Celebrating 25 years at UM

E! News, The Miami Herald and Millionaire Matchmaker are all home to some of the most successful alumni of the University of Miami. To commemorate its success over the years, the School of Communication is preparing to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

With about 400 students, primarily studying broadcasting or motion pictures, the School of Communication was established in 1985 under the leadership of its first dean, Edward J. Pfister.

According to Dr. Mitchell Shapiro, a full-time professor and current director of honors in the School of Communication, students were scattered across the Coral Gables campus and were limited in resources. Outdated manual typewriters were used and only two TV studios were available, one of which was not part of the school, but was controlled by the support unit, Communication Services.

“All in all, it was a great place to be. It was like a family,” Shapiro said. “We all had to pitch in and make our limited resources go much further than anyone expected we could. The fact that we have come so far, in so short a period of time, is truly an amazing success story.”

The school’s success is represented not only through notable alumni such as Patti Stanger, Jason Kennedy and Lilia Luciano, but through the development of its facilities.

In 2001, the completion of the Frances L. Wolfson Building provided the first central location for all students and faculty of the School of Communication. The International Building, the school’s annex to the Wolfson Building, was completed in 2007.

“I am looking forward for more years to come at the communication school, and I am very grateful for all the opportunities that professors and faculty have provided,” said sophomore Christian Diego, a motion pictures major in the School of Communication.

The 25th anniversary marks the transition of a small, growing institution into a global leader in the progression of communication.

In his final year as dean of the school, Dr. Sam Grogg is proud of the global impact that students have made.

“There is no doubt that our school is among the leading institutions of its kind.  In many ways the School is incomparable- it sits in a very special university with a diversity and global point of view that is unmatched,” Grogg said.

The celebration of the School of Communication’s 25th anniversary will take place during alumni weekend, beginning Nov. 3.

Jonathan Borge may be contacted at jborge@themiamihurricane.com.


Friday, Oct. 5

1:30 p.m.                 Miami Hurricane alumni meet in SOC courtyard

1:45 – 2:30 p.m.       Tour the School of Communication

2:30 – 3:00 p.m.      Pre-panel coffee and treats on the Bill Cosford Cinema patio

3:00-4:00 p.m.         Panel discussion

4:00 -6:00 p.m.       SOC cookout

7:00P-8:00 p.m.     Hurricane Howl featuring parade, pep rally, boat burning, fireworks and concert – Coral Gables Campus

8:00P – 11:00 p.m.  Alumni Avenue featuring food, drink and much more (additional ticket purchase required)