Skip to Main Content

Annual Address 2019

October 23, 2019

Celebrating the Past Year, Transforming for a Bright Future

Thank you, Jaylen, for the kind introduction. I am grateful for your leadership and service to Miami University. It has been a privilege to work with you and your Associated Student Government team.

Welcome, esteemed faculty, dedicated staff, exceptional students, extraordinary loyal alumni, and valued stakeholders and partners, to our Miami 2019 State of the University address. It is great to have you with us, here or in cyberspace.

After 3 years on the job, Renate and I feel so fortunate to be part of this incredible institution, full of passionate and committed students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

It has been another outstanding year for Miami University. We have advanced our mission and purpose in powerful ways, accelerated by a bold strategic plan created by our community. We also made significant and targeted investments in the academy.

In this dynamic world full of uncertainties, I am certain of one thing – I have never seen any other university so committed to the student experience. We stand here on the most beautiful campus that ever there was, but the real beauty and distinctiveness of this place is its people. Each day I see tangible examples of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni living out Love and Honor through their studies, teaching, scholarship, work, and outreach.

Before I discuss our future, let me start with a celebration of this past year. Thank you to all community members who have shaped and transformed Miami University. These individu­­­als live our core values, embrace our mission, elevate our ­­­purpose, and uplift our community. Here are a few examples.

We had another year of strong research results – the second year in a row above $24 million in sponsored research. For example, Chemistry Professor Ellen Yezierski received a $1.9M National Science Foundation grant to help high school chemistry teachers elevate their teaching methods.

Our faculty placed their scholarship with some of the most prestigious publishing houses in the world, such as Johns Hopkins University Press, Yale University Press, and the University of Pennsylvania Press.  Several prestigious publications covered the scholarship of Classics Professor Steve Tuck to discover where survivors settled who fled Mt. Vesuvius in Pompeii.  Our students also publish – Creative writing, Classical Humanities, and Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies 2019 graduate, Hannah Clarke, published “Scapegracers” and two sequels.

Chemical, Paper and Bioengineering Professor Andrew Jones and his lab have discovered a rapid way to produce the psychedelic drug found in mushrooms that shows great promise for treating depression and addiction. Junior Lexie Adams was lead author on a peer-reviewed publication in the journal   Metabolic Engineering.

We named the John W. Altman Institute for Entrepreneurship through the generosity of our esteemed alum and Board of Trustees emeritus. Director Tim Holcomb led the Institute to its highest national ranking ever – 7th among public institutions. More than 4,200 students from nearly 100 majors took an entrepreneurship course. Two recent alums and winners of our campus competitions, Christie Currie and Kamilah Dotson, AND seniors Laura Mena and Andy Newman, were named top entrepreneurs under age 25 in Cincinnati.

Dr. Valerie Robinson, assistant dean for graduate admissions, co-taught a Truth and Reconciliation Project graduate seminar with Family Science and Social Work Professor Anthony James that focused on memorializing lynchings in the 1800’s, including two in Oxford. Funded by our Office of Research and Scholarship, they and their students presented their work at the 2019 Civil Rights Conference.

This was a big year for our Men’s Glee Club and its leader. Generous alums Lee and Rose Mary Fisher created the endowed Fisher-Holoviak Director of the Glee Club, to be held by Professor of Music Jeremy Jones. We also celebrated as Miami’s Glee Club traveled to Rome and performed at the Vatican.

Miami Regionals launched an exciting program led by the commitment of Dr. Pete Haverkos, Senior Assistant Dean of Student and Academic Success; Mr. Randi Thomas, Director of Institutional Relations; and Butler County State Senator Bill Coley. Students in any major in the Work Plus program are employed part-time by a local company, earn a salary, and the employer pays their tuition. It’s a debt-free, experiential learning education. Thank you to our partners – Deceuninck North America, The Fischer Group, Butler County Regional Transit Authority, and Thysssenkrupp Bilstein of America. Thank you to the City of Hamilton leadership for your incredible support of our Work Plus efforts.

Our students continue to seek excellence in all they do – they come to Miami NOT just to learn what’s known – but to create new knowledge. Last year, more than 3,000 students participated in research across all our colleges. Two seniors, Chemical Engineering major Rachel Ollier and Physics, Geology double major Rosie Ries, won scholarships from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation for their cumulative academic record and research.

