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MDC Entrusted with Preserving Florida’s History...Major Donation will Support the Effort

Archive art

Miami, March 25, 2009 - The renowned Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archive, Inc. has been donated to Miami Dade College (MDC) by the Wolfson family. Lynn Wolfson and MDC President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, recently signed an agreement transferring the archive to the College in February, establishing the new Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archive Media Center (Media Center) at the College for the collection and preservation of Florida film and video material. Mrs. Wolfson and the Mitchell Wolfson, Sr. Foundation have also contributed $7 million, including matching funds, to maintain and grow the new Media Center. In addition, Mrs. Wolfson has donated an additional $2 million, which also includes matching funds, toward the construction of the facility.  

“Miami Dade College operates other world-class programs relating to the media and film with strong ties to its academics such as the Miami International Film Festival, the School of Entertainment and Design Technology, the Tower Theater, and Miami Book Fair International,” said Lynn Wolfson. “These funds will allow the Center to expand its capacity to preserve historically important film and video from around Florida and to preserve our heritage for future generations to better understand their past.”

“Once again we see proof that good stewardship is alive and well in Miami-Dade County. On behalf of our nearly 170,000 students, who will benefit immensely from this gift, I thank Lynn Wolfson and family for this extraordinary contribution that will keep giving for years to come,” stated Dr. Padrón. “Film is one of those great sectors in our community identified by the experts as still having great growth potential in the region and this gift positions MDC at the cutting edge of this field. The donation of the archives and the establishment of the Media Center also complement many of the great things the college’s faculty and administration are already doing in this industry.”

Lynn Wolfson helped found the Moving Image Archives in 1984, along with Ralph Renick and historian Arva Moore Parks. The Wolfson Archive, named in honor of Lynn and the late Louis Wolfson II, a leader in Florida’s communications industry, was created under the joint sponsorship of the Miami-Dade Public Library System, Miami Dade College, and the University of Miami. The Archive has been collecting, preserving, and making accessible film and video materials made in or about Florida beginning with an initial contribution by Miami broadcast journalism pioneer Ralph Renick of film and video materials produced by WTVJ since its beginning in 1949. The Archive contains millions of feet of film and thousands of hours of videotape, spanning over nine decades of Florida’s past. These materials document the issues and events that have shaped the history and culture of the State of Florida. The Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archive, Inc. has donated to Miami Dade College all of its rights, title and interest in and to the Archive.

Louis Wolfson II presided over the television and cable division of Wometco Enterprises prior to its sale in 1983. All original footage in the Moving Image Archive was contributed by WTVJ, the flagship station of Wometco Enterprises.

The Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Moving Image Archive Media Center will now be a unit of the college, similar to the Miami Book Fair International and Miami International Film Festival. The purpose of this organizational structure is to ensure the Media Center a place in the college’s interdisciplinary research, educational, and scholarly activities.  The mission of the Media Center is to provide educational opportunities and training for students in the preservation and use of the Media Material, while preserving the Media Material with any additional moving image video or film acquired by the Media Center.  The archive material at the Media Center will be made available to the public and students.

The Media Center will also use its reasonable best efforts to generate revenue from licenses, research fees, grants and similar sources.  All revenue generated by the Media Center will be dedicated to Media Center operations.

The Media Center is presently located at the Main Library of the Miami-Dade County Public Library System in downtown Miami. It will eventually be housed at a state-of-the-art facility in a new building to be constructed on MDC’s Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami.  In the interim, the Media Center will continue operating at its current location in the Miami-Dade County Public Library.

Last October, in what is one of the largest single gifts ever made to MDC, the Mitchell Wolfson, Sr. Foundation donated nearly $11 million to the college to address the region’s nursing shortage. The donation, which included matching funds, is aimed, in large part, at increasing the number of nurses who are trained at the college and placed into the local workforce. 

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611, jmendiet@mdc.edu, MDC communications director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710, sue.arrowsmith@mdc.edu, media specialist
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359, tcarroll@mdc.edu, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482, arios1@mdc.edu




Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
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