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New center welcomes alumni back to school

A university is measured by the achievements of its alumni, and at the University of Miami there’s a lot to be proud of.
There are actors and entertainers like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Gloria Estefan and Enrique Iglesias.
There are business tycoons like Ralph Alvarez, president and COO of McDonald’s Corporation, and even former mayor of Miami, Manny Diaz.
The list of notable alumni from UM goes on and on.
To honor the contributions these graduates have made to their respective fields and to the university community, the University of Miami Alumni Association will open the new Robert & Judi Prokop Newman Alumni Center this fall.
The purpose of the building is to serve as a welcome center for returning alumni, to provide more university office space and to act as a gathering place for the UM community as a whole.
At 70,000 square feet, the alumni center will house its own library and café as well as a living room, a conference room and a courtyard to be used as an indoor/outdoor space.
The four-story building is currently under construction at the corner of Brescia Avenue and Hurricane Drive facing Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
World-renowned architect and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor Michael Dennis designed the building to provide alumni, students and friends of UM with both intimate and grand settings in which to congregate.
“This building should not be flown in from a corporate office park,” Dennis said. “It should be more like a house or a villa. In a climate like this, colonnades, promenades and courtyards are part of the program.”
Like many buildings on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus, the alumni center is designed to echo the unique style and atmosphere of South Beach’s modern hotels.
Dennis’ main concern while designing the center was to create a comfortable, inviting space that was both moving and powerful.
“There are many ways—some fun and some more serious—to make a building unique and give it personality,” he said.
To add to the building’s unique personality the alumni association is selling brick pavers, which can be engraved with a message and will be placed in and around the new building.
The pavers are intended to provide alumni with the opportunity to leave an everlasting impression at the university that has given them so much, and that they have given so much to.
“Each student who has attended the University of Miami has added to its character, piece by piece,” said Robert Prokop Newman, who graduated from UM with a B.B.A in 1963 and donated to the new center. “The pavers will be an integral part of the magnificent new Alumni Center—a way to memorialize the people and events that form the University’s living history.”
Laura Edwins may be contacted at ledwins@themiamihurricane.com.

A university is measured by the achievements of its alumni, and at the University of Miami there’s a lot to be proud of. There are actors and entertainers like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Gloria Estefan and Enrique Iglesias. There are business tycoons like Ralph Alvarez, president and COO of McDonald’s Corporation, and even former mayor of Miami, Manny Diaz. The list of notable alumni from UM goes on and on.To honor the contributions these graduates have made to their respective fields and to the university community, the University of Miami Alumni Association will open the new Robert & Judi Prokop Newman Alumni Center this fall. The purpose of the building is to serve as a welcome center for returning alumni, to provide more university office space and to act as a gathering place for the UM community as a whole.At 70,000 square feet, the alumni center will house its own library and café as well as a living room, a conference room and a courtyard to be used as an indoor/outdoor space. The four-story building is currently under construction at the corner of Brescia Avenue and Hurricane Drive facing Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.World-renowned architect and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor Michael Dennis designed the building to provide alumni, students and friends of UM with both intimate and grand settings in which to congregate.”This building should not be flown in from a corporate office park,” Dennis said. “It should be more like a house or a villa. In a climate like this, colonnades, promenades and courtyards are part of the program.”Like many buildings on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus, the alumni center is designed to echo the unique style and atmosphere of South Beach’s modern hotels. Dennis’ main concern while designing the center was to create a comfortable, inviting space that was both moving and powerful.”There are many ways—some fun and some more serious—to make a building unique and give it personality,” he said.To add to the building’s unique personality the alumni association is selling brick pavers, which can be engraved with a message and will be placed in and around the new building. The pavers are intended to provide alumni with the opportunity to leave an everlasting impression at the university that has given them so much, and that they have given so much to.”Each student who has attended the University of Miami has added to its character, piece by piece,” said Robert Prokop Newman, who graduated from UM with a B.B.A in 1963 and donated to the new center. “The pavers will be an integral part of the magnificent new Alumni Center—a way to memorialize the people and events that form the University’s living history.”
Laura Edwins may be contacted at ledwins@themiamihurricane.com.

July 22, 2010

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Laura Edwins

Managing Editor


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