Our students are also community leaders. This past year, our students performed >40,000 hours of community service. They have great hearts, great minds, and passion to uplift others through service. One example—Miami’s Geography Department opened an additional classroom for volunteers because so many students, faculty, and staff wanted to assist with the map-a-thon for the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian struck.

Miami’s reputation continues to advance nationally. Our U.S. News & World Report ranking climbed to No. 39 among public universities and No. 91 overall. This year the pool of National Universities grew from 312 to 399 institutions—placing us within the top quartile of National Universities. We remain in the top 3 in commitment to undergraduate teaching among publics—the heart of our mission. Such success is only possible through the support and accomplishments of our faculty, students, staff, alumni, and leadership from our Board of Trustees – Our Board was recently recognized with the John W. Nason Award for Board Excellence from AGB.

To sustain and enhance our position, this year saw aggressive development and the launch of new programs and degrees in data science and analytics, organizational leadership, e-sports, and medical humanities. We launched a new department, Interactive Media Studies, and the new Western Center for Social Impact and Innovation.

Last November, ROTC students, alumni veterans, Congressman and Army Veteran Warren Davidson, and Emma Wott, theatre and religion major and president of Miami's Student Veterans Association, helped us dedicate Miami’s Alumni Veterans Tribute. The Tribute honors all who have served, or currently serve, in support of freedom and democracy. It is a testament to their courage, sacrifice, and service to our nation. We are grateful to our generous donors for this tribute.

Our decade-long sustainability efforts at Miami are bearing fruit. Today we find ourselves leading the way as we consume less energy per square foot than peer institutions. We have cut carbon emissions from energy usage 45% per gsf. We no longer burn coal. We have 29 LEED Certified buildings. The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Ed awarded Miami our first Gold rating for our efforts, and Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges scored Miami a near perfect 96 out of 99.  We will continue to advance. Our sustainability committee is finalizing a plan to achieve carbon neutrality and accelerate our national leadership position in this area. 

Our work in Columbus continues to advance. Our new governor, the Honorable Mike DeWine, Class of ’69, and his team have a bold vision for Ohio. They have embraced higher education and made new investments in Ohio institutions. They have prioritized advancing a talented workforce and entrepreneurship to propel Ohio’s economy. They have also identified areas – aligned with our research – in education, STEM, water, and addiction. I thank the state leadership for their support of our mission as we work together to advance our great state. This past year, 125 Gov’t Relations Network students, from 65 different majors, participated in over 500 visits with elected and state officials in Columbus to advocate for higher education and convey Miami’s contributions to Ohio. Next Tuesday will be the largest Statehouse advocacy Day in University history – >100 students, faculty, alumni, and staff will participate in our Takeover Statehouse day.

Our Division of Student Life continues to lead locally and nationally. They have invested in improving health, wellness, and safety programs for our students. Student Life was selected for two national opportunities to help assess and enhance prevention and response related to sexual and interpersonal violence. We won a 3-year Department of Justice grant to fund a program coordinator in Student Wellness and a second full-time support specialist for our partner Women Helping Women.

We continue to focus on mental health resources for students. Since 2016, we have added six counselors to the Student Counseling Services staff and improved access to psychiatry through our partnership with Tri Health. As of this past week, there is no waitlist for a first appointment— a great advance forward. At the suggestion of ASG, we launched Campus Cares, making our counseling staff available on a drop-in basis for short conversations at spots around campus.

Student Life has taken major steps to implement recommendations in the “Honoring Fraternity” Report. Among significant changes, fraternities that house sophomores must now have a full-time, live-in house advisor; academic standards are higher for individuals and chapters; and a leadership program is required for all fraternity and sorority members – not just officers.

Student Life focuses on inclusive excellence. Every one of our incoming students completed a new online course on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. To follow up, they participated in facilitated conversations through their UNV or first-year experience course. This year we also invested in renovated and expanded space for the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion in the Armstrong Student Center.

Finally, a big congratulations to our Miami RedHawks! They won the Mid-American Athletics Conference awards, Jacoby and Rees, for women’s and men’s sports, both in the same year, for the first time in Miami history. They won the Carol Cartwright Award for athletic success while demonstrating academic excellence, volunteerism, and good citizenship. It’s the first time in MAC history that a school has won all three in the same year. RedHawks engage campus on many fronts: hiring and developing student interns; extensive collaborations with our College of Education, Health and Society; and honoring those on campus with a passion for community, diversity, and inclusive excellence.

