Distinguished Alumni Lecture Series (DALS)

Distinguished Alumni Lecture Series

The Distinguished Alumni Endowed Lecture Series was established in 1995 through the generous support of Stu Bloch, A.B. ’64, and Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch. The series recognizes and celebrates University of Miami alumni who have distinguished themselves and their alma mater through lifetime achievement and professional accomplishments. It also serves to foster intellectual dialogue among the University of Miami community and encourage the lifelong pursuit of learning. 

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  • 2023 Spring Lecture

    Behind the Curtain: Making Broadway Magic

    Join us for a special conversation with Kenneth Greenblatt, BBA ‘68 as he takes us beyond the footlights and behind the curtain to glimpse the creativity — and hard work — that goes into making a successful Broadway show. Kenneth Greenblatt, B.B.A. ’68, recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award, is a Tony award-winning Broadway producer whose work spans four decades and includes acclaimed hits such as “Nine” and “La Cage Aux Folles.” His company, GFour Productions, continues Kenneth’s stellar record with the national tour of “On Your Feet!,” the story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan, and “Menopause the Musical,” the longest running musical in Las Vegas history.


  • 2022 Fall Lecture

    Unpacking the Midterm Elections: What’s Next?

    Midterm elections come and go, usually with little attention or fanfare. Not the case in 2022 as all eyes are on the November elections. They are eliciting heightened interest and speculation from both sides of the aisle. In “Unpacking the Midterm Elections: What’s Next?,” our panel of notable alumni experts will share their perspectives and insights into the potential impacts at the local, state, and federal levels.

    Watch the Lecture

    • Joshua Johnson, B.S.C. ’02 Read full bio.
      Host, Now Tonight with Joshua Johnson, NBC 

    • Javier Morgado, B.S.C. ’99 Read full bio.
      Executive Producer, At This Hour, CNN 

    • Jorge Ramos, M.A. ’96 Read full bio.
      Anchor, Univision

    • Bryan Llenas, B.S.C. ’10 Read full bio.
      National Correspondent, FOX 

    Katie Phang, Esq, J.D. ’00, The Katie Phang Show, MSNBC Read full bio.

    Event Host: Devang B. Desai, B.A. ’97, J.D. ’03 Read full bio.

  • 2022 Spring Lecture

    In Hot Water: Finding Ocean-Based Solutions to the Climate Crisis

    The ocean, the major regulating force in the Earth’s climate system, offers a wide range of potential climate solutions—mitigation and adaptation strategies including ocean-based renewable energy, blue carbon sequestration, and net zero shipping. A panel of notable alumni experts share their perspectives on this urgent global crisis, and how we can solve it by working together.


    • Stacy Aguilera-Peterson, PH.D. ’17
      Ocean Policy Specialist, National Science Foundation. Read full bio.

    • Kerri L. Barsh, J.D. ’84
      Shareholder and Co-Chair of Environmental Practice, Greenberg Traurig. Read full bio.

    • Pedro N. Dinezio, M.S. ’08, PH.D. ’11
      Climate Scientist, Associate Professor, Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder. Read full bio.

    • Galen Treuer, PH.D. ’17
      Resilience Coordinator for Strategic Outcomes, Miami-Dade County. Read full bio.

    Erica Rule, M.A. ’99 Chief of Staff for Science Planning and Operations, Southeast Fisheries Science Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Read full bio.

    Event Host: Devang B. Desai,B.A. ’97, J.D. ’03 President, University of Miami Alumni Association, Partner, Gaebe, Mullen, Antonelli & DiMatteo. Read full bio.

  • 2021 Fall Lecture

    Changing the Tune: Reinventing the Music Industry

    Notable alumni experts from across the music industry share their perspectives on its transformation in response to recent challenges and what the future holds. For those who may have missed it, the recording of the event can be found at this link and enter the passcode D!+V5xj=.


    • Dawnn J. Lewis, B.M. ’82
      President And Chief Executive Officer, Morning Jewel, Inc. Founder And Chief Executive Officer, A New Day Foundation Read full bio.

    • Horacio E. Gutierrez, J.D. ’98
      Head of global affairs and chief legal officer, Spotify Read full bio.

    • Jamie Conviser, B.M. ’01
      Associate Music Producer, Disney Live Entertainment Read full bio.

