University of Miami
Named Buildings History
Coral Gables Campus
Prepared: Summer 2001
Updated: Fall 2004
Dean Robert Allen Hall
(School of Continuing Studies)
5050 Brunson Drive
[21,780 sq. ft]
Dear Robert Allen Hall was dedicated on February 20, 1985 to house the University of Miami‘s School of Continuing Studies. Its cost of $1.1 million was primarily paid for by James L. Knight (through the James L. Knight Charitable Trust). The program for the dedication ceremony also listed 37 additional donors.
The 30,000 square foot facility, designed by architects Brown Lopez Brown, contains 19 classrooms, an Intensive English Laboratory, and a Computer Laboratory. The building has the capability to be linked electronically to the University‘s James L. Knight International Conference Center in downtown Miami,
as well as the Whitten Learning Center on the Coral Gables Campus. It is recognized as one of the finest facilities for continuing education in the country.
While the continuing studies program was originally established in the founding year of the University, it wasn‘t until the early 1960‘s, when Dr. M. Robert Allen became dean and brought new life, new direction, and increasing enrollments to the program. He transformed the purpose from a ―hobby-
oriented‖ program to a program for ―lifelong learning.‖ The School of Continuing Studies was founded in 1974, with classes held primarily in the Merrick Building, until the construction of Allen Hall in 1985.
Brief Donor Bio
For James L. Knight, see James L, Knight Physics Building.
Dr. M. Robert Allen helped build the University of Miami‘s School of Continuing Studies from a ―hobby oriented‖ part-time program into a comprehensive full-time continuing education program for lifelong learning that has earned national acclaim. He had a leadership role in the creation of the James L. Knight Center, and he was responsible for establishing special programs for Latin American, Caribbean and Middle East studies. He was also instrumental in creating the Koubek Center‘s program for Cuban refugees and Cuban Americans.
He retired in 1984 after 20 years of service to the University as an administrator, professor and dean. He holds the titles of both Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Education.
Allen, who holds an M.A. from Columbia University and a Ph. D. in education from the University of Virginia, joined the university in 1964.
Gerald and Josephine Aresty Building
(Graduate Building at the School of Business/McLamore Executive Education Center) 5250 University Drive
[45,000 sq. ft.]
The Gerald and Josephine Aresty Building, which houses the Graduate School of Business and the McLamore Executive Education Center, sits directly above the Storer Auditorium. The building is bordered by the Stubblefield Classroom and the Jenkins Center Building, both of which also provide the space for School of Business activities.
In August of 2003, Dr. Jeffrey Aresty pledged $2.5 million to the School of Business in honor of his father, the late Gerald Aresty, an alumnus who had made an earlier gift of $1 million to create the Gerald and Josephine Aresty Endowed Scholarship Fund at the School of Business Administration. In recognition of these gifts, the building was renamed and dedicated in memory of Dr. Aresty‘s parents.
Brief Donor Bio
Gerald J. Aresty, a 1950 graduate of the University of Miami, went on to become Vice President of the family-owned and operated Alfred Dunner, Inc., a Parsippany, NJ-based manufacturer of moderately priced ladies coordinated sportswear in the United States and Canada.
He and his wife, Josephine Aresty, supported the School of Business for many years and were inducted into both the President‘s Circle and the Merrick Society. Their son, Dr. Jeffrey Aresty, and their
daughter-in-law, Dr. Patricia Pickton Aresty, are both UM alumni and have also supported the School
of Business as well as the Biology Department.
The Gerald and Josephine Aresty Endowed Scholarship Fund, created by Gerald Aresty with a $1 million gift, recruits top business undergraduates of high academic merit and was established in perpetuity.
Ashe Memorial Administration Building
(Ashe Administration Building)
1252 Memorial Drive
[75,862 sq. ft.]
The construction of the Ashe Memorial Administration Building was a visible sign of the growing maturity of the University and ushered in a new era of planned growth after the ―leaping, bounding, wildly growing era‖ of post-World War II. It was one of the first buildings initiated by the then new President Jay F. W. Person, who was lauded by The Miami Herald as the first UM President to develop a comprehensive master plan.
Groundbreaking was held on October 16, 1953, and VIP participants included J. N. McArthur, Sam Blank, Ray M. Earnest, Daniel J. Mahoney, Jay F. W. Pearson, Dave Hendrick Jr., and Baron de Hirsch Meyer.
