Featuring updates on major infrastructure projects that improve the quality of life for students and residents, the annual Development Agreement meeting between the University of Miami and city of Coral Gables has typically yielded few surprises for high-ranking officials in attendance.
But at the fourth annual meeting, held at the Coral Gables Country Club on Wednesday, one of the items addressed caught UM President Donna E. Shalala by surprise: Wednesday, November 19, 2014, would be a day named in her honor in The City Beautiful.
“Coral Gables will always be your home,” Mayor Jim Cason told Shalala, as city commissioners and UM administrators looked on.
Last September, Shalala announced her decision to step down as president at the end of the 2014-15 academic year, and Wednesday’s proclamation honored her many accomplishments over the past 13 years as UM’s fifth president. Cason also presented Shalala with a key to the city.
The special honor was just one of the many highlights of an hour-long meeting during which Coral Gables and UM officials exchanged information on projects and initiatives affecting their respective areas—from streetscape improvements along Miracle Mile and a planned mixed-use development downtown to a pedestrian overpass at U.S. 1 and Mariposa Court and the new Lennar Foundation Medical Center on the University’s Coral Gables campus.
These meetings are required as part of the 20-year Development Agreement. Reached by UM and Coral Gables in 2010, the accord guides the University’s growth and extends cultural, athletic, and academic programming to the city’s residents.