    • Leslie José Zigel, J.D. ’95
      Partner, Chair Of Entertainment, Media, And Technology Group, And Co-chair, Cannabis Practice Groups, Smgq Law Read full bio.

    Lauren Spahn, ’13 M.M., J.D. ’13 Partner, Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP Read full bio.

    Event Host: Devang B. Desai,A.B. ’97, J.D. ’03 President, University of Miami Alumni Association, Partner, Gaebe, Mullen, Antonelli & DiMatteo Read full bio.

  • 2021 Spring Lecture

    The Future of the Supreme Court

    The appointment of a new justice to the U.S. Supreme Court in the fall created a conservative 6-3 majority that could affect American law for decades. Join us for a panel discussion on the future of the Court, the Constitution, and the potential impact on our democracy.


    • Henry N. Butler, J.D. ’82
      Professor of law and executive director of the Law & Economics Center, George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School. Read full bio.

    • Deborah Enix-Ross, J.D. ’81
      Senior advisor, International Dispute Resolution Group, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Read full bio.

    • Neal R. Sonnett, A.B. ’64, J.D. ’67
      Founder and managing partner, Neal R. Sonnett, P.A. Read full bio.

    • Raquel A. Rodriguez, A.B. ’82, J.D. ’85
      Shareholder, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney. Read full bio.

    Anthony E. Varona Dean and M. Minnette Massey Professor of Law, School of Law. Read full bio.

    Event Host: Devang B. Desai,A.B. ’97, J.D. ’03 Member, University of Miami Board of Trustees; President-elect, University of Miami Alumni Association; partner. Read full bio.

  • 2020 Lecture

    The Role of the Media in an Election Year

    Whether reporting on candidates and campaigns, providing a platform for debate and discussion, or educating voters, the media has a profound effect on public opinion in an election year. On Thursday, October 8, the Distinguished Alumni Lecture Series brought together notable alumni experts spanning the communications industry to share their perspectives on the media's role and responsibility covering political campaigns and elections.


    • Alex Ferrer, J.D. ’86 Attorney
      Retired Florida Circuit Court judge, former host of the nationally syndicated court show Judge Alex, and legal commentator on Fox News, CNN, Headline News, and MSNBC. Read full bio.

    • Cynthia Hudson, A.B. ’85, M.A. ’97
      Senior vice president and managing director, CNN en Español and Hispanic strategy for CNN/U.S. Read full bio.

    • Chuck Todd, HON. ’14
      Political director, NBC News, moderator, NBC’s Meet the Press, and host, MSNBC’s MTP Daily. Read full bio.

    • Maribel Perez Wadsworth, B.S.C. ’93
      President, News at Gannett Media, and publisher, USA TODAY. Read full bio.

    Jackie Nespral, A.B. '89 Emmy Award-winning journalist. Co-anchor of NBC 6 News and hosts Impact, a locally produced, half-hour show dedicated to politics and current events. Read full bio.

  • Previous Speakers

    • 2015 – Neri Karra, B.B.A. ’99, Founder, CEO, and Creative Director of Neri Karra, Inc.
    • 2015 – Sam Daley-Harris, BM '69, MM '75    
    • 2014 – Herbert Rosenfeld, B.Ed. '62 
    • 2010 - Joseph J. Echevarria Jr., B.B.A. '78, Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte Services, LP
    • 2008 - T. Kendall "Ken" Hunt, B.B.A. '65; Founder, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, VASCO Data Security International, Inc.
    • 2008 - Matt Rubel, M.B.A. '80; Former Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Collective Brands, Incorporated
    • 2006 - Hal Rosenbluth, B.G.S. '74; Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board Take Care Health Systems
    • 2005 - Jack Creighton, M.B.A. '66; former Chief Executive Officer for Weyerhaeuser Company and United Airlines
    • 2002 - Barry Richard, A.B. '64, J.D. '67; Litigation Partner, Greenberg Traurig, P.A.           
    • 2000 - Barbara Milo Ohrbach; '61, Author
    • 1998 - Lari White, B.M. '88; Singer, Songwriter & Lecturer
    • 1997 - Stephen J. Dresnick, M.D. '75; President, C.E.O. & Chairman of the Board, Sterling Healthcare Group, Inc.
    • 1997 - Dawnn Lewis, B.M. '82; Actress, Singer, & Lecturer
    • 1995 - Michael R. Klein, Esq., B.B.A. '63, J.D. '66; Partner, Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering