Leadership for Fundraising Campaign Announced

Influential group includes seven couples and three individuals with longtime UM connections.

Miami (November 07, 2011) — With the public launch of its next major fundraising campaign scheduled to take place in 2012, the University of Miami has announced the group of influential philanthropists who will assume significant leadership roles for the upcoming initiative.

The newly named chairs and vice chairs, many of whom are UM trustees who played pivotal roles in the success of UM’s record-setting $1.4 billion Momentum campaign, will represent “the faces” of the new fundraising initiative, hosting events and providing “leadership and validation to the campaign in light of their own history, philanthropy, and engagement with the institution,” said Senior Vice President for University Advancement and External Affairs Sergio M. Gonzalez.

The group includes seven couples and three individuals. Some are alums and parents of current UM students. All have given generously to support key funding priorities for the University.

From the CEO of the largest professional services organization in the nation to a former Hurricanes football player who has achieved Hollywood fame, the campaign leaders also have far-reaching influence.

“Because they make their homes in metro areas across the nation, they provide the campaign with impressive geographical reach,” said Leonard Abess, the newly named chair of UM’s Board of Trustees who, along with his wife, Jayne, will also chair the next campaign. “We want to make it clear to everyone that supporting the University of Miami is much more than a South Florida phenomenon.”

The former owner, chairman, and CEO of City National Bank of Florida, Abess is a renowned philanthropist whose UM connection extends over many generations. His late father, Leonard L. Abess Sr., served as a UM trustee, as did his maternal grandfather, Arthur Ungar. His son is a current student. He and Jayne have made many generous donations to the University through their foundation. Their $5 million gift named UM’s Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy. Jayne also currently serves as board chair of the United Way of Miami-Dade.

Abess announced the vice chairs at an October 28 meeting of the Board of Trustees, saying the group will “play a vital role in shaping” the University’s future.

Gonzalez called them “ambassadors who understand the priorities of the next campaign and how the funds raised will be instrumental in UM becoming the next great American university. We are very grateful for their leadership and support.”

The group includes:

Parents of three UM students, Tracey and Bruce Berkowitz made the $20 million lead gift through their Fairholme Foundation to the new Student Activities Center Complex, which will allow the University to dramatically enhance campus life. Tracey is a UM trustee, and both she and Bruce have made gifts to programs ranging from athletics to entrepreneurship to executive medicine. Scheduled for completion in 2013, the Student Activities Center will include gathering places, programming space, a student organizations suite, retail outlets, and a new Rathskeller. Designed to support student life and involvement, it will provide even more programs that involve students in citizenship, leadership, community, and spirit. Undergraduate student government, graduate student association, and law school student organization offices will be housed at the center. The Department of Student Activities and Student Organizations and the William R. Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership Development also will relocate to the center when it is completed.

Eddie and Joanne Dauer have helped champion high-quality health care and outstanding education. Eddie Dauer, a respected physician, three-time UM alumnus, and second-generation University trustee, has served as a faculty member at the Miller School of Medicine and the College of Engineering. Joanne Dauer is a registered nurse and clinical instructor at the School of Nursing and Health Studies. Both are members of Iron Arrow. Four of the Dauers’ six children are ’Canes, and three plan to join their parents in health care careers. The Dauers have made generous gifts to academic and student life programs, facilities, and scholarships throughout the University.

Paul and Swanee DiMare are passionate supporters of the University’s athletics programs. They supported the construction of Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field, where the DiMare Family Champions Plaza was unveiled this past spring. Paul DiMare has provided leadership for the Athletics Department for many years, and the family provided substantial support to the new Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence. The DiMares also support The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and are active supporters of many other University programs, including the School of Education, the Miller School of Medicine, and the Frost School of Music.

Joe and Ana Echevarria are an influential force for innovation and excellence in the business world. Joe has been affiliated with Deloitte for 30 years, and this year was named CEO of Deloitte LLP. His wife, Ana, is an expert in information technology. Joe Echevarria has led many of Deloitte’s philanthropic activities and diversity initiatives, and as an alumnus of UM’s School of Business Administration, he is also a strong proponent of giving back to the University of Miami. He is chairman of the business school’s Board of Overseers. He has led many of Deloitte’s philanthropic activities and diversity initiatives and worked closely with the leadership of the UM business school to create a major newly named center of excellence at the school: the Deloitte International Financial Reporting Institute.

University alumni Dany Garcia and Dwayne Johnson both credit their experiences at UM as the foundation for their later achievements. Dany, who earned her UM degree from the School of Business Administration, founded JDM Partners, a Miami wealth management firm, and now runs The Garcia Companies, a media management company. After graduating from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1995, Dwayne went on to become a wrestling champion and the popular Hollywood actor known as “The Rock.” Dany and Dwayne’s generous support named the living room of the Robert and Judi Prokop Newman Alumni Center. An earlier gift to UM Athletics named the football locker room in honor of Dwayne. Dany Garcia is an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees and currently serves as president of the UM Alumni Association.

Christine and Ted Schwartz’s leadership gift to the School of Nursing and Health Studies paved the way to a magnificent new home for the school. The M. Christine Schwartz Center for Nursing and Health Studies has made it possible for the school to fully respond to the growing need for highly educated health professionals. Ted is founder and chairman of the board of directors of APAC Customer Services, Inc., based in Bannockburn, Illinois, which provides customer call center and business process services and solutions to the health care, communications, business, financial, travel, and entertainment industries. Christine is a nurse and nurse educator from Chicago. The Schwartz family’s relationship with the University has continued to grow. Last November, Ted Schwartz and the Schwartzes’ son, Todd, made a naming gift to the new Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence.

Roe and Penny Stamps
’ generosity ranges from athletics to biomedical research, with a special focus on scholarships that allow students to explore their talents and pursue their dreams. Their own son, Will, is a graduate of the University’s business school. Roe and Penny have funded scholarships and innovative education programs for aspiring musicians at the Frost School of Music, where Roe chairs the Visiting Committee. Their philanthropy also supports student-athlete scholarships and the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Recently the family extended its renowned Stamps Family Charitable Foundation Scholars program to the University of Miami, where it now serves as a highly prestigious merit award for the University’s most outstanding students.

Fundraising for the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine will be a large focus of the next campaign. Leading the effort as chair of the medical school campaign will be Stuart Miller. Stuart is the standard-bearer of his family’s outstanding tradition of generosity and commitment to the medical school and many other parts of the University. Over the past several months, he has been working closely with Miller School of Medicine Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, other volunteer leaders, and the University’s development team in preparation for the medical school’s campaign.

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Download/view an advertisement announcing the leadership for UM's next major fundraising campaign that appeared in the Sunday, November 6 edition of The Miami Herald.


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With the public launch of its next major fundraising campaign scheduled to take place in 2012, the University of Miami has announced the group of influential philanthropists who will assume significant leadership roles for the upcoming initiative.

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