dark and thundering skies last week to attend the University’s second annual Lavender Celebration ahead of Commencement Ceremonies, which recognized the accomplishments of UM’s LGBTQ students and the strides the U has made to create a safe, inclusive campus that nurtures their academic and personal goals. Kate Lake, senior director of alumni engagement, member of the LGBTQ Task Force and Implementation Committee, and staff liaison to the LGBTQ ’Canes, opened the program. Other speakers included Patricia A. Whitely, Ed.D. ’94, vice president for student affairs, Andrew Wiemer, director for the Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership and co-chair of the LGBTQ Task Force and Implementation Committee, and Judson Dry, B.B.A. ’07, president of the LGBTQ ’Canes Alumni Affiliate Group.   |  Read more


As a new UM graduate, you are among the newest 'Canes to blaze trails, set trends, and make your mark on the world - so we need you to stay engaged. Get involved with the University of Miami Young Alumni Program to stay connected with all the advantages of being a 'Cane for Life!

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Graduates Share Their Story

Get to know this year's graduating class - a group of inspiring individuals who made an impact on UM and who are excited for their next steps as they join the alumni family.

Matthew Getzoff, B.S.B.A '16
"My favorite moment at UM was being inducted into the Iron Arrow Honor Society where I saw all of my hard work and leadership get noticed by my peers."

Daniela Lorenzo, A.B. '16
Religious Studies, Psychology and Political Science
"UM taught me that we set our own boundaries. We have the power to decide the life that we will lead and what opportunities to seek out."

Natalie M. Szmyd, A.B. '16
International Studies and Spanish
"I am especially proud of the success that we have had in fundraising in order to make a positive difference in our community and the world."


Ashley Anne Taggart, B.S. '12, M.D. '16
"One piece of advice I would give to my freshman self is don’t hold back. Get involved, make new friends and enjoy every second of your experience at UM because one day you will look back on these years as the best years of your life."


Candice Johnson, B.S.H.S '16
"I plan to stay engaged with various alumni groups which is why I am most excited for alumni operated businesses. This means there will truly always be a 'Cane there when I need one."


Casey Rea, B.B.A. '16
Marketing, International Studies
"It is important to me to stay involved to give back to the university that has given me so much."


For more profiles, visit