April 8 will now be known as Founder’s Day at the University of Miami, memorializing the date the school was founded in 1925.
President Julio Frenk announced the new tradition on Friday, the school’s 91st anniversary of being founded. In the letter emailed to students and faculty, Dr. Frenk said the original charter serves as the mark of the beginning of the school’s journey to its centennial in nine years. Since taking over, he has said he would like to transform the school by 2025.
He wrote that his eight initiatives – including 100 new talents for 100 years, problem-based interdisciplinary collaboration, hemispheric connections and innovation, development of a culture of belonging and a university-wide platform for educational investment in basic and applied science and engineering – would all help the university reach its transformative goal.
“Together with a concurrent ninth initiative to transform the academic health system, we are well on the way to ensuring that we are the Hemispheric, Excellent, Relevant, and Exemplary University by 2025,” Dr. Frenk wrote in the letter.
He also wrote that the charter serves as a reminder of how far the university has come in terms of diversity, and how far it still has to go in order to be more inclusive.
“Issues of diversity, inclusion, and respect have been much on my mind. I am very proud of the diversity of our campuses today, and the charter is a reminder of how far we have come: all of the signing founders were white and only two were women, including Bertha M. Foster, founding dean of the Frost School of Music.”
In closing, Frenk directed readers to his remarks from last weekend at Yale University, where he was given the Bouchet Leadership Award, named after the first African American to earn a Ph.D in the United States.
The national award was established at Yale in 2002 and is given to leaders who have made strides in diversifying higher education, are outstanding in their fields and are exemplary to those they lead.