Thousands of new students were welcomed Wednesday night by University of Miami President Julio Frenk and others at the annual “Canes Take Flight” program, a flagship event of Orientation Week.
This week, as ‘Cane Kickoff continues, thousands of new students will attend a series of events on the Coral Gables campus to learn about their new home.
On Wednesday evening, incoming students and their families filled the Watsco Center for “Canes Take Flight,” an annual energetic fanfare of campus camaraderie.
University President Julio Frenk, alongside Felicia Marie Knaul, Director of the University Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas and Director of Hemispheric and Global Affairs, addressed the new class of students. And for the first time, the event included graduate students, law students, medical students and their families.
“Although the world is adjusting to the post-pandemic phase of COVID-19, the incoming class is one of the most competitive and diverse in our history,” Frenk said.
This fall, about a quarter of the University’s freshmen are from Florida. The institution also hosts a cohort of international freshmen from 56 countries, spanning almost every region of the globe.
“You worked hard to get here and we’re glad you chose the U,” Frenk said. “Many have observed that Miami is a microcosm of the kind of society you and your peers around the world will graduate into – diverse, innovative, multicultural and therefore directly affected by some of the thorniest challenges of our time, including the emerging of a pandemic which is the last but certainly not the last of these challenges.
The event was hosted by the Commuter Student Orientation and Engagement Department and led by program coordinators and returning students Tatiana Alvarado, Victoria Gomez, Katarina Jenkins and Meera Patel. The purpose of this fun and lively affair was to welcome incoming students and introduce them to the rich culture and traditions of the University, such as how to properly ‘throw up the U’ and how to sing and spell the famous cheer ‘CANES’ .
Jeffrey Duerk, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost; Jaime Williams-Smith, student government president; Katie Meier, head coach of women’s basketball; and Alonzo Highsmith, Managing Director of Football Operations. Each speaker offered inspirational advice and helpful information to the new flock of ‘Canes.
To close the event, the Frost Band of the Hour, Cheerleaders UCheer, Dance Team Sunsations and Punjabi Dance Group Hurricane Bhangra took to the stage with fiery energy to demonstrate the unique spirit of ‘ Cane’.