A Message from President Julio Frenk

April 22, 2020

Dear University of Miami Community:

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, a call to action for the protection of our environment, which was inspired by student activism and unity around shared ideals. Earth Day is now celebrated in nearly 200 countries, serving as an annual reminder of the interconnectedness of our global community.

The historic times in which we are living bring this interconnectedness into clear focus. Now, more than ever, we see how individual actions affect collective wellbeing. If there is a silver lining to sheltering in place, it is that we have slowed down activities that have a damaging impact on our planet. The human family is getting the opportunity to reimagine our routines. We are getting a glimpse of possibilities—from telehealth to virtual events—that have the potential to help us lighten our carbon footprint and preserve irreplaceable habitats.

This morning, I announced the 2020 winners of the Roberta “Bosey” Fulbright Foote Prize, which recognizes individuals in the University of Miami community who make meaningful and lasting contributions to the beauty and sustainability of our campus. This year’s winners include a group who led teach-ins to educate the University community on environmental matters and buried a time capsule on the first Earth Day, along with a current junior recently recognized among global young activists in National Geographic magazine. They beautifully demonstrate the vision and spirit of service that ’Canes have in common across generations.

Earlier this week our ’Cane spirit was also captured in a special edition of News@TheU highlighting the ways the U has responded to the COVID-19 crisis, from the care of patients to the discovery of new solutions to the support of our community through philanthropy. And, as of this past Saturday, the University began hosting a number of virtual Earth Day activities that continue through this week. We hope you can join us for one, if you haven’t yet.

Like environmental damage, pandemics emerge because of human action —and inaction. The good news is that fighting these interrelated challenges is in our hands. I am proud that the University of Miami is fully engaged in the efforts to address them.

Preserving our environment, continuing our cherished traditions in innovative ways, and developing solutions to complex threats—ranging from public health emergencies to climate change—all speak to the spirit of interconnectedness that is an essential part of the University of Miami.

Thank you for all you are doing to support each other and our global community on Earth Day and every day.

We are one U,
President Julio Frenk signature
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