The readers’ forum

Creating the Miami of tomorrow through philanthropy


Herbert Wertheim’s recent $10 million donation to Florida International University’s college of nursing and health sciences to honor his wife Nicole, combined with his $20 million donation to the school of medicine, are important contributions towards improving our community’s health and wellness. Mr. Wertheim’s generosity is also another symbol of Miami’s coming of age as a philanthropic-minded city.

Major gifts to our universities, arts and cultural centers and many nonprofit organizations in recent years have sent a clear signal to the nation and to the next generation of donors here in South Florida that Miami’s most fortunate residents are enthusiastic about giving back. In some cases, these gifts have made possible the development of entirely new educational programs, community outreach initiatives and cultural venues.

We are experiencing the impact of private philanthropy first-hand here at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, where we are moving forward with the construction of our new state-of-the-art home in Museum Park thanks to a $35 million commitment from Patricia and Phillip Frost. This generous gift, combined with public funding, has made construction of this significant new museum possible.

Dr. and Mrs. Frost are helping to foster a culture of giving in South Florida, having donated tens of millions of dollars to organizations as varied as the University of Miami Frost School of Music and Florida International University’s Frost Art Museum, among others. Their generosity, like that of their fellow philanthropists, will have a lasting impact on our community for generations to come.

The leaders of Miami’s philanthropic and civic communities are hopeful that others will follow in the footsteps of Mr. and Mrs. Wertheim, Dr. and Mrs. Frost and others. We could not create the Miami of tomorrow without their great generosity.

Gillian Thomas,

president and CEO,

Miami Science Museum

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