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University of Miami

University of Miami

The University of Miami (informally referred to as UM, U of M, or The U)[8][9] is a private research university in Coral Gables, Florida. As of 2018, the university enrolls 17,331 students[10] in 12 separate colleges/schools, including the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine in Miami's Health District, a law school on the main campus, and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science focused on the study of oceanography and atmospheric sciences on Virginia Key, with research facilities at the Richmond Facility in southern Miami-Dade County.

The university offers 138 undergraduate, 144 master's, and 68 doctoral degree programs, of which 64 are research/scholarship and four professional areas of study.[3] Over the years, the university's students have represented all 50 states and close to 150 foreign countries.[11] With more than 15,000 full- and part-time faculty and staff,[12] UM is a top 10 employer in Miami-Dade County.[13] UM's main campus in Coral Gables has 239 acres and over 5.7 million square feet of buildings.

Research is a Component of each academic division, with UM attracting $345.8 million in sponsored research grants in FY 2018.[10] UM offers a large library system with over 3.9 million volumes and exceptional holdings in Cuban heritage and music.[15] UM also offers a wide range of student activities, including fraternities and sororities, a student newspaper and a radio station. UM's intercollegiate athletic teams, collectively known as the Miami Hurricanes, compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.[16] UM's football team has won five national championships since 1983[17] and its baseball team has won four national championships since 1982.

University of Miami
Latin:Universitas Miamiensis
MottoMagna est veritas(Latin)
Great is the truth
Endowment$1.02 billion (2018)[2]
Budget$3.4 billion (2018)[3]
PresidentJulio Frenk
ProvostJeffrey Duerk
CampusSuburbanTotal 453 acres (1.83 km)[6]
ColorsOrange, green, white[7]
NCAA Division IACC
MascotSebastian the Ibis
University rankings
U.S. News & World Report[129]53
Washington Monthly[130]252
U.S. News & World Report[134]185


Walkway leading to the Otto G. Richter Library on the campus of the University of Miami

Walkway leading to the Otto G. Richter Library on the campus of the University of Miami

A group of citizens chartered the University of Miami in 1925 with the intent to offer "unique opportunities to develop inter-American studies, to further creative work in the arts and letters, and to conduct teaching and research programs in tropical studies".[18] They believed that a local university would benefit their community.

They were overly optimistic about future financial support for UM because the South Florida land boom was at its peak.[18] During the Jim Crow era, there were three large state-funded universities in Florida for white males, white females, and black coeds (UF, FSU, and FAMU, respectively); in this accord, UM was founded as a white, coeducational institution.

The university began in earnest in 1925 when George E. Merrick, the founder of Coral Gables, gave 160 acres (0.6 km2) and nearly $5 million,[19] ($71.4 million, adjusted for current inflation) to the effort.[20] These contributions were land contracts and mortgages on real estate that had been sold in the city.[21] The university was chartered on April 8, 1925,[22] by the Circuit Court for Dade County.[23] By the fall of 1926, when the first class of 372 students enrolled at UM,[24] the land boom had collapsed, and hopes for a speedy recovery were dashed by a major hurricane.[25] For the next 15 years the university barely remained solvent. The first building on campus, now known as the Merrick Building, was left half built for over two decades due to economic difficulties.[25] In the meantime, classes were held at the nearby Anastasia Hotel, with partitions separating classrooms, giving the university the early nickname of "Cardboard College."[25][26][27]

In 1929, founding member William E. Walsh and other members of the board of regents resigned in the wake of the collapse of the Florida economy.

UM's plight was so severe that students went door to door in Coral Gables collecting funds to keep it open.[26] A reconstituted ten-member board was chaired by UM's first president Bowman Foster Ashe (1926–1952). The new board included Merrick, Theodore Dickinson, E.B. Douglas, David Fairchild, James H. Gilman, Richardson Saunders, Frank B. Shutts, Joseph H. Adams, and J. C. Penney. In 1930, several faculty members and more than 60 students came to UM when the University of Havana closed due to political unrest.[25] UM filed for bankruptcy in 1932.[25][28] In July 1934, the University of Miami was reincorporated and a board of trustees replaced the board of regents. By 1940, community leaders were replacing faculty and administration as trustees.[23] The university survived this early turmoil. During Ashe's presidency, the university added the School of Law (1928),[29] the Business School (1929), the School of Education (1929), the Graduate School (1941), the Marine Laboratory (1943, renamed in 1969 as the Rosenstiel School), the School of Engineering (1947), and the School of Medicine (1952).[25]

During World War II, UM was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program, which offered students a path to a Navy commission.[30]

One of Ashe's longtime assistants, Jay F. W. Pearson, assumed the presidency in 1952.[31] A charter faculty member and a marine biologist by trade,[31] Pearson retained the position until 1962.[18] During his presidency, UM awarded its first doctorate degrees and saw an increase in enrollment of more than 4,000.[18][32]

The social changes of the 1960s and 1970s were reflected at UM.

