Beginning in Fall 2002, will be Dr. Donna E. Shalala’s second year of presidency at the University of Miami. In her first year, President Shalala has proven to be very successful, leaving plenty of energy to spare.
President Shalala is the 5th President of the University of Miami, successor to current Chancellor Edward T. Foote II. President Shalala has had a vast career in education, as well as government. Prior to accepting the role of President of the University of Miami, she served as Secretary of Health and Human Resources on President Clinton’s Administration. Before her position as Secretary, President Shalala was Chancellor of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her resume extends pages long.
Student Government President Emeritus Jose “Pepi” Diaz remarks to the success of his year. “She [President Shalala] has been a great asset not only to the University of Miami, but the entire student body.” Diaz remarks, “Dr. Shalala has worked with me in accomplishing many of the projects that were completed this year, and she has always been optimistic.”
Not only has President Shalala made an impression on the students, but also Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Patricia A. Whitely. Dr. Whitley exclaims, “President Shalala sees through the eyes of the students, she is pro-student. I have very much enjoyed working with her.”
This year President Shalala revamped the graduation ceremonies. Graduation used to be one long ceremony, outside in the South Florida heat. President Shalala split graduation into three separate ceremonies, and added tents and air conditioning. She personalized it so every student graduating was able to shake her hand and get a picture with her on stage.
Not only is President Shalala pro-active, people may notice her just walking around campus talking with students. President Shalala likes taking walks on campus to meet and speak with the students.
Student Government President Michael A. Johnston always notices how student friendly President Shalala is. “I love walking around campus seeing Dr. Shalala hanging out with the students at UM,” Johnston remarks. “Her visibility on campus, make my job as Student Body President so much easier.”
Johnston remembers one incident of spotting Dr. Shalala at the Orange Bowl. “I thought it was great when Dr. Shalala came over to me and my fraternity brothers at a football game.”
No matter if you see President Shalala on or off campus, you always know she is available to speak with everyone one of her students.