November 24, 2010 — Coral Gables — Gloria Estefan, a multiple Grammy Award-winning performing artist whose charitable and humanitarian efforts have aided victims of natural disasters and spinal cord injury, will give advice to graduates at the University of Miami’s fall 2010 commencement ceremony on Thursday, December 16 at 10 a.m. at the BankUnited Center.
During the ceremony, undergraduates, master’s degree candidates, and doctoral candidates from all of UM’s schools and colleges (except for Miller School of Medicine M.D. degrees) will be recognized by name and will walk across the stage to be congratulated by President Donna E. Shalala and their school’s dean.
Estefan will address graduates before the conferral of degrees. It will not be the first time the Cuban-American artist has appeared at a UM commencement ceremony. At the spring 1993 exercise, she received an honorary doctor of music.
Estefan exploded onto the pop scene in 1985 as the dynamic front woman of the groundbreaking Miami Sound Machine. But it was the Cuban-born artist’s rise to solo-act superstardom that earned her the name “Queen of Latin Pop.” Millions have flocked to her performances, and an astonishing 90 million of her albums have sold worldwide. She has composed 15 of her own Top 10 hits and has written songs recorded by artists such as Shakira and Jennifer Lopez.
A member of UM’s Board of Trustees, Estefan has been honored on numerous occasions. In 1992 she was invited by President George H.W. Bush to serve as a public member of the United States Delegation to the 47th General Assembly to the United Nations. In addition, she was the first-ever Latin female to receive the BMI “Songwriter of the Year” award.
Estefan has extended herself through humanitarian efforts. In 1994, following a brush with paralysis, she teamed up with the UM Miller School of Medicine’s Miami Project to Cure Paralysis to serve as the capital campaign director for its new building campaign that raised more than $40 million. In 1997 she founded the Gloria Estefan Foundation, which promotes good health, education, and cultural development for those who struggle outside the safeguards of society.
She is also a bestselling author, after the release of her second children’s book, Noelle’s Treasure Tale: A New Magically Mysterious Adventure (Harper Collins). Her literary debut, Mysterious Adventures of Noelle the Bulldog, appeared on The New York Times bestseller list for children’s books.
In 2009 Estefan became the first Cuban-American to become a minority shareholder in an NFL franchise by purchasing a stake in the Miami Dolphins.
The fall 2010 commencement ceremony will be streamed live on the World Wide Web. To watch the ceremony and for more information on commencement, visit http://www.miami.edu/commencement. Information also is available by calling 305-284-5798.
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