Brief Donor Bio
The first President of the University of Miami, Bowman Foster Ashe appointed by the Board of
Regents on November 3, 1925. Known as ―the architect and builder of the University of Miami in all its aspects,‖ he held his office for 26 years, until his death in 1952. He also served as a Trustee from 1928-
With a background in business and education, Ashe was a pragmatic leader who brought to the new University a clear vision, forward-thinking educational concepts, and international scope. He also believed that education was not just for the elite, and worked to open the University to students of all intellectual and economic backgrounds.
He single handedly rescued the University from bankruptcy, which it had been forced to declare in 1932 due to the combined effects of the 1926 hurricane and the Depression. He formed a new non-profit corporation – The University of Miami, Inc. – and raised nearly $25,000. Two years later, when the
University‘s assets came up for auction, he paid $15,758.84 to buy it back.
Born in Pennsylvania in 1885 and named for two Protestant bishops, Ashe attended two years of college, worked for a California-based construction firm, and taught in a one-room schoolhouse. He later completed his bachelor‘s degree at the University of Pittsburgh, as well as an LL.D. degree in 1927. He was an unconventional choice for a college president, who believed that ―the search for truth is unafraid of where it may lead‖.
James S. Billings Memorial Walkway
(Billings Memorial Walkway)
Perimeter of Lake Osceola
James S. Billings was a University of Miami alumnus, and a trustee from 1968 until his untimely and sudden death in 1982. To create a memorial in his honor, his family and friends raised more than $100,000 to build the James S. Billings Memorial Walkway – a brick-lined path surrounding the
perimeter of Lake Osceola. The Walkway was completed and dedicated in 1984.
A pedestal, placed near the Rathskeller (Charles H. Gautier Hall), reads: ―This walkway is dedicated to the memory of James S. Billings, community leader, trustee and benefactor of the University of Miami, 1984‖.
James S. Billings was a University of Miami alumnus and a member of the Board of Trustees from 1968 until his sudden and untimely death by a heart attack in 1982. He was a generous contributor to the University as well as a leader.
(ICCAS – Institute for Cuban & Cuban-American Studies)
1531 Brescia Avenue
[4,313 sq. ft.]
Casa Bacardi, a cultural center highlighting Cuban history and culture, is located at the University‘s Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICCAS) at 1531 Brescia Avenue. The center was funded by a $1 million grand from the Bacardi Family Foundation and houses a 3,000 square foot exhibition hall for art and other displays, a small cinema, a conference center and an interactive music pavilion. The center also contains the Cuba Information Center, which includes computer terminals with access to an ICCAS project-Cuba On-Line, a comprehensive database of Cuban history and information available online.
Brief Donor Bio
Originally founded in Cuba by Don Facundo Bacardi in 1862, the Bacardi Corporation is now located in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and produces its world-famous rum there. Bacardi is the world‘s largest
privately held family owned spirits company.
The Bacardi family has a long history of supporting Cuban culture. Emilio Bacardi, eldest son of Don thFacundo Bacardi, built the Emilio Bacardi Museum in Cuba‘s Santiago province in the late 19 century,
and later donated it to the city.
The Bacardi family has made gifts to the University in support of Cuban History and Culture Studies, The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, the College of Engineering, the School of Music, the Athletics Department, the Diabetes Research Institute, the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Lowe Art Museum.
The Bacardi family‘s most significant gift, apart from funding Casa Bacardi, is the Emilio Bacardi Moreau Chair in Cuban Studies at the School of International Studies, which was inaugurated in 1986. The gift was made by Amalia Bacardi in memory of her father, to promote the study of Cuban history and foster a better understanding of Cuban culture. The Bacardi Chair is offered to noted scholars for one academic year.
Patrick J. and Bunty Cesarano Plaza & Fountain
School of Business Complex
The University‘s Board of Trustees passed a resolution on May 18, 1999 to name the courtyard in the center of the School of Business Complex on the Coral Gables Campus the ―Patrick J. Cesarano Plaza‖.
The ―Bunty Cesarano Fountain‖, adjacent to the Plaza, was constructed and dedicated in 2000 in honor of Cesarano‘s wife.
Brief Donor Bios
Patrick J. Cesarano (BBA 1935) was a UM alumnus who was Vice President of his class and later an Alumni Trustee for four years. He became a member of the Board of Trustees from 1969-1980, serving as Chairman from 1978-80.