What a year it has been. We celebrated our 50th Anniversary in Luxembourg with more than 700 alumni making the trip; We celebrated our 50th Anniversary of the interdisciplinary Institute for Environment and Sustainability; We won the Abernathy International Town Gown Award with the City of Oxford for building a healthy community; We were honored with the prestigious Simon Award for our International efforts.

We were awarded the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Employer Partner of Inclusion Gold Award; Miami Alum and Trustee, Mike Armstrong, was honored by CASE for higher education philanthropy; Miami Orchestra took over Music Hall in Cincinnati premiering Professor Glen Roger Davis’ Concerto in F; and keep a look out for the upcoming article on Clinical Lecturer of Educational Psychology, Professor Ashley Johnson, in Ohio Magazine on her work on inclusive and socially just practices. I wish I had the time to cite the accomplishments of each of our community members. Thanks to all for an incredible year for Miami University.

Let me now pivot to our future. We have much to look forward to at Miami University even in the face of challenges and headwinds facing higher education in our state and nation overall.

We are in the midst of massive, accelerated change unprecedented in human history – the Industrial Revolution 4.0. Artificial intelligence and algorithms, advanced materials nanocircuits, and rapid prototyping are empowering advances from sustainable energy and carbon footprint reduction to biotechnology’s proteomics, genomics, neuroscience and personalized medicine. It is difficult to predict the future, but we know it will not look anything like the present or the past. In this dynamic environment, universities, like other organizations, must adapt to thrive.

That’s what we’re doing at Miami.

Higher education is about ensuring that students are ready for successful and satisfying lives and careers. Modern university graduates will live and work in a radically different environment from the one for which most educational structures were built. The future, and the university’s role in it, provoke impassioned debate these days. You’ve seen the headlines: Will 85 percent of the 2030 workforce really be in jobs that don’t exist today? Will 25 percent of jobs be lost to robots and machines? Will online and remote education replace brick-and-mortar campuses like online shopping has impacted retail? , Will half of all universities fail before 2030?

Amid the debate, there is consensus on key issues that will define our future. The world will be more connected. Transdisciplinarity, analytics, and critical thinking will be more vital. Communities will be more sustainable. There will be more robots, algorithms, and technology – more disruption and change in our lives and markets. Dialogue will be more intense. Sharply divergent ideas will require greater individual character and interpersonal skill to achieve cooperation, synthesis, and peace.

We must transform the way we deliver education and provide opportunity. We need more experiential learning and more transdisciplinary and boundaryless education to prepare graduates for this dynamic world. We need more continuous learning across life for jobs that are no longer blue collar or white collar BUT “new” collar. We must be agents of change, not its victims. Miami is well-positioned for this future – through our creativity, imagination, agility, broad curriculum, and our forward-thinking culture.

Today I want to talk about three ways we are creating our future:

(1) how we are building a dynamically-poised institution, (2) how we are working across the campus to implement our strategic vision for the future, and (3) our push to create a transformative university that ties our vision together.

FIRST Dynamically-poised institution

We have become a more agile institution. We are ready to embrace change, to move fast, to pivot in new directions when needed, and to retain our position of leadership in the academy. We will do this without abandoning the core, traditional values that make Miami special.

We have developed a six-fold strategy: 1. Agility-focused budgeting for fast response to emerging financial challenges. 2. Change-focused investment to steer significant resources where they can make the most impact. 3. Academic-focused philanthropy to elevate our resources for student need and scholarship. 4. Future-focused leadership readiness to prepare our talented faculty and staff for the challenges of academic leadership. 5. Pull-focused, partnership-oriented innovation that brings others’ intellectual property to campus for development by our faculty and students. 6. Continuously-focused planning so that we are always developing strategy, NOT just once every five years. Let me comment on some of these.

In July, we implemented an agility-focused budget and resource distribution model, aimed at five years but constantly reviewed. The plan reduces spending, capitalizes on efficiencies and productivity, and redirects those resources to our top priorities: faculty, staff, and students.

