Alumnus Delivers Inspiring Speech

Frank Jimenez Frank Jimenez
Frank R. Jimenez, B.S. '87, addressing graduates at the 2018 Spring Commencement.

Frank R. Jimenez, B.S. '87, President of the University of Miami Alumni Association, first to deliver the commencement keynote address.

Frank R. Jimenez, B.S. '87, delivered the keynote speech at the 5 p.m. 2018 University of Miami Undergraduate Degree Ceremony on Friday, May 11 for the Miami Herbert Business School and the College of Engineering.

Jimenez is the first President of the University of Miami Alumni Association selected to deliver the keynote, opening his inspiring speech with a nostalgic look back at the 10-meter diving platform at the UC Pool; "Jumping is better than failing!" Jimenez shared a personal story with the graduates about having the courage to take risks.

“We weren’t reckless,” said Jimenez. “We didn’t run to the edge—we walked. We didn’t dive head-first. We jumped feet-first…But we jumped. And so should you! Not from the 10-meter platform, but from your place of comfort, when the time comes.”

The son of Cuban immigrants, Frank R. Jimenez thought with little enthusiasm about going to medical school while pursuing a biology degree from the University of Miami in 1987. Instead, he found his calling in law. And what a legal career he has had.

Jimenez, who earned his law degree from Yale Law School in 1991, held a clerkship for a federal judge in California, was a litigation partner in a Miami law firm, served as deputy chief of staff and acting general counsel for former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, chief of staff for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under Secretary Mel Martinez, and in 2004 as the 21st general counsel of the U.S. Navy at the Pentagon, the chief legal officer of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, where he managed more than 600 attorneys worldwide and helped to oversee the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Jimenez is vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary of Raytheon Company, a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government, and cybersecurity solutions with 64,000 employees and sales in 2017 of $25 billion.

Last June Jimenez began a two-year term as president of the University of Miami Alumni Association, and as a UM trustee.