In 1961, UM dropped its policy of racial segregation and began to admit black students.[32][33] African Americans were also allowed full participation in student activities and sports teams.[34] After President Stanford pressed for minority athletes, in December 1966, UM signed Ray Bellamy, an African American football player. With Bellamy, UM became the first major college in the Deep South with a Black football player on scholarship.[35] UM established an Office of Minority Affairs to promote diversity in both undergraduate and professional school admissions.[36] With the start of the 1968 football season, President Henry Stanford barred the playing of "Dixie" by the university's band.[25]

Historically, UM regulated female student conduct more than men's conduct with a staff under the Dean of Women watching over the women.

UM combined the separate Dean of Men and Dean of Women positions in 1971.[37] In 1971, UM formed a Women's Commission which issued a 1974 report on the status of women on campus.[37] The result was UM's first female commencement speaker,[39] day care, and a Women's Study minor. Following the enactment of Title IX in 1972, and decades of litigation, all organizations, including honorary societies were open to women. The Women's Commission also sought more equitable funding for women's sports.[37] Terry Williams Munz became the first woman in America awarded an athletic scholarship when she accepted a golf scholarship from UM in 1973.[41]

From 1961 to 1968, UM leased buildings on its South Campus to serve as the covert headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency's JMWAVE operation against Fidel Castro's government in Cuba.[42]The%20Castro%20Obsession%3A%20U.S.%20C]]In 1968, after Ramparts r campuses, JMWAVE was moved off the UM campus out of concern for embarrassing the university.[42] The university no longer owns land at the south campus.

Henry King Stanford became UM's third president in 1962.[44] The Stanford presidency saw increased emphasis on research, reorganization of administrative structure and construction of new facilities. Among the new research centers established were the Center for Advanced International Studies (1964), the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Evolution (1964), the Center for Theoretical Studies (1965), and the Institute for the Study of Aging (1975). Under Stanford, in 1965, UM began to recruit international students.[25]

In 1981, Edward T. Foote II became the school's fourth president.[45] Under Foote's leadership, on-campus student housing was converted into a system of residential colleges.[46] In addition, Foote initiated a five-year $400 million fundraising campaign that began in 1984 and raised $517.5 million.[47][48] He saw the endowment expand from $47.4 million in 1981 to $465.2 million in 2000.[47]

Foote was succeeded by Donna Shalala, who assumed the UM presidency in 2001.[49] Under Shalala, Miami built new libraries, dormitories, symphony rehearsal halls, and classroom buildings. The university's academic quality and student quality also have improved as a result.[50] During Shalala's leadership of the University of Miami, Miami hosted one of three nationally televised U.S. presidential debates of the 2004 presidential election.[51]

Starting in 2002,[52] UM conducted a fundraising campaign titled "Momentum: The Campaign for the University of Miami" that ultimately raised $1.37 billion,[53] the most money raised by any college in Florida as of February 8, 2008.[54] Of that amount, $854 million went to the medical campus.[53] On November 30, 2007, UM acquired the Cedars Medical Center and renamed it the "University of Miami Hospital", giving the Miller School of Medicine an in-house teaching hospital rather than being merely affiliated with area hospitals.[55]

On February 28, 2006, custodial workers at the University of Miami, who are contracted to the university by a Boston, Massachusetts-based company, UNICCO, began a strike prompted by allegations of unfair labor practices, substandard pay, lack of health benefits, and workplace safety. After students began a hunger strike and on-campus vigil, the strike was settled on May 1, 2006. The settlement resulted in a card count which led to the recognition of the first union-represented bargaining unit at UM.[56][57][58] UM raised wages from $6.40 to $8.35 per hour and provided health insurance.[59]

