University of Miami Receives $2.4 Million Gift from the Goizueta Foundation

The gift will also establish fellowship programs within the UM Libraries and College of Arts and Sciences and launch a lecture series.

(November 18, 2009) — The Goizueta Foundation has donated $2.4 million to the University of Miami to support a comprehensive University-wide plan that will enhance and expand the reach of the Otto G. Richter Library’s Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) . The gift will also establish prestigious fellowship programs within the UM Libraries and the College of Arts and Sciences and launch a lecture series with the world-respected Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies (ICCAS).

The grant of $2,443,500, which will be spread over five years, will augment the reach of the CHC in its acquisition, preservation and processing of documents, books and other materials. It will also support the digitization of materials, including Web Site development and marketing efforts. Part of the grant will also establish the Libraries’ Fellowship Programs and support an Undergraduate Fellows Program in a partnership with the College of Arts and Sciences to attract students and scholars and cultivate the use of this unique Collection for research. In conjunction with UM’s ICCAS, the grant will help launch a lecture series designed to showcase the Collection and its relevance.

“We are delighted with the Goizueta Foundation’s generous gift because it will allow this first-rate collection to become fully integrated into our curriculum, as well as fulfill its role in the mission of the university,’’ said UM Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc. “The Cuban Heritage Collection is a treasure that is an invaluable resource to students, scholars and the community at large.”

The CHC is one of the largest comprehensive collections of Cuban and Cuban diaspora materials in the world. The Collection includes rare books, manuscripts, photographs, maps, architectural drawings, prints, broadsides, posters, audio visual materials, newspapers and journals and other materials. Housed on the second floor of the Richter Library in the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavillion, the CHC attracts students, scholars and academics from all over the world to its venue for research on Cuban history, culture and politics.

In keeping with the educational mission of UM, the Undergraduate Fellows Program will allow for CHC to be integrated within the College of Arts and Sciences, increasing the exposure and promotion of the collection and enriching student research opportunities. All undergraduate students will be eligible to apply. Those chosen for the fellowship would utilize the CHC for an individual research project and would be provided with one-on-one attention and direction.

The Graduate Fellowship Program will establish a Library Fellows program for doctoral students based on other programs established at other research libraries such as the Newberry Library in Chicago and the Yale University Library. These competitive fellowships would be highly coveted and would allow the fellow ample access to the CHC.

The CHC has a virtual presence on the Internet through its Web Site at: and through the Libraries digital repository at The grant would improve access to CHC materials online, including the development of online exhibitions and other enhancements. Funding from the grant will also increase digitization efforts to preserve the Collection and most importantly increase awareness of and access to its resources, ultimately extending the reach of its holdings to a larger community of users.

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The University of Miami is the largest private research institution in the southeastern United States. The University’s mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives.

The Goizueta Foundation was co-founded in 1992 by Olga and Roberto C. Goizueta, who served as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca-Cola Company from 1981 until his death in October 1997. In creating The Goizueta Foundation, Olga and Roberto sought first of all to acknowledge their indebtedness to the United States, a country where individual effort and success are rewarded. Secondly, they hoped to personally continue the commitment to philanthropic endeavors that has symbolized the leadership of The Coca-Cola Company for more than a century. Today, 12 years after Roberto’s death, Olga, now Trustee and the Chair of the Executive Committee of The Goizueta Foundation, continues to build upon the legacy that she and her husband began together.

Olga Casteleiro de Goizueta was born in Havana, Cuba where in 1953 she and Roberto C. Goizueta were married. In 1960 as Cuban dictator Fidel Castro rose to power and continued to nationalize business enterprises, Olga Goizueta left for a “vacation” in Florida, with her three children; her youngest, Javier, had been born during the 1959 revolution. Her husband would follow her a few weeks later with a suitcase, $40 in cash and 100 shares of Coca-Cola stock. The couple never returned to Cuba, a decision that forever changed their lives.

The Goizueta Foundation is a private, general purpose grant-making foundation, which includes a limited staff and an Executive Committee comprised of six people. For more information about The Goizueta Foundation, visit

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