National Geographic : 1950 Nov
566 Miami News Bureau Bayfront Park's New $80,000 Band Shell Creates the Illusion of a Giant Sea Shell The stage accommodates 200 performers; the orchestra pit, 150 musicians; outdoor seats hold 10,000 persons. Gunite, a cement and sand mixture, covers the steel frame with a smooth, white finish (page 583). One wing of the new Merrick Building houses the art galleries, where the Art De partment presents frequent showings of loan collections (page 570). I saw a representative group of contemporary American paintings lent by the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and other well known galleries. The University is keenly aware of its proximity to Latin America. Its closest big college and friendly neighbor, even closer than the University of Florida at Gainesville, is Cuba's venerable University of Havana. More than 140 students from Latin Amer ica and two score from Puerto Rico are en rolled at Miami. Intellectually and socially, these boys and girls fit well into the student body from the time of their arrival. At first they naturally tend to clique in a language group, but as they learn to speak English they engage in their share of campus activities. The University's Hispanic-American Insti tute is well known for its published Hispanic American Studies. Inquiries from other uni versities are numerous and include two re ceived on the same day from such distant points as Wellington, New Zealand, and Tomsk, Siberia. Institute lecturers include prominent South American educators. The University of Miami boasts the first endowed chair of Human Relations in the country, and it also was the first school to offer a course in Human Relations as an undergraduate major. The chair was estab lished by Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin E. Bronston, of Miami Beach. The students plunge into discussions of dynamite-laden situations and let off steam by engaging in practical ventures, such as raising eight tons of food and clothing as Christmas gifts last year for two-thirds of Florida's Seminole Indians. Their approach to social problems, however, is that of students and learners, not reformers. Books by the Truckload Nothing better illustrates the rapid growth of the University of Miami than the upbuild ing of its library. In 1940 volumes numbered 53,861. Five years later the figure had grown to 85,545. Today books total a quarter of a million on a wide variety of subjects. While I was making this survey, the librar ians were awaiting a shipment of 33,000 volumes purchased from a Boston bookstore. This will be the last general consignment bought, since any more large orders doubtless would contain too many duplicates.