Past Recipients

2021 Recipient

A former U.S. ambassador to Iceland, Charles “Chuck” Cobb is a deeply committed member and former Chair of the University of Miami Board of Trustees. In fact, he has been the chairman, vice chairman, or past chairman of the UM Board for over 35 years, and he was one of the trustees on the search committee that selected our fourth president, Edward T. Foote, and brought the Foote family to Miami.

In Tad Foote, Ambassador Cobb noted one key quality that the board sought in selecting the president: to be a “leader of change.” The willingness to think differently in order to make a difference is something the Footes have in common with the Cobbs.

Throughout his career in community development and international trade policy, Ambassador Cobb has been forward-thinking, and as a leader at the University he has embraced the importance of landscaping and campus beautification in making our campus environment inviting and sustainable. Ambassador Cobb’s selection for the Bosey Foote Prize captures how steadfast dedication to service can have a lasting impact.

The other recipient of this year’s prize embodies the exciting future of our involvement in caring for the planet we all share. Our student recipient is junior Sofia Mesa, chair of Student Government’s ECO Agency and sustainability director of UThrift, our campus’ thrift swap, which aims to mitigate fast fashion’s environmental footprint as well as redistribute access to high quality goods to all members of the campus community.

In addition to her schoolwork, Sofia works part time as the internship director at Debris Free, a local nonprofit dedicated to making Miami a zero-waste city. Double majoring in English and ecosystem science and policy on the pre-law track, Sofia is a leader and change-maker supporting education and policy for a more environmentally sustainable planet.

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2020 Recipient

On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day—a call to action for the protection of our environment, which was inspired by student activism and unity around shared ideals—President Frenk announced the 2020 winners of the Roberta “Bosey” Fulbright Foote Prize. For the first time, we had two winners, a group and an individual. The group, consisting of Melissa Thomas, Hillary Keys, Gina Allen MBA ‘87, and Ross McCluney PhD ’73, led teach-ins to educate the University community on environmental matters and buried a time capsule on the first Earth Day. The individual, junior Delaney Reynolds, was recently recognized among global young activists in National Geographic magazine. They beautifully demonstrate the vision and spirit of service that ’Canes have in common across generations.

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2019 Recipient

Teddy Lhoutellier, the sustainability manager at the University of Miami was honored with the Roberta “Bosey” Fulbright Foote Prize for improving the environment, reducing waste, and inspiring others to join the U’s sustainability efforts. During his time at the U, Lhoutellier has been part of a myriad of initiatives including promoting waste reduction practices and helping install solar systems on campus.

“One of his most significant achievements this past year has been the implementation of the UM Sustainability Action Plan,” UM President Julio Frenk said in presenting Lhoutellier the award named for UM’s former first lady who spearheaded the Coral Gables campus’ beautification. “Thanks to his efforts, UM is on track to meet our current emission reduction goal. This is a key part of our Roadmap to Our New Century—our strategic plan for the centennial of the University.”

Prior to working at the University of Miami, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from Florida International University with a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies - Energy Policy. He spent four years as an Outreach Coordinator for a Miami based Solar Panels Distributor, and throughout his career as an instructor, he has always pushed his students to get involved and participate in community projects. Lhoutellier is an active member of many environmental organizations in Miami Dade, and tries to help volunteering with his two daughters every time he can.

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2018 Recipient

A trailblazing team of environmentalists, united in their passion to raise green consciousness and promote green habits and choices, was named the winner of the 2018 Roberta “Bosey” Fulbright Foote Prize.

“We’re grateful for your environmental stewardship and commitment to maintaining the natural beauty of our campus,” said UM President Julio Frenk, in listing the range of initiatives—improved recycling signage, solar panels for UM buildings and solar umbrellas that can generate power, among others—that the student organization has spearheaded.

The Energy and Conservation Organization, or ECO Agency, is composed of 12 students, and is supported by a wider circle, the Green Committee, that together promote green habits and further awareness of environmentally friendly practices. The agency, founded in 2012, is apportioned funding through the student activities fee.

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2017 Recipient

Stephen D. Pearson, director of the John C. Gifford Arboretum, was the inaugural recipient of the Roberta “Bosey” Fulbright Foote Prize. Over the years, Pearson helped start the Tropical Flowering Tree Society and served as president of the Friends of Chapman Field. For the last 24 years, he has been a member of the board of directors of the Montgomery Botanical Center. As Chairman of the City of Miami’s Beautification Committee, he led volunteers in planting flowering and native trees along I-95 and other highways in the early 1990’s. He has been honored with the Outstanding Volunteer Award from the Florida Urban Forestry Council and the National Outstanding Volunteer Award from American Forests and the National Urban Forestry Council.

Through his enthusiasm for preserving the history of our community’s natural environment, Pearson has created a peaceful oasis for meditation and relaxation on our campus. With a diverse and unusual collection of over 450 trees that spans every continent except Antarctica, the Gifford Arboretum is also a valuable tool for education and research.

“Real estate and business law was my profession, but horticulture and plants were my vocation,” says Pearson, who worked as a lawyer for most of his career.