"We enjoy supporting Winter Wonderful and the Shalala MusicReach mentoring program, and are excited about being part of the Frost School of Music family." -Lynda and Michael S. Gordon, M.D.
Upon hearing the Frost Chorale perform holiday music at Winter Wonderful several years ago, “I had tears in my eyes,” says Michael S. Gordon, M.D., who has been attending the gala ever since with his wife Lynda Gordon. Both are active philanthropists at the University of Miami and in the South Florida community and were the 2012 Frost Legacy Award recipients.
“I happen to like Christmas carols. I sang in mixed chorus in high school, so we took guests to Winter Wonderful…and I was inspired,” says Gordon. “All those students standing around you and singing, it was glorious! I purchased a table because I care about the mission, and the mentoring program. Lynda and I are very excited about being a part of the family.”
In addition to attending Winter Wonderful as Platinum Circle table patrons, the Gordons have contributed additional major gifts to help fund new music mentoring scholarships for students enrolled in the Frost School of Music who will teach music and mentor young people in the community through the Shalala MusicReach program.
Gordon’s interest in music goes back to his early childhood. His mother, Doree Leslie, had an active stage career on Broadway. Among her many professional accomplishments, she premiered the Rodgers and Hart song “Dancing on the Ceiling.” She later retired to Chicago to marry and start a family.
Gordon attended public high school in Chicago where “We had great fun, sang in the chorus and did many choral presentations and musicals. Music was part of the school schedule, not just an extra.” He still had the music bug in college, often performing in fraternity stunt shows and musicals.
A visionary in the medical profession today, Michael S. Gordon, M.D., Ph.D. is founder and director emeritus of the Michael S. Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine where he is also Associate Dean for Research in Medical Education and Professor of Medicine (Cardiology). He has an international reputation as a pioneer in the delivery of more effective medical education through advanced technology and simulation. His programs have received numerous national and international awards for their educational excellence and have had a major impact on teaching programs throughout the world. In 1996 he received the highest educational honor of the American College of Cardiology, the “Gifted Teacher Award.”
As a respected professor and administrator, Gordon recognized great leadership in the Frost School of Music’s dean, Shelly Berg, when the two first met at the Ottawa Conference in May 2010, when Gordon called Berg to ask him to perform with some music students for over 1,000 conference attendees from the medical profession. Berg agreed, and the two hit it off immediately.
“I do a lot of administration now, and I’ve seen a lot of dreams come true, but I’m a teacher in my heart,” reflects Gordon. “You have to have a little bit of ‘show-biz’ in you, to be a teacher. This story is really about Shelly Berg. He is not only capable, he is a go-getter, he is creative, and I really admire what he is doing. I knew he was quality when I heard him perform, and speak about the mission of the Frost School of Music.”