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Celebrating a Legacy of Excellence: A Tribute to Murray I. Mantell, PhD

On Wednesday, April 12, more than 100 students, alumni and faculty gathered at the Newman Alumni Center Multipurpose Room to honor Murray I. Mantell, PhD, professor emeritus and founding chair of the Department of Civil Engineering. This event was part of the CoE’s yearlong 70th Anniversary celebrations and has so far raised more than $30,000 for the Murray I. Mantell Endowed Scholarship.

The Murray I. Mantell Scholarship provides support to students majoring in engineering who have demonstrated academic achievement, a strong extracurricular activities record and need. Priority is given to juniors and seniors. Recipients of the Mantell Scholarship have proudly continued the legacy of excellence, dedication and ethics Mantell established. The College of Engineering is deeply honored and grateful for his service and leadership.

Mantell has made a huge impact on the College – as the founding chair of the Department of Civil Engineering, as a beloved professor who challenged students’ minds and instilled professionalism in them during his 57 years, and as a scholarship donor. Mantell also had a positive impact on our South Florida community and the engineering profession around the world – as an active citizen, an author, a mentor and a leader in professional societies. He embodies the CoE’s mission of transforming lives. And this year, he will be celebrating his 100th birthday!

Mantell attended UM from 1935 to 1938 as a physics major, ultimately leaving because UM did not offer an engineering degree at the time. He went on to the University of Florida, where he earned a BS in mechanical engineering and a Master of Engineering. From there, he earned a diploma in naval architecture from The Citadel, his MS in Civil Engineering from the University of Southern California and his PhD from the University of Texas.

In 1946, Mantell returned to the U as a faculty member in the Department of Engineering Science, when it was still under the jurisdiction of the College of Arts and Sciences. In 1948, he became founding chair of the civil engineering department, a role he held through 1974, and again from 1982 to 1983. In 1982, as Mantell prepared to retire, the Murray I. Mantell Scholarship for UM students majoring in engineering was established to honor him for his distinguished service to the College. On the basis of initial pledges of $50,000 made to the University in his name, Mantell was inducted as a University Founder in the spring of 1983.

For information about the Murray I. Mantell Endowed Scholarship, please contact Bronwyn Mills at (305) 284-1068 or Please click here to view the honorary video produced by the College of Engineering, which was showcased at the event.

Photo Caption: Dr. Murray Mantell addresses guests who gathered in his honor at the April 12 luncheon held at the Robert and Judi Prokop Newman Alumni Center.  This event is one in a series to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the University of Miami College of Engineering.

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