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It’s peak graduation season here in the 305, so this Flashback Friday, we’re honoring the history of a few of the alma maters where millions of Miami students made the grade and launched their careers. Read on for some fun facts about a few of Miami’s many institutions of higher education, and if we missed yours, hit reply to let us know what makes it great.
The University of Miami
The U has been around since the 1920s and is known for its medical school, music and arts programs and for leaving a major footprint in Miami, far beyond its Coral Gables campus. Its alumni include Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Sylvester Stallone, Gloria Estefan, and your hometown senator, Marco Rubio. Sports fans out there probably know plenty about the storied history of the school’s football program (shout out to the Turnover Chain) but how well do you know the school’s mascot, Sebastian the Ibis? He got his name from the school’s San Sebastian Hall and, at least according to this Instagram post, is Cuban!
Florida International University
It’s one of the youngest major campuses in Florida, but FIU is the fourth-largest university in the country, serving more than 55,000 students. FIU opened its doors in 1972 with the largest opening class of any new university back then. The school now has two campuses in South Florida, and back in 2006 also opened a campus all the way in China. Yup. It’s part of the university’s school of hospitality and tourism management and has served more than 1,000 students. President Rosenberg just blogged from the China Commencement earlier this week.
With more than 165,000 enrolled students, Miami-Dade College is the largest institution of higher education in the state, and one of the biggest in the country. That’s a far cry from its opening in 1960 when fewer than 1,500 students enrolled at “Chicken Coop College” (so nicknamed for its makeshift buildings on the site of Miami-Dade School’s former ag program). Back then, Dade County Junior College was open to any county resident who had graduated from high school, and was Florida’s first integrated junior college, serving all of our community’s students from its very first day.
Barry is a private, Catholic University that was founded in 1940 by a brother and sister, Rev. Patrick Barry, Bishop of St. Augustine, and Rev. Mother Mary Gerald Barry, who was prioress of the Adrian Dominican Sisters. The school now serves more than 9,000 students with more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs of study. In 2012, NBA big man Shaquille O’Neal earned his doctoral degree in education at Barry, so be sure to call him Dr. Shaq if you see him around.
Florida Memorial University
The Miami Gardens school has about 1,400 students and was founded more than 135 years ago in Live Oak, Florida. Back then it was the Florida Baptist Institute but the school eventually moved down to SoFlo in 1968. It remains the only historically black college or university in South Florida and back in 1900 the music to “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” was written on the school’s campus by composer John Rosamond Johnson. You can read a little more about FMU’s role in the civil rights movement here.
Much love to all the graduates, and if you snap any pics from upcoming ceremonies, be sure to tag @thenewtropic!
We’ve got something sweet for you today: Tickets to RAW Pop Up at The Moore Building this weekend. Peep a five-story, multi-sensory immersive art, music, and tech experience with 50+ participating artists and musicians.
Get a friend to sign up for The New Tropic by 5 p.m. today and both of you will be entered to win a pair of tickets! All you’ve got to do is send your buds this link:
We’ll select and contact the winner by email right after 5 p.m. Good luck, and we hope to see you there!
Visit your local @CapitalOneCafe on #NationalSuperheroDay to check out the new interactive comic experience to reveal your #FinancialSuperpower. Learn More ».
Staying separated. After hours of discussion from commissioners and activists, the City of Miami commission decided against a proposal to merge the city’s office of resilience with the public works department. City Manager Emilio Gonzalez argued that the plan would allow the city’s engineers and public works staff to work more directly with chief resilience officer Jane Gilbert and her staff, but critics argued that the plan would be a demotion for Gilbert and send a troubling message about the city’s sustainability and resilience efforts. (Miami Herald)
A targeted crackdown? When Miami Beach announced plans to step up enforcement of loud music blaring from cars on South Beach it seemed like an effort to quiet rowdy spring break crowds. But members of the local NAACP think the crackdown, and its timing, are geared at policing the behavior of black beachgoers who make up most of the crowd during Memorial Day Weekend (a.k.a Urban Beach Weekend). Beach police defended the decision and said they don’t plan to “target” specific groups. (Miami Herald)
County line clash. The massive American Dream Miami mall project is already making folks in the northwest Miami-Dade nervous about major traffic jams. And now it looks like those fears are spreading to our northern neighbors. The Broward county commission approved plans to sue the developers of the American Dream project if they don’t promise to help keep traffic under control in southwest Broward. (Miami Herald)
#DIY. Independent work is booming in Miami according to a study by independent marketplace Fiverr. Their analysis says that SoFlo leads the nation in revenue from the independent workforce (think lawyers with their own practices, artists, plumbers, and software engineers). Shout out to all the hustlers out there. (Miami Herald)
A solid buzz. Craft beer remains super popular and the business has continued to grow in South Florida over the years. Now developers are looking at how places like the Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park helped launch development and are trying to establish “brewery districts” as a way to improve blighted areas. We’ll drink to that. (Bisnow)
Ground control to Major Nom. A super cool partnership between NASA and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden has allowed students from SoFlo and beyond to pick which plants will grow best in space through a program called Veggie. The idea launched in 2014 and since then more than 150 schools in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and even in Puerto Rico, have become involved. And students have even gotten the chance to talk to astronauts. (Miami New Times)
It is easy being green. Or at least it can be here in South Florida. If you’re looking for some fun parks to check out this weekend but don’t wanna deal with big crowds, here’s a list of 20 lowkey and underrated spots across Miami-Dade County. Enjoy and don’t forget the sunscreen! (Curbed Miami)
Yara Travieso transforms the YoungArts Plaza into a South Florida swamp for “El Ciclón”, a wild neo-feminist mythology trapped inside a 1950s B-movie. Learn More ».
Capital One's Financial Superpower Experience Visit your local @CapitalOneCafe on #NationalSuperheroDay to check out the new interactive comic experience to reveal your #FinancialSuperpower.
👒 5/13 Hit up the 1920s at Vizcaya’s Seersucker Social – get your tickets ahead of time! This often sells out. (Coconut Grove)
🍲 5/18: Enjoy an Indian feast at Shabbat at the Yard (Wynwood)
FRIDAY, MAY 11
🎤Check out Rolling Loud Festival in its new spot – through Sunday; only a few tickets left! (Miami Gardens)
🎞Catch the latest edition of Black Lounge Films (Overtown)
🎨The Pancakes & Booze pop-up art show pops into Miami (Little Haiti)
SATURDAY, MAY 12
🌾 Take a culinary tour through Cuba (Sweetwater)
🍞Learn how to make bread (South Beach)
🍻Check out Brew at the Zoo, Miami’s largest beer festival (South Dade)
SUNDAY, MAY 13
👩 Take mom out on Española Way (South Beach)
🇭🇹 Celebrate Mother’s Day with some Haitian vibes (Downtown)
🐠Explore the coral reefs off of Crandon Park (Key Biscayne)
🥓Take your fam to a chill Mother’s Day Brunch (Westchester)
🤣 Jaja! Villain Theater is now doing improv in Spanish (Little Haiti)
MONDAY, MAY 14
🍺 Learn how to home brew (Wynwood)
Experience one of Miami’s niche markets with a Saturday filled with authentic Caribbean art, food, culture, craft activities and live music! Learn More ».