This budget model is not only about money. It is not replacing our RCM budget model. Rather, it will direct our resources to accomplish top priorities, enhance our mission, and fulfill our purpose. Aligning our budget with our priorities is vital in an environment where bold investments in new or evolving academic disciplines must happen more frequently. We must either keep pace with changes driven by the digital revolution or risk losing our relevance. Our units must continuously discern what is working and what is not.

What is becoming obsolete and what is emerging. Our resource limits are real. We cannot do everything, but we can be premier in areas critical to our mission. It will not always be easy, but this rapid response to new opportunities will keep us ahead of our competition and at the forefront of national conversations.

As we press forward with agile budgeting, we will undertake two major reviews. The strategic plan calls us to review our programs. The Provost Office will lead this initiative in the coming year. Also, I have charged our Chief Financial Officer to scrutinize campus operations. We must find new ways of operating, including considering centralized versus non-centralized operations, and leveraging technology to perform day-to-day tasks.

While we pursue prudent budgeting strategies, we must also grow our resources to advance our mission. This combination of creating efficiencies, reallocation of resources, investing in new academic areas and improving revenue will create powerful momentum launching us on the path toward the future.

To achieve that, we are making change-focused investments – large enough new investments to make us world-class in select fields. We are redirecting resources to build on and sustain a $50M Boldly Creative investment fund that is already supporting new initiatives in health, data and analytics, and automation and robotics.

Smaller seed investments have been made in a new plus-one master’s program in business management for graduates without a formal business education, e-sports curriculum, certificate programs for continuous learning, and cybersecurity.

We mean to make this fund a permanent feature of Miami, supporting great initiatives and big ideas that advance the university’s academic mission. Our faculty generate the ideas that bolster areas of strength or move us in new directions, generate interest and therefore new resources, and are sustainable in the long term.

We have expanded our focus on innovation, meaning value creation. This new pull-focused approach is very different from the conventional technology transfer model.

Rather than only pushing out university-based ideas to others to develop, co-develop, or license, our forward-looking approach also pulls in ideas from outside the University. We will utilize our robust intellectual infrastructure, creativity, and value creation ecosystem to leverage ideas from partners to create societal benefit. Our partners already include area industries and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. These collaborations will provide both enhanced opportunities for our students and faculty and possible new resources for growth and re-investment.

These are a few ways Miami is poised for dynamic change. We will elevate our strengths through strategic funding, eliminate resource demands that are not future-focused or mission critical, partner to enrich the pool of ideas, and move into the future with a powerful competitive edge.

SECOND New strategic plan

Last year, Julia Guichard, Professor and Chair of Theater, and Bob Applebaum, Professor of Sociology and Gerontology, co-chaired the Strategic Planning Committee – 12 members on the steering committee, 74 on six subcommittees. Let us thank these colleagues for their incredible work.

This diverse team engaged campus through listening sessions, meetings, and a website that engaged more than 600 faculty, staff, students, and community members.

They called the plan by the Myaamia word aanceelintaakani (ON-J-LIN-Dog-Konnie) that means “an instrument used to change how one thinks.” The committee presented the plan to campus in May 2019 and to the Board of Trustees at its June meeting, where it was enthusiastically accepted. The plan is tactical, forward looking, and aspirational – a vision for our future AND challenge to us to change, create, and respond, while being agile, prudent, and smart with our resources.

In August, our new provost, Dr. Jason Osborne, joined us and immediately was charged with implementing the plan. He has been engaging campus and has framed the recommendations into four areas with bold goals. Branded as Miami RISE, the recommendations have been categorized under four focused headings: R: Research, Scholarship, and Artistry; I: Innovation; S: Student Success; and E: Engagement. I cannot cover everything today, but here is a high-level overview of a few bold goals.

In terms of research, scholarship, and artistry, we continue to thrive as best-in-class with respect to undergraduate research – providing students with opportunities to engage with faculty through research— few other institutions offer on the scale we do. We will invest in faculty, faculties, and emerging degree programs that encourage engagement and creativity and advance scholarship and discovery. Through enhancing support for proposals, leveraging our new infrastructure for corporate and foundation relations, expanding our external funding opportunities, and elevating our expectations, we will accelerate from the middle to the top of the R2 Carnegie ranking.

To elevate this effort, Provost Osborne has re-organized the leadership roles of research and the graduate school into two positions so we can focus more intentionally – both searches are underway. Furthermore, searches for the Dean of the Farmer School of Business and the Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing have begun.