In 2008–09, UM responded to the economic slowdown by tightening expenditures.[60] While its endowment lost over 26.8 percent of its value,[61] impacting endowment income, the school receives more than 98 percent of its operating budget from other sources.[60]

In 2011, UM was ranked the nation's most fiscally-responsible nonprofit organization by Worth magazine, in a report issued in collaboration with nonprofit watchdog Charity Navigator.[62]

On April 13, 2015, the university announced that Julio Frenk would be the university's sixth president. Frenk previously served as dean of Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Mexico's Secretariat of Health.[63]


Coral Gables campus

The John C. Gifford Arboretum on the University of Miami campus

The John C. Gifford Arboretum on the University of Miami campus

The Shalala Student Center at the University of Miami

The Shalala Student Center at the University of Miami

UM's main campus spans 239 acres (0.97 km2)[64] in Coral Gables, immediately south of the city of Miami. Most of the University of Miami's academic programs are on the main campus in Coral Gables, which houses seven schools and two colleges including the University of Miami School of Law. The campus has over 5,900,000 sq ft (550,000 m2) of building space valued at over $657 million.[65]

The university also has a campus theater, the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre, which is used for student plays and musicals.[66] The John C. Gifford Arboretum, a campus arboretum and botanical garden, is on the northwest corner of the main campus in Coral Gables.[67] The Jorge M. Perez Architecture Center is the lecture hall and gallery of the School of Architecture that displays exhibitions focusing on architecture and design.[68][69]

The Coral Gables campus is served by the Miami Metrorail at the University Station.[70] The Metro connects UM to downtown Miami, Brickell, Coconut Grove, Civic Center, and other Miami neighborhoods. The UM campus is about a 15-minute train ride from Downtown and Brickell.[71] The Hurry 'Canes shuttle bus service operates two routes on campus (as well as to the University Station) and weekend routes to various off-campus stores and facilities during the school year; an additional shuttle route provides service to the RSMAS campus on Virginia Key and Vizcaya Station. Miami also has a Zipcar service. Lake Osceola is located at the center of campus.

In 2018, rap artist Drake filmed the music video for his song "God's Plan" at the University of Miami.[72][73]

Student housing

UM residence halls[74]Year builtRoom capacity
Eaton Residential College1954400
Mahoney Residential College1958700
Pearson Residential College1962700
Hecht Residential College1968850
Stanford Residential College1968850
University Village2006800

The Coral Gables campus houses 4,500 enrolled students.

This group is disproportionately freshmen (89 percent of new freshmen live on campus compared with 39 percent of all degree undergraduates).[15] UM's on-campus housing consists of five residential colleges and one apartment-style housing area available only to undergraduate degree-seeking students.

The residential colleges are divided into two dormitory-style residence halls and three suite-style residence halls. The McDonald and Pentland Towers of Hecht Residential College[75] and the Walsh and Rosborough Towers of Stanford Residential College[76] are commonly referred to as the "Freshman Towers", as the single-sex by floor (with shared bathroom facilities) co-ed dormitories generally house new students. Eaton Residential College, which originally housed only women,[77] and the Mahoney/Pearson Residential Colleges[78][79] have suite-style housing with every two double-occupancy rooms connected by a shared bathroom.

In addition to these five residential colleges, Miami also has an area called the University Village[80] which consists of seven buildings with apartment-style annual contract housing, fully furnished with kitchen facilities. The University Village is only open to juniors and seniors, but was previously open to graduate students and students of the School of Law up until July 31, 2009; after this date, there has been no housing available for any graduate students on the Coral Gables campus.[81][82] The University of Miami also has a series of fraternity houses, opposite the intramural fields on San Amaro Drive, dubbed "Fraternity Row"; the sororities do not possess any such facilities.

Currently under construction is the Lakeside Village, a residential complex of 25 interconnected buildings that will provide student housing for 1,115 sophomores, juniors and seniors.

