December 15, 2004

Dear Colleague:

What an incredible fall semester this has been! We got off to a tremendous start with the buzz surrounding the first presidential debate, which was held on campus on September 30. All eyes were on the University of Miami that week, and our students, faculty, and staff pulled it off with typical aplomb.

Last week we made one of the biggest announcements ever at the University of Miami-news of historic proportions. The family of the late Leonard Miller has generously donated $100 million to UM to honor a remarkable individual who served on our Board of Trustees for 20 years and was chairman from 1995 to 1999. In recognition of this incredible gift, we have renamed the school the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. It's an extraordinary gift from an extraordinary family. Their gift is a wonderful gesture of confidence in the school and sets the bar high for philanthropy in higher education. This is the second school to be named as part of the Momentum campaign; the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music was named last year.

The University also received several other very generous and important gifts to the Momentum campaign this fall. The Miller School of Medicine received $13 million for translational research from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation and an additional
$5 million for genetics from the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation. The School of Business Administration received $10 million from entrepreneur Miguel Fernandez. We are delighted that we now have raised more than $800 million toward our billion-dollar campaign goal.

In January we will dedicate the new Marta and Austin Weeks Library and Technology Center at the Frost School of Music. Numerous other facilities are in design or construction across the campuses. The Jorge M. Perez Architecture Center is nearing completion, the M. Christine Schwartz Center for Nursing Education is well under way, ground has been broken on an addition to the School of Communication building, and a major new classroom and residential building designed by world-renowned architect Michael Graves will soon be under construction at the School of Business Administration. The Clinical Research Institute and Wellness Center are shaping up at the Miller School of Medicine, and planning and design are well under way for a major new research building on that campus.

In October the Board of Trustees elected Dean Colson chairman of the board. Mr. Colson is a partner at Colson Hicks Eidson law firm in Coral Gables and is an alumnus of our School of Law. He also will serve as chairman of the Momentum campaign. I wish to express my gratitude to Dr. Phillip Frost, who stepped down as chair after three years of outstanding leadership and service.

The holidays are upon us, and we have so much to be thankful for. I hope each of you will take a moment to consider those whose holidays may not be so bright. If you haven't made a contribution to this year's United Way campaign, I trust you'll contact your unit's United Way Ambassador and make a gift for 2005 now.

I wish each of you a joyous and peaceful holiday season and a prosperous new year.


Donna E. Shalala

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