In terms of innovation, we will enhance our Global Miami Plan to be creative, flexible, and value-added in a way that honors our rich tradition and institutional values. We will remain known for the deep and broad education that prepares students to solve transdisciplinary grand global challenges and answer enduring questions of our time. We know our education founded on critical thinking, ethical reasoning, clear communication, and personal engagement on a residential campus positions graduates for a fulfilling life, a productive and successful career, and community and leadership opportunities.

More innovation will happen with the establishment of a top Honors College that will redefine the idea of “honors college.” Steeped in the strong Miami tradition of academic excellence and the liberal arts – providing distinctive student opportunities available at no other institution. These experiences will leverage the passion of our faculty, who build mentoring relationships with students in deep and meaningful ways.

The Honors College will be an incubator where undergraduates create now, not waiting until after graduation – they will be architects of their future. We will empower our students with the freedom and support to write their first novel, construct their first invention, conduct their first orchestra, write their first play, design a new school, publish their first editorial, submit their first peer review publication, or start their first company— all while they complete their degree. That is the Miami way. It will distinguish our Honors College and our university.

We also must take a more leading-edge approach in graduate and professional education – specifically plus-one master’s degrees, certificates, or implementing select high-demand doctoral degrees. The 21st-century job market is seeking such advanced credentials. We must augment our best-in-class undergraduate education with degrees that serve our students and our public mission. We see this unfold with some new offerings and Boldly Creative-funded master’s programs. Some were approved this past year—business management and business analytics. We seek more emphasis at the master’s degree level, to create more post-graduate, transdisciplinary, in-demand opportunities for students.

In terms of student success, we are rethinking everything we do – including our degree and major portfolio, advising, recruiting, faculty and staff development, and program reviews. We are pushing ourselves to achieve top metrics among public institutions nationally for student success. We will be competitive with the top 20 public universities in student retention, graduate rate, employment and placement, and closing the achievement gap. We will study and implement services to advance student success.

We will elevate our inclusive excellence and our unsurpassed residential campus experience. Committees have been formed and charged to advance our students’ success strategies. In terms of engagement, our students already serve as incredible community leaders, volunteers, and ambassadors wherever they go in the world – They inspire us. We will enhance their opportunities even more and make experiential learning and engagement a greater cornerstone for Miami students.

Our career exploration efforts have grown just one year after a significant investment – more first-year engagement, internships, shadowing; more professional experience and connectivity with partners. We will continue to lead in study abroad and study away, boosting ways to gain intercultural competency and immersion experiences that serve students and society well. Diversity, inclusion, and inclusive excellence will remain a core value and priority. This is not a separate goal but integrated into all we do to advance our institution. It is a vital part of our educational mission – preparing our students for the diverse world where they will live and work.

This is a whole new kind of strategic plan. It is not a 5- or 10-year blueprint set in stone. It is an agile, living, dynamic, evolving process. The speed of change requires constant vigilance, not only to anticipate financial issues but also to respond effectively to the creation of new fields, shifting workplace demands, real-time student needs, breakthrough discoveries, emerging markets, and other sources of unexpected challenges and opportunities.

THIRD Transformative University

While each of us probably has a slightly different idea of what a transformative university looks like, I think we can agree on several elements:

  • At the transformative university, undergraduates are creators of knowledge, integral to our research and graduate programs in many ways. They leave as creators of new knowledge and agents of change.
  • The future will be more partnership-oriented, establishing more connections with other universities, government, industry, not-for-profits, international organizations, hospitals, and numerous others.
  • The transdisciplinary focus and life-long learning disposition will be essential – maintaining strength in disciplines while constantly crossing boundaries.
  • Students will study abroad, study away, and embed in companies and organizations for internships and immersive opportunities, redefining “engaged learning.”
  • Graduate and professional programs will play an increasingly critical role in meeting the needs of students and society as the demand continues to grow for post-graduate education and re-training.
  • Resources will be repurposed into new areas, and programs will accelerate.
  • Students will increasingly become architects of their own education and future – fashioning unique combinations of majors, co-majors, minors, and master’s programs. New programs will reflect this convergence and connectivity of disciplines.
  • There will be more online learning opportunities and hybrid online classroom experiences, utilizing artificial intelligence, leveraging technology for improved delivery and enhanced pedagogy.
  • There will be no substitute for a high-quality, four-year undergraduate, residential experience, with a strong liberal arts foundation. Transformative education involves intersection of place, relationships, and developmental stage.