This $153 million project is estimated to be completed in August 2020.[83]

Medical campus

The Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine campus, in Miami city proper in Civic Center, trains 1,000 students in various health-related programs.[84] It consists of 68 acres (280,000 m2) within the 153 acres (620,000 m2) University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center complex. The medical center includes three UM-owned hospitals: University of Miami Hospital, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Anne Bates Leach Eye Hospital. Jackson Memorial Hospital, Holtz Children's Hospital, and the Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center are also a part of the medical center and are affiliated with UM, but are not owned by UM.[85] The heart of this campus is "The Alamo" – the original City of Miami Hospital, which opened in 1918, that is on the National Register of Historic Places.[84][86] In 2006, UM opened the 300,000 sq ft (28,000 m2), 15-story Clinical Research Building and Wellness Center.[84] In 2009, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified, nine-story Biomedical Research Building, a 182,000 sq ft (16,900 m2) laboratory and office facility, opened to house the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute and the Miami Institute for Human Genomics.[87] UM has completed a 2,000,000 sq ft (190,000 m2) UM Life Science Park adjacent to the UM medical campus housing both office space for collaboration and a variety of laboratories.[85][89] These additional Gold LEED certified buildings are being built by Wexford Science & Technology, a private developer, on land leased from UM.[90] The Medical campus is connected to UM's main campus by the Miami Metrorail with direct stations at University Station for the main campus, and Civic Center Station for the medical campus.

On December 1, 2007, the university purchased the Cedars Medical Center, renaming it as the University of Miami Hospital.

Situated in the Miami Health District, the hospital is close to the Jackson Memorial Hospital, which has been used by the UM students and faculty to provide patient care for many years.[91]

Starting in 2004, the Miller School began offering instruction on the campus of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. MD candidates were admitted to either the Miami or Boca Raton programs and spent the first two years studying on the selected campus and the last two on the main campus in Miami.[92] In April 2005, the Boca Raton program was expanded to include a third clinical year in Palm Beach County. In 2010, when Florida Atlantic University made plans to establish their own medical school, no future classes of the regional campus were accepted. The last class to complete the first three years of training in Boca Raton is the Class of 2013.[93]

There is no on-campus housing for students of the Miller School of Medicine in Miami or Boca Raton.[94] The Miami and Boca Raton campuses charge identical tuition, with a lower tuition for in-state students.[95]

RSMAS/Marine Campus

The Applied Marine Physics Building at UM's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science on Virginia Key

The Applied Marine Physics Building at UM's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science on Virginia Key

In 1945, construction began on the Rickenbacker Causeway to make Virginia Key accessible by car. The county offered to give UM a part of the island adjacent to the Miami Seaquarium in exchange for UM operating the aquarium.[96] However, the aquarium construction was delayed when a bond referendum failed, so UM leased the land in 1951. In 1953, UM built classroom and lab buildings on a 16-acre (65,000 m²) campus to house what would become the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS). Additional buildings were added in 1957, 1959 and 1965.[96] The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory is across the Rickenbacker Causeway from the campus. From 1947 to 1959, the State of Florida funded the UM Marine Lab on Virginia Key until the State built a separate marine lab in St. Petersburg.[96] In 2009, UM received a $15 million federal grant to help construct a new $43.8 million, 56,500 square feet (5,250 m2) Marine Technology and Life Sciences Seawater Research Building.[97]

There is no housing on the RSMAS campus.

As part of its campus-wide free shuttle service, UM operates a route from the Coral Gables campus to the RSMAS campus, which includes stops at the Vizcaya Metrorail station on weekdays.[82][98]

South Campus

In 1946, UM acquired the former Richmond Naval Air Station, in southwestern Miami, 12 mi (19 km) south of the main campus in order to accommodate the post-war increase in students. The campus was acquired immediately following World War II and provided classrooms, housing, and other amenities for about 1,100 students (mostly freshmen) for two academic years. In 1948 it was repurposed as a research facility.[99] In the 1960s, some of the buildings were leased to the Central Intelligence Agency. The South Campus Grove was a 350 acres (1,400,000 m2) plot for agricultural research and horticultural studies that was established in 1948.[24][99] For 20 years, UM used radioactive isotopes in biological research on the South Campus, and buried materials included irradiated animals on the site. In August 2006, UM agreed to reimburse the Army Corps of Engineers $393,473 for clean-up costs under the Superfund law.[100] Its six buildings provide 63,800 sq ft (5,930 m2)[85] to currently house: the Global Public Health Research Group, Miami Institute for Human Genomics, Forensic Toxicology Laboratory (for analysis of DUI suspect blood samples), and Microbiology and Immunology.[101] The University of Miami once planned to build a south campus on the property but opted to sell 80 acres of land instead.[102] The university no longer owns land at the south campus.

