University of Miami alumnus Gary Shaw, B.Ed. ’69, has been hard at work giving back and helping others since relocating to South Florida from his hometown of Wayne, New Jersey.
From supporting the Sports Ethics Debate program to lecturing and inspiring students at the School of Education and Human Development, Shaw’s dedication to the U is unwavering. “For me, it’s about the U first,” said Shaw, a former boxing promoter. “They gave me an opportunity in life, and I want to give back.”
Helping out during these trying times is no exception. In an effort to support the nurses and doctors at the University of Miami Health System who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, Shaw began providing items that may be hard to come by.
On April 8, Shaw and his wife Judy delivered 150 face shields, which add an extra layer of protection for first responders, to The Lennar Foundation Medical Center. On April 15, he delivered an additional 50 shields, this time with the U insignia, to Dr. Laura Kohn-Wood, dean of the School of Education and Human Development.
But Shaw’s support for his South Florida community doesn’t stop there. He also donated shields to the Miami Police Department, which inspired his grandson to use the money he had saved from his allowance to buy shields for the police in Bridgewater, New Jersey.
And hoping to provide a positive outlet for residents locked at home for weeks, he organized and runs a balcony concert series in his Edgewater community. Various acts perform from the pool deck while people watch and dance from their balconies.
Still, he doesn’t want the credit. “The story is not about Gary Shaw,” he said. “It’s the story of a pandemic, and an alumnus trying to do whatever he can to help – both at the U and in the community. I enjoy giving back more than I enjoy receiving.”
His message to first responders? “We're here for you, we appreciate you, we love you.”