Alumni Weekend

Ever Brighter campaign a highlight at Homecoming

By News@TheU

Ever Brighter campaign a highlight at Homecoming

By News@TheU
The public launch of Ever Brighter, the University of Miami’s Campaign for Our Next Century, was celebrated on November 5 among alumni festivities and Homecoming traditions.

There was palpable excitement in the air as attendees at the Homecoming 2021 festivities on Nov. 5 added sticky notes to a temporary art installation on display on the Edward T. Foote II University Green, sharing what it means to be part of the ever stronger, ever bolder, ever brighter University of Miami. 

Formally announced earlier in the week, the University of Miami publicly celebrated the launch of its most ambitious fundraising campaign in the school’s history—Ever Brighter: The University of Miami’s Campaign for Our Next Century.

The University has already raised more than $1.6 billion toward the $2.5 billion campaign goal. 

During the traditional Hurricane Howl festivities that feature the boat-burning on Lake Osceola and a Homecoming fireworks display over the Donna E. Shalala Student Center and the residential colleges surrounding the lake, “Ever Brighter,” the original campaign song written by Rey Sanchez, a professor in the Frost School of Music, was performed on the Lakeside Patio Stage by Jon Secada, multiple Grammy Award-winning recording artist and double alumnus. He was joined by students from the Frost School. 

“For almost a century, the University of Miami has been a beacon of hope and opportunity for South Florida, the nation, and the world,” said Stuart Miller, Lennar Corporation executive chairman, University trustee, and chair of the UHealth Board of Directors who is serving as chair of the Ever Brighter campaign.

“As we approach our centennial, we stand ready to be an ever-greater force for good to leverage our invincible spirit in pursuit of new horizons,” he said, adding that the campaign “is an investment in our future—in the success of our students, the talent of our faculty, the boldness of our research, the excellence of our patient care, and our service to the community.” 

Another Homecoming tradition—the Canes Lounge—returned after a one-year hiatus. More than 400 alumni and friends gathered in the Shalala Student Center ballroom to enjoy tapas-style dishes and desserts, as well as the open bar co-sponsored by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's Teremana tequila brand. The Band of the Hour and Cane cheerleaders stopped by the festivities. Then, as the skies cleared and the time for the "Ever Brighter" performance, boat-burning, and fireworks approached, many Canes Lounge guests made their way to the Lakeside Patio to enjoy the show. In addition to Canes Lounge, young alumni had earlier enjoyed their own Homecoming celebration in the Rathskeller.

Earlier in the day, tents lined the Foote University Green for the “Festival on the Foote Green,” where alumni, students, and visitors had the chance to explore interactive displays that showcased the unique strengths and experiences of the University’s schools, colleges, and units. Among the guests were the University's Ever Brighter volunteer leaders, friends of the U who will play a vital role in achieving the fundraising goal, who enjoyed a pre-Homecoming happy hour in the Kislak Center in the Otto G. Richter Library.

The festival featured performances by a handful of ensembles from the Frost School of Music, including Café Con Leche: The Frost Latin Songwriters Ensemble, Sunshine State: The Frost Country Ensemble, the American Music Ensemble, and the Frost Band of the Hour, as well as the spirit squads. 

“As we celebrate this evening, we honor the past that brought the U to this point and look forward with great excitement and anticipation toward our bright future,” President Julio Frenk said at the festival. “This is our moment, as we look toward our second 100 years, to empower the University to be better, stronger, and bolder.”

Click on the video link below to see a slideshow of Homecoming and Alumni Weekend highlights.