He was also a former executive with Ryder System. He died in 1996 at the age of 84. President Edward T. Foote once said of him, ―He was a kind man whose strength as a leader was matched by compassion
Originally from Batavia, New York, Cesarano‘s first job was collecting subscriptions for the Saturday Evening Post and Liberty Magazine. After World War II, he started Southern Underwriters in Miami, which grew to become one of the largest general insurance agencies in the southeastern U.S. He sold the company in 1972 and became president of Ryder‘s insurance division. He retired in 1983.
Cesarano’s widow, Beryl (“Bunty”), committed a gift of her home (appraised value $750,000) and a
$150,000 gift annuity to the University. In recognition of these gifts, (as well as the Patrick J. Cesarano Neurovascular Laboratory on the Medical Campus and a classroom in the McLamore Executive Education Center as the Patrick J. Cesarano Classroom), the Board of Trustees dedicated the Patrick J. Cesarano Plaza.
Victor E. Clarke Recital Hall
(Clarke Recital Hall)
School of Music Complex
In 1994, the Victor E. Clarke Recital Hall in the L. Austin Weeks Center for Recording and Performance in the School of Music was dedicated.
In 1981, Charlotte Clark, established a charitable remainder trust designated to construct a physics building to be named in honor of her husband, Victor E. Clarke. The trust was created with stock in Gables Engineering, Inc., of which Victor had been the Chairman and CEO. However, in 1987, Gables Engineering bought back the stock, terminating the trust. A total of $1.4 million in proceeds from the sale was transferred to the University of Miami, of which $1 million was used to establish the Victor P. Clarke Endowed Chair in Computer Engineering, and the remainder of the gift helped create the Victor E. Clarke Recital Hall.
Victor E. Clarke was born on March 13, 1932 in Miami, Florida, and was the son of Victor P. Clarke. He served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force during World War II, and graduated from Cornell University in 1956. He joined Gables Engineering Inc., in 1957 and later became its chairman, CEO and principal owner. The company manufactures and exports avionics systems.
Clarke was appointed to the University of Miami Board of Trustees in 1982 and continues to serve as a Trustee Emeritus. He has also served as chair of the College of Engineering Visiting Committee.
The Clarke Family‘s total commitment (including the Foundation gifts) comes to nearly $3 million.
The Cobb Foundation in Lake Osceola was dedicated in January 1990, and named for former UM Chairman of the Board of Trustees Charles Cobb. The Cobb Family donated $150,000 for the fountain, which improves the water quality while also beautifying the campus.
Brief Donor Bios
(See Cobb Stadium)
Cobb Stadium for Soccer, Track & Field
5800 Hurricane Drive
A gift of $1 million from Ambassador and Mrs. Charles E. Cobb and the Cobb Family was the leadership gift of a major fundraising campaign to renovate the University‘s aging track into a new state-
of-the-art track and field facility, build a new soccer field, and construct a 500-seat stadium, located adjacent to the Hecht Athletic Center.
Groundbreaking was held on April 21, 1998, and the new $2.25 million Cobb Stadium and fields were dedicated on April 29, 1999. The building was named for Ambassador and Mrs. Cobb.
Brief Donor Bios
The Honorable Charles Elvan “Chuck” Cobb, Jr. was the former U.S. Ambassador to Iceland,
appointed by President George Bush, from 1989-92. He was also the former CEO of Pan-Am World Airways, and the former CEO of Disney Development and Arvida – a real-estate development firm –
from 1972-80. During the mid to late 1980‘s, he served as the Assistant Secretary of U.S. Commerce
and the Under Secretary of U.S. Commerce for Travel and Tourism.
Ambassador Cobb has been a University of Miami Trustee since 1975. He served as vice-chairman from 1980-92, chairman from 1992-94, and was elected a Life Member in 1995.
He is a graduate of Stanford University (BA 1958, MBA 1962), and was the captain of the Stanford University track team. He was also a member of the 1960 U.S. Olympic Team as a high hurdler, and a four-year veteran of the U.S. Navy.
Cobb is married to Sue McCourt Cobb, also a Stanford graduate and a native of Los Angeles,
California. She later earned her J.D. degree at the University of Miami School of Law, and became a partner in Greenberg, Traurig, Hoffman, Lipoff, Rosen & Quentel for more than 20 years. She is also the former Chairperson of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta – Miami Branch.
Sue Cobb is also an avid sportswoman, who chronicled her 1988 attempt to be the first American woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest with a book entitled The Edge of Everest.