February 25, 2009


To the University Community:

Today we mourn the terrible loss of a special member of the University of Miami family. Maria Amador, a University employee since 1995, was director of education at the Miller School of Medicine’s Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. She was beloved by her colleagues and the many people she served with dedication and compassion.

W. Dalton Dietrich III, the scientific director of The Miami Project who worked very closely with Maria, said that she was passionate about her job and came to work every day dedicated to educating people about spinal cord injury and advancing the scientific discoveries at the clinic. “Maria had the special talent of translating our science into words that could be understood and appreciated by the general public.”

The tragic death of Maria and two of her children touches the University community in another devastating way. Her daughter, Bea, is a gifted pianist majoring in music therapy at the Frost School of Music. Shelly Berg, dean of the Frost School of Music, expressed on behalf of her classmates and faculty that, “We will do all we can to help her and wrap our arms around her as she deals with this tragedy.”

We can never replace all that Bea and her family have lost, but as individuals and as a community we can offer our love, sympathy, and strength to her and her brother, Javier, in this hour of unfathomable loss. Both Bea and Javier will always find a welcoming extended University family ready to help them in any way we can.

As our community grieves the loss of Maria Amador and looks for ways to support her daughter and her family, we urge you to remember that counseling is available through the Employee Assistance Program at 305-284-6604 and the Counseling Center at 305-284-5511.

Educational fund established to assist Amador family
In response to the outpouring of sympathy from the community for the Amador family, the University of Miami has established a fund to support the education of Bea and her brother, Javier. Anyone wishing to contribute to this fund should send a check payable to the University of Miami, PO Box 248073, Coral Gables, FL 33124. Please include on the checks that funds are for the benefit of the Amador Family.

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