September 27, 2004

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

Webster's Dictionary defines the word "inconvenience" as "the quality or state of being inconvenient; lack of comfort, ease, etc.; bother; trouble."

For the next four days, I think it's fair to say the University of Miami will fit that definition.

As we approach this Thursday's Presidential Debate here on the Coral Gables campus, I'm certain each of us will be inconvenienced in some way. The shuttle may run a little late, parking may be in a different location, and in general getting from point A to point B might be just a bit more difficult. Any event of this magnitude is sure to cause a few headaches, but the benefits far outweigh these minor disruptions.

After a year of planning and preparation, all eyes will be on the University of Miami this week. A very talented, dedicated team of University staff has worked tirelessly to develop a comprehensive plan to capitalize on this unprecedented opportunity, while keeping disruptions and delays to a minimum. I can assure you they will be watching closely as the plan unfolds this week, ready to make whatever adjustments are necessary to keep things running smoothly.

What an exciting time this is for all of us -- a unique opportunity to witness democracy in action right here on campus. I hope you'll share in the excitement and show your school pride in an active way. Our school colors are the venerable green and orange. For this week, let's expand those colors to red, white, and blue, as well. Show the world your excitement and enthusiasm by wearing these colors throughout the week.

This is an extraordinary moment. More than 40 million people worldwide will be watching. Take part, savor it, tune in, be proud. And brush off the inconvenience. It's a small price to pay to be a part of history in the making.


Donna E. Shalala

Office of the President
P.O. Box 248006 Coral Gables, Florida 33124-4600
305-284-5155 Fax 305-284-3768