The Butler Center recognizes student and faculty leaders during Celebration of Involvement

Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia Whitely opened the Celebration of Involvement with a speech on Tuesday.
Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia Whitely opened the Celebration of Involvement with a speech on Tuesday. Photo credit: Jenny Abreu

The Butler Center recognized exceptional student and faculty leaders and their service to the University of Miami community during the annual Celebration of Involvement on Tuesday, April 12th from 4 to 6 p.m.

“It’s very joyous to my heart, seeing these students grow, students who I used to work with,” said Dynesha Peterson, a speaker at the Celebration of Involvement and last year’s Edward T. Foote II Award winner.

The Butler Center awarded several undergraduate students, a faculty member and a postgraduate student for their leadership and service on campus and within Miami.

“I look at it as something where you have to live up to that kind of award every single day, even after you graduate, to continue to live up to the legacy of student leadership and activism,” Coles said. “That’s what I intend to do.”

Edward T. Foote II Award winner, Landon Coles, poses with several of his awards from the Celebration of Involvement.
Edward T. Foote II Award winner, Landon Coles, poses with several of his awards from the Celebration of Involvement. Photo credit: Jenny Abreu

The Foote Award, named after the University of Miami’s fourth president, celebrates a student for their “exemplary involvement, leadership and achievement.”

“For me, the award is sort of a culmination of everything that I’ve done here at the University,” the recipient, Landon Coles said. “It’s something that I will continue to carry with me even after I’ve graduated.”

The Vice President’s Award for Service, established in 1991 by Dr. William Butler, recognizes students “who have best demonstrated exemplary community service in their college experience.”

Bao Duong, one of this year’s winners, is a co-chair of UM Alternative Breaks, the External Vice President of the Asian American Student Association, a senior delegate for SAFAC and planning committee member for Students of Color Symposium.

“I’m very grateful that the current vice president of student affairs is Dr. Patricia Whitely,” Duong said. “It’s really exciting to get to celebrate her life story but also the values that I share too in terms of trying to give back to this university and the community by it.”

Some of the awards included scholarships as well.

Glenn Waldman, a University of Miami Law alumni and adjunct professor, and Tania Waldman are donors who fund the $10,500 Ann S. Waldman Endowed Scholarship and the $10,000 Magaly Santos Llaca Endowed Memorial Scholarship.

“Both awards deal with people who have given in community service,” Waldman said. “For us, it’s to honor people who have done similar things and taken similar paths. That’s why we do it.”

The awards are given in honor of Glenn’s and Tania’s respective mothers.

“The one for Tania’s mom is for somebody who is a first generation American. Her mom and Tania came over from Cuba,” Glenn Waldman said. “And for my mother who has given a tremendous amount of her life to service.”

As students eye the end of the year, they may wonder how one can win an award and potential scholarship.

“Any student leaders who are looking to myself or the graduating class of this year should know that the baton is now in your hands and that it’s important that you take it onward,” Coles said. “Do your due diligence, serve your community, get involved, use your voice and do it not for attention but for pure intention.”

Alexander Walch walks to the stage to receive his Sherwood M. Weiser Memorial Fund for Student Community Service.
Alexander Walch walks to the stage to receive his Sherwood M. Weiser Memorial Fund for Student Community Service. Photo credit: Jenny Abreu

The awards were given as follows:

  • Edward T. Foote II Award – Landon Coles
  • Vice President’s Award for Service – Bao Duong, Isabella Lopez, Marian Pedreira, Zachary Danney
  • Magaly Santos Llaca Endowed Memorial Scholarship – Amanda Lopez
  • Ann S. Waldman Endowed Scholarship – David Shannon
  • Sherwood M. Weiser Memorial Fund for Student Community Service – Alexander Walch, Esther Alexandre, Fabrizio Darby
  • Vivian Berger Giller Impact Award – Evalynn Strauss
  • Robert Bates Cole Award for Volunteer Leadership – Jacques Calixte
  • Gerald J. Pierri ‘65 Read and Lead Award for Excellence in Academics and Intramural Sports Leadership Award – Drew Rich
  • Newman Civic Fellowship Recognition – Fabrizio Darby
  • Iron Arrow David McDonald Sophomore Leadership Award – Kelsey Walker
  • 2022 Graduate Award for Excellence in Student Leadership – Eric C. Randolph
  • Excellence in Civic Engagement – Dr. Marina Magloire