First Black Graduates Project

Friday Event for U Trailblazers

Bringing History to Life; see highlights from the UTrailblazers weekend.

Read more

The UM Black Alumni Society’s First Black Graduates Project acknowledged “UTrailblazers”—those who blazed the trail in breaking the color barrier at the University of Miami in the 1960s and ’70s. To celebrate their courage, successes, and contributions to the University community, the UM Black Alumni Society was proud to host UTrailblazers, a signature event on the Coral Gables campus February 24-25, 2017. Thank you to all who participated and contributed to its overwhelming success! 

Read more: Bringing History to Life

See pictures from the weekend!

The digital history video series will be posted within the next few weeks, please check back periodically for updates.

Blazing the trail, building the dream


Thirty-five years after it opened for classes in 1926, the University of Miami admitted its first black students. The First Black Graduates Project aims to identify University of Miami black graduates from 1961 to 1979, document their personal histories, and raise funds for scholarships that will positively impact the lives of current UM students and generations to come.

Members of the UM Black Alumni Society created The First Black Graduates Project after attending "Unity in Diversity: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Desegregation at the University of Miami," a semester-long series of speakers, an art exhibition, a concert, and other events in the spring of 2012. Through dedicated alumni outreach and archival research, the project continues to chronicle this important part of our history and honor those who blazed a trail of courage, diversity, and inclusion at the U.

Read more about the project's origin in Miami Magazine.

Get Connected

The First Black Graduates of the 1960s and 1970s blazed a trail at the University of Miami. Browse the Directory of First Black Graduates. To update your contact information or help find lost alumni, click here.

Share your Story

You can join the Black Alumni Society
on this fascinating passage through our history. Share your trailblazing stories,
photos, and memories using one of
the forms below.


Share your story - print and send
Share your story - online form


Become a Volunteer

Become a volunteer to assist with research, outreach, fundraising, planning of the UTrailblazers celebration and presentation of the First Black Graduates Project.


Contact a Project Co-Chair:

Denise Mincey-Mills, B.B.A ’79
Phyllis Tyler, B.B.A ’79
Antonio Junior, A.B. '79

For additional information, contact the Office of Alumni Relations: 1-866-UMALUMS (862-5867) or

Make a Gift

As part of this project, the First Black Graduates Endowed* Scholarship was created to support students at UM who have financial hardships. Invest in the future of the U today by making a gift.

If you would like to make a donation toward the First Black Graduates Endowed* Scholarship Fund, please visit You may also contribute toward weekend programming costs or sponsor a UM student’s ticket by calling 305-284-2872 or toll-free at 1-866-UMALUMS (862-5867).

Contact Arlene Johnson, B.G.S.C. '03 M.A.L.S. '06, Development Director, Annual Giving, at 305-284-6232 or

* If the First Black Graduates Endowed Scholarship Fund is not fully funded with payments totaling $20,000 by January 31, 2017 and then fully funded with pledges and payments totaling $50,000 by January 31, 2021, the Fund will be reclassified into a non-endowed fund for the same purpose.