April 29, 2011 — Coral Gables — The University of Miami has named Leonard Abess, a dedicated member of the UM Board of Trustees, as its chairman. Also today, John Hussman, Christine Schwartz, and Tracey Berkowitz joined as members of the Board. Additionally, William Koenigsberg and Hal Rosenbluth were named alumni trustees, and Dara Collins was named student trustee to the Board. The Board is responsible for governing the University of Miami, one of the largest private research universities in the southeastern United States.
Abess, the former owner, chairman and CEO of City National Bank of Florida, and renowned philanthropist, has held a connection to the University of Miami over many generations. His late father, Leonard L. Abess Sr. also served as a UM Trustee, as did his maternal grandfather, Arthur Ungar. His son is a current student. Through generous donations from the Jayne and Leonard Abess Foundation, Abess has given significant gifts to the University, including a $5 million naming gift to the UM Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy.
Joining the Board of Trustees is John P. Hussman, president and principal shareholder of Hussman Econometrics Advisers, based in Ellicott City, MD. A former adjunct assistant professor of Economics and International Finance at the University of Michigan, Hussman has been active in portfolio management since 1993. Through the Hussman Foundation, a $20 million gift was made to UM in 2009 to name the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics, formerly called the Miami Institute for Human Genomics. The John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics seeks to discover and explain the genetic influences on human health, and to pioneer the application of this knowledge to the diagnosis, intervention, and prevention of disease, thus changing the practice of medicine and fulfilling the promise of the Human Genome Project for direct patient care.
Chicago resident Christine Schwartz, a nurse and nursing educator, has also become a Trustee. On the occasion of their 20th wedding anniversary, her husband Ted gave the University of Miami a lead gift to build the M. Christine Schwartz Center for Nursing and Health Studies, which opened its doors in 2007. In November, the Schwartz Family Foundation announced a lead gift to build the Theodore G. Schwartz and Todd G. Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence, which will provide state-of-the-art resources for the over 400 enrolled student-athletes to achieve their personal, educational and athletic goals.
Tracey Berkowitz, a trustee of the Fairholme Foundation, a Coral Gables, FL-based nonprofit group supporting the arts, higher education and Jewish-related causes, is also a new Trustee. Earlier this month, The Fairholme Foundation gave the University a lead gift of $20 million to build the Student Activities Center Complex, a new home for student activities, leadership programs and services on the University’s Coral Gables campus. Among the Fairholme Foundation’s past involvement with and support for the University include: Executive Medicine, Athletics, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Launch Pad and the Parents Fund.
A 1977 alumnus of the School of Business, William Koenigsberg is founder, president and CEO of Horizon Media Inc., an independent media services company specializing in branding, strategic marketing and research, based in New York. He currently serves on the national trade association of the advertising agency business (known as 4A’s), the International Radio and Television Society Foundation, and City Harvest. He is also a member of the UM President’s Council.
Hal Rosenbluth, a 1974 alumnus, is co-founder and chairman of Take Care Health Systems (TCHS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walgreens that manages more than 700 health care centers. He serves as Walgreens Senior Vice President and President of Walgreens Health and Wellness Division. An author of several books on customer service, he is a member of the UM President’s Council.
Dara Collins, a rising senior, is an international studies major, who is minoring in aerospace studies and public relations. A native of Pensacola, FL, she resides on campus, and is the incoming president of United Black Students for the 2011-2012 academic year. Collins also serves as an operations squadron commander for Air Force ROTC, and is a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
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