The University of Miami was chartered in 1925, and the first class of 560 students enrolled the following fall. The university soon faced financial difficulties owing to a major hurricane and the onset of the Great Depression. The institution survived and enrollment increased dramatically during the postwar years, rising to almost 14,000 undergraduates by the early 1960s. The institution has continued to add schools and programs while raising its academic standards.
Today, the private university enrolls just over 15,000 undergrads.
The University of Miami’s 260-acre campus is located in beautiful Coral Gables, a suburb south of Miami, with buildings sprouting up around centrally-located Lake Osceola. The Wellness Center (UM’s recreation facility) is one of the newest and most popular spots, and the University Center is another frequent student hangout. There is also a movie theater on campus that students can attend free of charge.
The Pit is a large common area behind the Memorial Library where students congregate to study or kill time between classes.
Aside from being the site of UM, the idyllic city of Coral Gables is primarily known for its upscale homes. Coral Gables is pedestrian friendly and it also boasts a trolley system that was installed in 2003. Some of the city’s landmarks include the historic Venetian Pool and the Biltmore Hotel.
Of course, many students frequent the city of Miami during weekends. The downtown area is full of restaurants, bars, and museums, and Miami’s club scene is widely regarded as among the best in the world. The mix of Latin, Caribbean, and American music underscores the city’s rich and diverse cultural ecosystem. Miami is also a hub for the fashion industry, home to many models, agencies, and photo shoots.
Swamp Stomp, an independent music festival featuring local bands, is a new tradition at UM held at the bohemian hangout Jimbo’s.
Much school pride is centered on Hurricane football, especially on game days when students gather to see their team. The school’s mascot, the Ibis, is one of the more recognizable college sports mascots in the country. The War Canoe Trophy was gifted to the school from the nearby city of Hollywood, Florida, to commemorate the annual football game between the Hurricanes and the University of Florida’s Gators.
Manny Diaz (1980) is the mayor of Miami.
Gloria Estefan (1978) is a Grammy Award-winning singer.
Ray Lewis (2004) is an All-Pro linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens and former Super Bowl MVP.
Drew Rosenhaus (1987) is a sports agent whose roster of clients has included Terrell Owens, Warren Sapp,
Jeremy Shockey, and Santana Moss.
Zweig (1967) is an investment advisor and the author of Winning Wall Street.
Sports at Miami are dominated by Hurricanes football, whose alums include NFL stars like Ray Lewis, Jeremy Shockey, and Ed Reed. This top-tier football program is one of the nation’s true powerhouses, with 5 national championships to its name, most recently in 2001. The Hurricanes also hold the NCAA record for the longest home win streak at 58 consecutive games.
Students used to cram into the Orange Bowl to cheer on the Hurricanes, but in 2007 it was announced that the team would move to Dolphin Stadium beginning in the 2008 season.
Students are fanatical about their Hurricanes, and big games are nothing short of a campus-wide party. The team’s biggest rivals are the University of Florida and Florida State University.
Intramurals also play a big role in campus life. Each year, the residential colleges hold a competition called Sportsfest in which the dorms compete in a weekend of games.
There is a secret society known as the Iron Arrow on campus.
The University of Miami Department of Community Service is run by medical students who volunteer their time to provide free medical services in the surrounding communities.
The Hurricane colors of green, orange, and white represent the colors of an orange tree.
On-campus housing is divided into five residential colleges, each staffed by faculty masters of various disciplines. The faculty masters live and work with students, helping to create programs like book clubs, dinners, and educational lectures.
-Eaton Residential College - Overlooking Lake Osceola, Eaton is primarily populated by returning students. This residential college is suite-style, with sets of two bedrooms connected by a bathroom. The building is co-ed by suite.
-Hecht Residential College - Located on the south side of Lake Osceola, this co-ed residential college houses primarily freshmen and is also home to the theater arts department. Most students live in doubles and share their floor’s communal restroom. Hecht also shares a dining hall with students living in Stanford Residential College.
-Mahoney Residential College - Located right by the university’s main entrance, Mahoney is popular among returning students but is open to all undergrads. The building is composed of suite units consisting of four double rooms connected by a shared restroom. Mahoney is attached to Pearson and they share a dining hall.
-Pearson Residential College - Also near the campus’ main entrance, Pearson is quite similar to Mahoney in the sense that it appeals to students of all class years. The building houses approximately 750 students.
-Stanford Residential College - Located on the south side of the lake, Stanford is adjacent to the Wellness Center. The substance-free community is located within this residential college. The building also features sound-proof music practice rooms.