"To know UM is to love UM. " -Audrey R. Finkelstein
The Audrey R. Finkelstein UM Experience or “UM Experience” was created by the late Audrey R. Finkelstein, A.B. ’38, a proponent of life-long learning, Audrey passed on the virtue of education to others throughout her life founding several educational programs at the University of Miami. At the Otto G. Richter Library, she established the Audrey Finkelstein Library Endowment Fund for the acquisition of books by and about women. In 1978, she created “AlumNites,” an annual lecture series that showcased University faculty and alumni. In 1984, the “Alumni College Experience” (ACE) was created to bring alumni to campus to experience UM again. ACE demonstrated the University’s commitment to lifelong learning for alumni, created pride in the institution, offered intellectually stimulating subject matter studied only at a university, and showcased the distinction of the UM faculty. Audrey and her husband, Charles, established an endowment to fund the program in perpetuity. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Audrey’s graduation year, in 1988, the program was renamed the “Audrey R. Finkelstein Alumni College Experience.” Today the concept continues during Alumni Weekend as the Audrey R. Finkelstein UM Experience. UM Experience, as coined by participants, brings back more than 200 alumni each year to relive the classroom experience by attending a day of lectures from University professors on timely lecture topics.
Audrey’s involvement at the University of Miami spans more than seven decades touching almost every area of the institution, from school-based volunteer projects, to athletic support, and university-wide homecoming and reunion activities. With more than a quarter million in personal donations to UM to support higher education, Audrey believed in the importance of alumni education programming and nurtured the institution that she believes invested so much in her.
Audrey personified exceptional volunteerism, devoted alumni involvement, and a woman who always remained young at heart. Audrey Finkelstein is a legend at the University of Miami and will remain as such. She has and will always be regarded by the University community, her peers and our South Florida community as one of the University of Miami’s top volunteer leaders.