Donor recognition society honors members who have made a planned gift or included UM in their estate plans.
Coral Gables (May 22, 2013) — Having worked in the tropics since 1966, Steven Green, professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology, understands the importance of preserving these unique biodiverse habitats. “There are ethical, humanitarian, and practical reasons for conserving our planet’s tropical regions,” said Green, a former chair of both the Faculty Senate and the Department of Biology as well as a founding director of the DuMond Conservancy for Primates and Tropical Forests. “We need to protect wildlife and its tropical forest habitat while giving future generations an opportunity to enjoy their beauty by creating local support through ecotourism and other sustainable utilization.”
To help achieve that goal, Green and his wife Karen Minkowski, M.A. ’93, recently made a planned gift to the University of Miami that will enable his department to endow a chair in tropical conservation biology. “The University has given me a very special opportunity to pursue what I love to do, and it is a privilege to give something back,” he said.
On May 2, Green was among those who were inducted into the University of Miami Heritage Society, which recognizes donors who have made a planned gift or included UM in their estate plans. Since its establishment in 1988, more than 1,500 members—living and deceased—have been inducted. At the 2013 Heritage Society Luncheon, held at the Newman Alumni Center, Sergio M. Gonzalez, senior vice president for University Advancement and External Affairs, thanked the new members whose gifts support scholarships, research, medical services, and a wide range of schools and colleges. “We are honored to recognize and induct our newest members into the prestigious Heritage Society and greatly appreciate their decision to leave their legacy at the University of Miami,” Gonzalez said.
Although President Donna E. Shalala, fellow Heritage Society member, was unable to attend the luncheon, she was featured in a video in which she expressed her delight and gratitude that others were equally committed to the University of Miami’s goal of achieving unparalleled levels of excellence.
Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc told inductees, “We are currently ranked in the highest tier of U.S.News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges list, and the generosity of our donors has played and will continue to play a key role in our accomplishments.”
At the society’s 24th annual luncheon, other UM faculty and staff talked about the importance of supporting the University. For instance, Lynne Gibson, director of development for the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music, made a planned gift to support scholarships for music students. “Our dean [Shelton “Shelly” Berg] has brought the school to a new level of distinction, and I want to do everything I can to help the school achieve its goals,” she said.
Daniel Berg, distinguished research professor in the College of Engineering, made an unrestricted gift to his college. “I know what it takes to have a first-class university, and I’m delighted to participate,” he said. “I have served as president and provost at other universities, and I know the value of having flexible resources. I’m confident our dean will put my gift to the best possible use.”
As senior development director of the Office of Estate and Gift Planning at the University of Miami, Kyle Paige, J.D. ’89, enjoys working with donors. In turn, she has made a planned gift to support the Children and Youth Law Clinic, the UM Study Abroad program and the UM-NSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. “I may not be a scientist unraveling the latest mysteries, but in my own small way I feel I can do some good for others through our planned giving program,” she said.
Georgina (Georgie) Angones, A.B. ’72, assistant dean for alumni relations and development at the School of Law, was inducted into the society with her husband, noted trial attorney Frank Angones, A.B. ’72, J.D. ’76, founding partner, Angones, McClure and Garcia, P.A. and former president of The Florida Bar.
“My husband and I are Cuban-Americans who believe strongly in giving back,” she said. “We created a scholarship at the School of Law for Hispanic students, based on need and service to the community, as our way of saying thanks.”
Noting that UM employees can make planned gifts at any age, Kenneth B. Wiggins Jr., said, “Even a small gift can have a big impact when you direct where it goes.” Director of the Citizens Board in the Division of University Advancement, Wiggins used his life insurance policy to make a planned gift to the Department of Religious Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Cynthia Beamish, B.S. ’82, executive director of UM’s Office of Estate and Gift Planning, and her husband, Miami attorney Michael Guilford, J.D. ’85, are leaving planned gifts to the University. They are supporting the School of Law and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, where Cindy studied as an undergraduate. “We are proud to support the student experience at the School of Law as well as the Rosenstiel School’s research into some of the most important environmental issues facing our planet,” she said.
Janice Egeland, professor emerita in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Eveleen Lorton, former professor in the School of Education and Human Development, were not able to attend the luncheon but were recognized as inductees and thanked for their support.
Featured luncheon speaker, Neil Hammerschlag, director of the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program, talked about how the Rosenstiel School is bringing science and education together to address a dramatic decline in the world’s shark population. Established through a founding donation from Marian Dunlap in honor of her late husband, this program will be sustained in perpetuity in part by her planned gift and provides exciting opportunities for students to advance ocean conservation and participate in cutting-edge hands-on projects.
For more information about the various ways you can leave your legacy at the University of Miami, contact Cynthia L. Beamish, executive director of the Office of Estate and Gift Planning, at 305-284-2914 or visit www.miami.edu/plannedgiving.
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