Richmond Campus

The Richmond campus is a 76 acres (310,000 m2) site that was formerly the United States Naval Observatory Secondary National Time Standard Facility, which already had buildings and a 20M antenna used for Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI).[103] The Rosenstiel School's Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing (CSTARS) and Richmond Satellite Operations Center (RSOC) have research facilities on part of the new campus.


Since 2005, UM has a "Green U" initiative which includes LEED certification for buildings and the use of biofuels by the campus bus fleet.[104] UM established the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy.[105] As a part of the Abess Center, UM launched the R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program to educate students on the importance of protecting the marine environment.[106]

Student body

University of Miami demographics
Ethnic enrollment, fall 2018[10]UndergraduatesGraduates
Hispanic(of any race)25%28%
Non-Hispanic White44%33%
Two or more races3%4%

In 2018, undergraduates were composed of: 24 percent from the Greater Miami area, 10 percent from other parts of Florida, 50 percent from other U.S. states, and 15 percent were international students.

Graduate students were composed of: 41 percent from the Greater Miami area, 11 percent from other parts of Florida, 30 percent from other U.S. states, and 18 percent were international students.[3]

As of 2012, UM reported the following graduation rates: 70 percent graduating within 4 years, 80 percent graduating within 5 years, and 82 percent graduating within 6 years.[108] Male student-athletes have a 56 percent graduation rate, and 67 percent of female student-athletes graduate within 6 years.[109][110]


Undergraduate New Freshman Statistics for Enrolled Students[[CITE|111|https://pira.miami.edu/fast-facts/student-enrollment/index.html]][[CITE|112|https://umshare.miami.edu/web/wda/bondholder/Admission%20Statistics%20Rating%20Agency%20format%202014.pdf]][[CITE|113|https://admissions.miami.edu/undergraduate/application-process/class-profile/freshman/index.html]]
Admit Rate27%32.1%35.7%37.7%37.8%38.2%
SAT rangeN/A1250–14301220–14101210–13901200–13901220–1420
ACT rangeN/A29–3228–3228–3228–3228–32

UM received 38,984 undergraduate applications for fall 2019 and reported an acceptance rate of 27%.[113] In 2018, the median ACT score of enrolled students was 31, and the mean SAT score was 1340.[3] The middle 50% of admitted applicants for the Fall 2019 freshman class reported an ACT score of 31-34 and an SAT score of 1350-1480.

There are currently 2,685 full-time faculty members, with 97 percent of regular faculty holding doctorates or terminal degrees in their field.[116] UM has a student-faculty ratio of 12:1.[116] The University of Miami is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and 19 additional professional accrediting agencies. It is a member of the American Association of University Women, the American Council on Education, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Association of American Colleges and Universities,[117] the Florida Association of Colleges and Universities, the Independent Colleges & Universities of Florida,[118] and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.[119]


UM is led by a board of trustees.[23] The board has 48 elected members, 3 alumni representatives, 23 senior members, 4 national members, 6 ex officio members members, who serve by virtue of their positions in the university, include the president of the university; the president and immediate past president of the citizens board; and the president, president-elect and immediate past president of the alumni association.[23] Since 1982, the board has eleven visiting committees, which include both trustees and outside experts, to help oversee the individual academic units.[23]

UM's president is the university's chief executive officer, with a 2015 salary of $1.14 million,[120] and each academic unit is headed by a dean.

2018–2019 tuition[[CITE|121|http://www.miami.edu/admission/index.php/ofas/undergraduate/costofattendanceug/]]
SchoolTuitionTotal cost
Graduate school$37,624$64,776
Law school$52,390$80,168
Medical school (FL)$40,494$69,051
Medical school (non-FL)$44,107$72,664
Undergraduate & graduate
  • School of Architecture

  • College of Arts and Sciences

  • Miami Business School

  • School of Communication

  • School of Education and Human Development

  • College of Engineering

  • Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

  • Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music

  • School of Nursing and Health Studies

Graduate only
  • The Graduate School[122]

  • Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine

  • University of Miami School of Law

In addition, UM has a division of continuing and international education and a program in executive education as part of its school of business administration.

A partnership with nearby Florida International University, also allows students from both schools to take graduate classes at either university, allowing graduate students to take a wider variety of courses.[123] In addition, the Miller School of Medicine offers separate PhD[124] and MD/PhD[125] programs in several biomedical sciences.

The Department of Community Service, staffed by volunteer medical students and physicians from UM's Leonard M. School of Medicine, provides free medical and other community services in Miami and surrounding communities.



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