In order to provide the right space for this transformative university, we will re-imagine our infrastructure. We must leverage our own resources and attract new resources that support our transformational experience, our mission, and our aspirations. That includes our physical campus. The clinical health sciences building –whose pre-construction phase was recently approved by the Board of Trustees – is only the beginning.

It will be a contemporary space, open and collaborative, where our clinical work of nursing and speech pathology and new offerings such as the physician’s assistant program will be co-located. The student health center will afford a full integration of our services and opportunities for our students. Situated near the rec center, Goggin Ice Center, and Kinesiology and Health, it creates a concentrated locus of scholarship and practice in the health sciences. This “health district” will promote idea generation, partnerships, and research and curriculum collaborations across boundaries, within the academy and beyond.

This is the beginning of our re-imagining the campus in the coming decade to accommodate our transformative vision. We need improved proximity through new spaces to stimulate transdisciplinary thinking, creative research and scholarship, invention and discovery, value creation, collaborations, and partnerships.

What would a contemporary university look like if you could build it from the ground up today? This is more than a thought experiment – it is a real possibility as we consider what disciplines will bring synergy to solve enduring questions and the greatest challenges of our day. How can we achieve our aspirations through smart organization, co-locating and clustering? I have charged Academic Affairs and Financial Business Services to build our 10-year campus plan and how to fund it with collaboration and coordination top of mind.

Our Regional campuses are already rethinking their use of space and place. With infrastructure improvements, their commerce degree will now be taught at the Voice of America Learning Center – also offered fully online. This is a commerce “hub” of sorts, now combined with our professional MBA program and Butler County Small Business Development Center. Dean Bishop-Clark is leading the charge to create other hubs and locations of strength – namely Hamilton for nursing and allied health professions and Middletown for Engineering Technology.

Amid all this change, we can be confident in the strengths and institutional values at our foundation. We hear the buzzwords – “robot-proof,” “future-proof” – and the advances in data and artificial intelligence are real. Science and technology, mathematics and data will change the future, and we must prepare our students for that world. But the best preparation for the future – along with strength in one’s major discipline – is still an education in character and intellect that makes our students and graduates great leaders and citizens. When people ask me how to be robot proof, the answer is simple – be good at being human.

You hear people talk about “humanics” these days – a combination of science and technology, quantitative and analytical knowledge, and humanities. At Miami, we are already there. Our unwavering liberal arts commitment, integrated across campus in each discipline and major, is our strength. Our Humanities Center convenes a host of fields for evidence-based civil dialogue so vital in our time. Our Janus Forum invites intellectual debate in open inquiry and free expression. Our Howe Center for Writing Excellence equips our students and faculty for clear communication, a sought-after edge in the workplace today. Our faculty have created medical humanities and art therapy minors.

Our science and engineering students graduate not only with top-tier knowledge and skills – but also with the ethical and moral fortitude to ask NOT only whether we can do something with technology but whether we should. Our data-expert graduates have storytelling skills to translate complex numerical insights into accessible language. This is our strength.

Our broad education equips students with exposure to new ideas, critical and deliberative thinking, transdisciplinary perspectives, self-knowledge, interpersonal empathy, inclusive respect, and transparent and robust integrity. Like most new graduates, they probably get their first career opportunity based on their major or particular skill set. Miamians then draw on a breadth of education that propels them to their first promotion, to greater responsibility, and onward to leadership roles. Miami graduates aren’t just good at what they do. They’re good at who they are. They connect at the human level.

That is the power of Miami. That is the state of this university. The world is changing. We are responding effectively, but we are not passive products of that change. We are factors that produce change for good wherever we go, because we carry the power of mission and purpose – core values that run deep through our community and each member.

And so I end where I began. This special place we all call home is founded on strong relationships and shared values. It has been a great year for Miami because Miami is a great place, with great people. I thank you all for your contributions – your humility and compassion, your wisdom and creativity, your service and leadership, your relentless pursuit of excellence.

Renate and I are grateful every day for you. We admire your character and leadership. We are inspired by your passion and compassion. We are proud to participate with you in this vital mission. Love and Honor!