The Early Years

 Old Rathskeller

The University of Miami was chartered in 1925 and opened its doors fall of 1926.

By 1953 total enrollment stood at over 10,000 and increased to nearly 14,000 by 1962. New facilities and resources were added to keep pace with student enrollment as well as to increase the research strength of the institution. The campus began constructing a small student union in 1947.

The 1960’s

Logo 1965

Student Union     Memorial

To accommodate the increasing student body, that had outgrown the previous Student Union, the new Student Union opened in 1965. On April 15, 1966, Norman A. "Chink" Whitten, Director of Student Activities, died of a heart attack. Whitten was beloved by the students and they petitioned to change the name of the building to the Norman A. Whitten Memorial Student Union. Soon after the facility was renamed the Norman A. Whitten University Center.

The 1970’s

The 1970’s the UC, as it’s affectionately called, saw some additional changes and upgrades. The most well-known addition to the campus, the Rathskeller, opened its doors in 1972. Originally named Charles A. Gauthier Hall “Rathskeller”, in honor of the late Chairman of the Board of Trustees’ Subcommittee on Student Affairs, this on-campus restaurant quickly became a hot spot for students.

The 1980’s

Logo 1985

The ‘80’s saw further renovation and expansion of the Norman A. Whitten University Center. The renovated UC included an upgraded game room with billiards, table tennis, and a bowling alley.

The 1990’s

First computer lab on campus was located on the UC’s 2nd floor. Year? Was this the ’80’s?

The 2000’s

SCC Logo

During the five decades that the Whitten University Center has been in existence, the number of student organizations has increased from 120 to over 280. With this increase in student organizations the University saw the need for a larger student union.

A resolution passed by the University of Miami students in March 2006 allowed for additional fees to supplement construction, operation and maintenance of a new student center. The Student Center Complex was created to reflect the numerous student union facilities. A Student Center Complex Advisory Council (SCCAC) was established to include undergraduate, graduate, and law students to provide guidance in establishing policies for building use.

The 2010’s

SCC 50 Year

SC   U Statue

In June 2011, the Rathskeller was demolished to provide space for a new Student Center. During the construction, the Rathskeller was relocated the to the Lakeside Patio. The new Rathskeller, now housed in the Student Center, opened its doors in August 2013. To the best of our knowledge, the University of Miami Rathskeller is the largest college Rathskeller in the country and maybe the world.

The U Statue was unveiled in fall 2012. The U is the University of Miami’s iconic symbol and with its central location the statue has become the most popular spot on campus for photos. 

The Student Activities Center opened its door in August of 2013. Miami-based design firm Arquitectonica designed the building and Moss & Associates constructed the facility. 

A newly designed Hurricane Food Court and Faculty Club opened fall of 2015. The Faculty Club moved from its previous location at the Alumni House to be more centrally located at the UC.

The University Center celebrated 50 years on April 2015. It was now time to completely renovate the UC Pool. The pool reopened in February 2016.   

The University’s fifth president, Donna E. Shalala retired May 2015 and the Student Activities Center was renamed in her honor- the Donna E. Shalala Student Center.