The start of a new academic year—in photos

Students walk to and from class on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. Photo: Jenny Hudak/University of Miami
By Ashley A. Williams

Students walk to and from class on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. Photo: Jenny Hudak/University of Miami

The start of a new academic year—in photos

By Ashley A. Williams
Thousands of University of Miami students made their way to the Coral Gables Campus for the Fall 2021 semester. Here’s a pictorial view of their first two weeks.

The first days on campus for the Fall 2021 semester are in the books. It was filled with orientations, activities, meet-and-greets, and—especially for first-year and transfer students arriving in Coral Gables for the first time—making new friends. Since Aug. 16, when the University of Miami began to welcome thousands of new and returning students for the Fall 2021 semester, the Division of Student Affairs and University partners offered festive happenings for students to get acclimated with their campus, peers, faculty, and staff. 

From ’Canes Take Flight to ’Canefest, the University was once again host to a lively, upbeat, and safe atmosphere for everyone.

Here’s a look at the past two weeks, which included move-in days, the first days of classes, and everything in between.

With more than 3,000 new students—both domestic and international—moving into the residential colleges, University partners across the Department of Orientation and Commuter Student Involvement, Housing and Residential Life, and Parking and Transportation, rallied to make the process a smooth and swift one.

First stop: Check-in at the Watsco Center Fieldhouse

Lexi Pereira and her dad, Paul

Lexi Pereira and her dad, Paul, pose with her brand new ’Cane ID card at the Watsco Center Multipurpose Room Fieldhouse for a centralized check-in process on the morning of Aug. 16. Pereira and her parents drove to Coral Gables from Toms River, New Jersey—more than 18 hours way.

Cruise Ship Move-In

Alli Haber and parents

After checking in, Alli Haber, a first-year student who is enrolled in the modern artist development and entrepreneurship program at the Frost School of Music, poses with her parents in her single occupancy living space. Her items were delivered from her car straight to her room by the University Student Services’ stress-free Cruise Ship Move-In service.

Some unpacking, but mostly mingling

Emery Medlock, left, and Daya Durham

Roommates Emery Medlock, left, of Dallas, Texas, and Daya Durham, of Raleigh, North Carolina, meet for the first time—in-person—as they unpack and settle into their new space with the help of their parents.

President Julio Frenk mingles

Julio Frenk mingles with Housing staff

University President Julio Frenk made his rounds around campus on move-in day. Here he throws up the U with staff members and student employees at Stanford Residential College. 

Home is where the heart is

Kristophe Smith-Walker

A masked and excited Kristophe Smith-Walker, a senior and second-time resident assistant in Hecht Residential College, shows off his most prized possession—a personalized blanket—from home as he waits for students to move onto his floor.

Pre-Orientation program planning

Multicultural Student Affairs pre-orientation programming

The University of Miami hosted a plethora of new student pre-orientation programs for international, transfer, multicultural, and religious students. Here, Christopher Clarke, left, director of Multicultural Student Affairs, and Kennedy Robinson, second from right, assistant director, pose with students—including Landon Coles, right, president of Student Government—as they prepare for Horizons, a program designed to assist new multicultural students in their transition to the University.

A helpful, warm welcome 

Niles Boyd

Niles Boyd from Atlanta, Georgia, stands in front of Lake Osceola. In his role as an Orientation Fellow, he helps to create a positive transition for incoming students and assists them through ’Cane Kickoff.

Safety first: Vaccine clinic

President Frenk visits the vaccine clinic

Students are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated against COVID-19. During the first two weeks of the fall semester, the University partnered with Walgreens to offer a vaccine clinic in the StormSurge Room at the Hurricane Food Court on the Coral Gables Campus. 

Student receives COVID-19 vaccine

All fully vaccinated degree-seeking undergraduate, graduate, law, and medical students enrolled in Fall 2021 classes are eligible to participate in weekly and monthly drawings for prizes through the new Voluntary COVID-19 Vaccine Incentive Program.

’Canes take flight

'Canes Take Flight

UBhangraOn Thursday, Aug. 19, President Julio Frenk, alongside First Lady Felicia Marie Knaul, director of the University’s Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas, took to the Watsco Center stage to welcome first-year and transfer students to campus. To maintain social distancing, the Department of Orientation and Commuter Student Involvement staff hosted two separate sessions of the festive orientation that also featured performances by the Frost Band of the Hour, UCheer cheerleaders, the Sunsations dance team, and the Punjabi folk dance group Hurricane Bhangra.

Get involved


’Canefest is an annual fair held for students to familiarize them with the more than 300 student organizations, as well as vendors in the community.

First day of classes

First day of classes on Coral Gables Campus

Students started classes on Aug. 23. There are nearly 19,000 students at the University this semester taking about 3,760 classes, President Julio Frenk shared in his welcome message.

Raising awareness

Haiti vigil

Planet Kreyol, the Haitian student organization, and the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs hosted a “Moment of Silence Vigil Event” on Thursday in honor of the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

Photos: Jenny Abreu, Jenny Hudak, and Mike Montero/University of Miami