5 questions with Josh Friedman

Josh Friedman, senior vice president for development and alumni relations, shared details about his passion for his role and life at the University of Miami.
josh friedman
Photo credit: Barry Williams

How essential are the roles alumni, parents, friends, and donors play in supporting and shaping UM? 

The University of Miami is much more than its buildings, facilities or campuses. All of the people who are connected to the University of Miami are what make it a great academic institution, and we would not be who we are or get to where we are going without the strong and continued support of all our UM alumni.

Where do you see UM in the next five years and what will it take to get there?

We are fast approaching our centennial in 2025, and this is a big moment for us. It means that we have become an institution we know will be here serving our community for generations to come.

Now that you are settled into your new role at the U, what has surprised you about the University?

I’m amazed by the capacity UM has to make positive change in the world. Though our size is relatively small, our waterfront is very broad. The College of Arts & Sciences, for example, is a great example of that breadth, spanning the spectrum from cutting-edge, collaborative research to developing rich cultural initiatives.

How important is gratitude, especially among colleagues and donors? 

We are truly fortunate to be the kind of institution that inspires passion from our faculty, staff, and students, but especially from the donors and community members who are equally impassioned by what is happening at the University of Miami. There is something wonderful about the idea that you can help change the world not just by giving to the U, but by giving through the U.

What book are you reading now? 

The Push by Tommy Caldwell, an incredibly accomplished rock climber who was the first person to free climb the Dawn Wall in Yosemite National Park. I’m not a rock climber, and I’m actually afraid of heights, but I like this book because Caldwell inspires me to think about how to accomplish goals that others say are impossible. This book has taught me that you can do unbelievable things, not because you are super-human, but because you unpack them and solve them piece by piece.