Campus Life, News

UM’s rich history provides looking glass for future

Hurricane football players, Sebastian the Ibis and President Donna E. Shalala are not the only ones who have contributed to the University of Miami’s rich history.

“Miami and UM were built around big ideas, so naturally … history would be drawn down here,” said Peter Perez, a UM alumnus who graduated in 2012.

This idea started in 1926 when a group of Miami citizens decided to build an institution that would offer unique opportunities and help a young community grow.

The group, which included Bowman Foster Ashe, UM’s first president; J.C. Penney, an American businessman; and George Merrick, founder of Coral Gables, formed what later became the Board of Trustees and set the foundation and expectations for the university.

During World War II, UM was a major training location for United States and Royal Air Force cadets.

The Navy V-5 and V-12 programs were offered by UM during World War II, which trained approximately 10,000 students and civilians. The Sigma Chi chapter at UM was composed mainly of Navy personnel.

In 1954, the UM Band of the Hour and Hurricanettes visited Guatemala to participate in the country’s Independence Day celebration.

The band members performed three times in Guatemala City’s Olympic Stadium for more than 800,000 people.

The South Campus of UM, the former Richmond Naval Air Station at Coral Reef Drive SW 152nd Street and SW 127th Avenue, opened in fall 1946. It provided housing, dining and recreational facilities and classrooms for about 1,100 students, mainly freshmen.

In the 1960s the Central Intelligence Agency leased several of the buildings at UM’s South Campus saying Zenith Technological Services would use them.

In reality this front company was the headquarter for major United States covert operations and intelligence gathering for the war on Cuba, according to the Cuban Information Archives at Richmond Naval Air Station.

It was code named JMWAVE and became the center for Operation Mongoose – a U.S. operation to overthrow the communist government of Cuba.

When asked about the CIA operations, Perez said he was not surprised. He said UM was always a bridge between Latin America and the United States.

University Center Lanes, which was a bowling alley that operated from 1965 to 1994, along with UC Games Area and Storm Surge Café, which operated from 1965 to 2008, were hubs of campus.

Students could go to these places to grab a bite to eat or relax, play pool or table tennis, and bowl with their friends.

The university made national headlines in 2004 when it hosted the first presidential debate between then-President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry.

More than 63 million Americans watched the debate and more than 3,000 credentialed news media were on campus that week, according to the University of Miami website.

“The future of UM looks bright,” said junior Elan Aleman, who works with the Cuban Heritage Collection at the Richter Library. “The dynamic leadership here at UM, along with our pride and commitment to a culture of excellence, will continue to be a catalyst for success.”

March 28, 2013

Reporters

Kevin Rodriguez


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

With the University of Miami season opener closing in, the next starting quarterback has yet to be n ...

The second fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over. University of Miami coach Mark R ...

1. DOLPHINS: Fins any good? 'Dress rehearsal' may tell: Opening win, then lopsided loss. W ...

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.