EB Gifts

Building A Brilliant Future

By A&S News

Building A Brilliant Future

By A&S News

Since the launch of the University of Miami’s ambitious campaign, Ever Brighter: The Campaign for Our Next Century, the College has received significant philanthropic gifts designated to create substantial contributions to higher learning, student engagement, and community impact. As the 2025 Centennial approaches, these transformative gifts are now a part of the University’s legacy, and the College is grateful for these esteemed donors who have come forth to provide new enhancements and countless opportunities for students and faculty now and in the future.

For more information on ways to give to Ever Brighter, visit everbrighter.miami.edu.

The Beauty of Glass  
In their later years, Robert Werner and his late wife, Florence, traveled the world collecting the finest pieces of Studio Glass. Their impressive collection of contemporary glass art, from the late 20th and early 21st centuries, has been shared with the South Florida community for years. 

glassBack in 2018, the Werners’ magnificent collection was celebrated at the Lowe exhibition entitled, Dialogues: Studio Glass from the Florence and Robert Werner Collection. The exhibition showcased approximately sixty works of exquisite contemporary glass from leading glass artists from around the globe. 

“My late wife and I had a fabulous life together,” says Werner. “For over 25 years we traveled the world on amazing trips buying glass art from galleries. Florence was always attracted to the beautiful pieces, while I was more inclined to the technical side of glass art. We always found common ground and that was how we bought the pieces that we have today.”

The Werners’ have committed to leaving their art glass collection to the Lowe Art Museum; they have also made a testamentary gift to support its conservation, storage, and display at the Lowe.

“We have collected so many pieces over the years,” says Werner, “it’s as if we are shepherds taking care of a flock. These pieces belong to the community for all to be appreciated and enjoyed. My wife and I are truly leaving a legacy, and we are delighted to have the collection in the hands of the Lowe Art Museum.”

The intention is to move the pieces to the Lowe Art Museum for display and long-term conservation and preservation when a space becomes available.

“The Werners' incredible gift to the Lowe is truly transformative—for the Lowe, for the University of Miami, for our community, and for the wider world of contemporary glass,” says Jill Deupi, Beaux Arts director, and chief curator of the Lowe Art Museum. “Building on the incredible foundation laid by Myrna and Sheldon Palley and other supporters of our Palley Pavilion, this donation will enable us to explore the history of the Studio Glass movement in even greater detail through key masters and pivotal masterworks.”

Building a Community of Care
Andrea Travaglia’s decades-long advocacy for young adults with autism began simply: “I had a friend and, together, we got her son diagnosed,” she says. The diagnosis launched Travaglia into what became her life’s mission­­—to improve outcomes for adults with autism.

AutismIt is a calling that has yielded a permanent legacy: a planned bequest to benefit the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD). CARD has served over 15,000 families in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe counties since its founding in 1993, offering training, resources, and referrals designed to help these individuals live and work as independently as possible.

“Andrea’s gift represents a shared belief in the services we provide for those on the spectrum, but it also speaks directly to how our work is valued in the community we serve,” says Michael Alessandri, executive director of UM-NSU CARD and professor of clinical psychology at the University of Miami. “Through her generosity, CARD can continue to offer a community of care, free of cost and regardless of age, to those on the spectrum.”

A self-starter, Travaglia has done her best to help by hiring adults on the spectrum for her various enterprises, including her bakery and real estate company in Miami.

“I figured: I had the resources and the time, so I went headfirst,” she says. “I threw all my own money into it. It was a passion that I felt so strongly about.”

Her plan was twofold: first, to provide adults on the spectrum with meaningful work and a paycheck to offset costs at home; and second, to bring neurotypical people into contact with those on the spectrum.

“I think you just have to meet people on the spectrum because once you meet them you will fall in love,” Travaglia says. 

Finding Common Ground
George Hanley has always nurtured a lifelong interest in politics. He is also a firm believer in the power of civil debate and dialog as methods to solve challenging problems and ideas in the political arena.

With the aim to create a space where students, faculty, and guest speakers can come together to share solutions and elevate political discourse, Hanley has made a generous donation to establish The George P. Hanley Democracy Center and The George P. Hanley Endowed Chair in Democracy.

Hanley“The intention behind this gift was the hope to create a platform for dialogue and different political viewpoints,” says Hanley. “There must be civil discourse in our democracy. We need to learn how to cherish and appreciate the democracy that we have and give everyone a platform to voice their own opinions, concerns, and ideas.”

Coming from a professional background in finance, Hanley moved to South Florida only two years ago from Chicago and vowed to continue his philanthropic giving with a local university. It was a simple act of fate that his gift happened to be bestowed upon the College of Arts & Sciences.

“I knew I wanted to create a center for political connectivity and discussion, and it just so happened that the College was planning to implement a democracy center, so it was really the perfect fit,” says Hanley.
Hanley understands the importance of giving to a university during a campaign having sat on the Board of Trustees for the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio, for the past 14 years.

“I believe in the potential of the University of Miami,” says Hanley. “The Ever Brighter campaign is intended to transform the University and propel it into the next level of research and social impact, and I’m happy to be a part of this momentous endeavor."

Paying It Forward
Charles (Chuck) Ehrlich is very grateful for the University of Miami. While a student at Miami Palmetto Senior High, Ehrlich worked as an intern on the Coral Gables campus with the College of Engineering in the afternoons and would spend his summer months participating in science-themed summer camps.

EhrlichAfter graduating from high school, where he met his wife, Susan Morris, Ehrlich received a scholarship to study physics at UM. It was an opportunity that changed his life. 

“My relationship with UM goes way back into my youth, so our intention with this gift is to make sure that students have the chance to excel in the sciences and receive an enriched learning experience,” says Ehrlich.

With a generous gift to the College, Ehrlich and his wife have established the Ehrlich Morris Family Endowed Physics Enrichment Fund. The fund will enable the Physics Department to provide undergraduate students—majoring or minoring in physics—with opportunities to pursue activities outside of the classroom that will enhance their academic and co-curricular experiences.
“In the sciences, a lot of research is presented at different conferences, and this gift can provide students who are attending these conferences access to engage with other scientists in the field,” says Susan Morris. “We know that this can get quite expensive, especially if the student is an undergraduate.”

The family ties that are associated with the gift give tribute to the Ehrlich and Morris families. While Ehrlich was born and raised in South Florida, Susan moved to Miami as a teenager. Both families have direct ties to the University of Miami, which is why they decided to create the trust in their honor.

“Our families have history here in Miami,” says Ehrlich. “My parents owned a shoe store across the street from the Miracle Mile Theatre and were very much involved in the local community. I thought it was a nice touch to have the fund created as a recognition to our whole family.”