Frenkly Speaking: A new column from UM President Julio Frenk

Photo credit: Emily Dulohery

Frenkly Speaking is a new column by University of Miami President Julio Frenk.

Welcome to “Frenkly Speaking,” my monthly column in The Miami Hurricane. I am looking forward to sharing with you some of my experiences and observations as president of our university. My thanks to The Hurricane for this new channel for me to communicate with Canes.

April at UM means several things: Our beautiful campuses are blooming, students are preparing for finals and commencement is right around the corner. Every year, students ask me for advice as they graduate from the U and begin their careers.

I think it is fitting that graduation is called “Commencement.” It marks a new beginning – a moment when students take what they have learned into the world. I am very proud that students at the U do not wait until commencement to engage with the world’s challenges.

Recently, several University of Miami students, some of whom are graduates of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, helped lead the local March for Our Lives rally. They spoke to the crowd of thousands about their refusal to stay silent in the face of violence or intimidation. These students and the countless young people across the country who are organizing around the issues they care about are an inspiration to me. They offer an important reminder to us older adults: We must stay engaged and we can never fall silent.

UM students have a long history of standing up and speaking out. Our students have always been ready to lead, and this time is no different. The U offers academic and professional preparation and firmly believes in giving students the resources they need to thrive in every aspect of their lives as engaged and informed citizens.

The dialogue led by UM students about Parkland and the complex issues it raises is a testament to our commitment to training professionals who will use their talents to improve the world around them. I see this every time I walk across the U and see students leading major outreach and community initiatives, and I see it in the ways our students and faculty are using scholarship to illuminate and solve problems.

Your lives will undoubtedly change as you walk across the commencement stage and toward a new phase, so my advice is to remember the urgency and passion that you have within you now.

No matter which path you choose, continue to speak your truth, consider what is right and just and explore how your life and career can serve others. We know that Canes are not known for complacency. Let the spirit of the University of Miami stay lit within you. This is just the beginning of your work in the world.

I wish you the best of luck on your final exams. Congratulations to our graduates and their families, and my thanks to all of you for your contributions to the U this year.

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