A warm farewell to Dean Shepherd

A warm farewell to Dean Shepherd

By Lorena Lopez

A warm farewell to Dean Shepherd

By Lorena Lopez
After eight transformative years at the School of Communication, Dean Gregory J. Shepherd will retire at the end of the school year. Join the University of Miami community in celebrating his legacy.
In July 2011, when Gregory Shepherd joined the University of Miami as the new dean of the School of Communication, the world was a very different place. “Game of Thrones” had premiered on HBO only a few months before, influencer marketing on social media was a foreign concept, and, as the world of communication rapidly evolved, the school needed a leader who could  navigate the dynamic landscape. Now, eight years later, as Dean Shepherd prepares to retire, we celebrate his many accomplishments and the legacy of his leadership.

“Greg has pushed our school forward with a fair hand, an open mind, a positive attitude, and a trajectory toward the future that has surpassed all of my expectations. He has taught me by example what it takes to be a great leader, and I’m grateful for his mentorship and for his friendship. He will truly be missed.”
Alyse Lancaster , chair and associate professor of the department of strategic communication


It was under Shepherd’s guidance that the School of Communication became what it is today. Spearheading the largest reorganization in the school’s history, it went from seven individual programs to four departments, each headed by a department chair. This shift to individual departments—cinema and interactive media, communication studies, journalism and media management, and strategic communication—helped streamline operations throughout the school and increase faculty involvement in decision-making..

“Through his bold vision and passion for education, Dean Shepherd has elevated the School of Communication to new heights. Thanks to him, the communication field looks to our School as leading the way in interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching as well as experiential learning.”
Christina Lane , chair and associate professor of the department of cinema and interactive media


Among his many accomplishments were establishing two new state-of-the-art centers at the School of Communication: the Koenigsberg and Nadal Interactive Media Center and the Robert and Lauren Mann Broadcast Center. Dean Shepherd’s influence was what helped cultivate alumni and parent giving to create the two centers. He further advanced the school's experiential educational opportunities through the establishment last spring of the Orange Umbrella Student Consultancy.

“Dean Shepherd is the cornerstone of Orange Umbrella, and in just two and a half years, more than 120 students' lives have been changed by this experience, and to him, we are all so grateful.”
Melissa Jane Barnes , managing director for Orange Umbrella 


Under his leadership, the school’s new Interactive Media M.F.A. program has placed on the The Princeton Review’s 'Top 25 Graduate Schools for Game Design' since 2013. Additionally, the motion pictures program ranked in the top 30 in 2017 by TheWrap Magazine in recognition of its immersive curriculum, experienced professors, and successful alumni, including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Barry Waldman, and David Nutter, Emmy-winning “Game of Thrones” director.

“The accomplishments under his leadership advanced the experiential educational opportunities for our students, and allowed them to gain intangible skills like leadership and teamwork .

Dean Shepherd is a visionary and multi-dimensional  thinker with a warm, collegial, and transparent style of leadership.”

Jeffrey L. Duerk , executive vice president for academic affairs and provost 


Dean Shepherd helped foster meaningful, vibrant educational experiences for not only the students, but the faculty as well. Join the University of Miami community at his retirement reception, to celebrate the third dean of the School of Communication and his eight years of transformative leadership at the U.


April 18, 2019
4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
School of Communication Courtyard
5100 Brunson Drive
Coral Gables, Florida 33146
RSVP by April 15
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