|To the University Community,|
This afternoon we were heartbroken to learn that the University of Miami has lost an extraordinary member of our community. Double alum (A.B. ’68, J.D. ’71) and founder of our United Black Students organization, Harold (Hal) Long, Jr. Esq., died suddenly and unexpectedly yesterday.
Hal was a member of our Citizens Board and a trailblazer in every sense of that word. He was the youngest judge appointed in Florida and his passion for service and commitment to justice were honed right here in Coral Gables. The U is forever changed for his transformative role as a student leader on our campus.
It was Hal who—despite a warm relationship with then-President Henry King Stanford—led a sit-in at the Office of the President in the Ashe Building. He and his classmates called for more Black students to be enrolled, more scholarships for minorities, African-American history courses, and Black professors to teach them. United Black Students was formally recognized as a student organization in 1968. Today, as we continue our pursuit of racial justice, we rely on the strong foundation of student involvement he modeled.
Hal’s love of the University never waned, and we will all miss his frequent visits, especially the way he shared his inspiration with the next generations of ’Canes. We will join together to honor his legacy and celebrate his life and his contributions to the University in the days ahead, but I could not let tonight pass without punctuating the importance of Hal’s life here at the U.
I ask that you join Felicia and me in extending our deepest condolences to Hal’s entire family, and the countless friends and colleagues he has inspired over the years. Please keep them close at heart as we all grieve a true trailblazer.