In recognition of the $32 million collection of rare films and television programs that he recently donated to the University of Miami’s School of Communication, successful entrepreneur and philanthropist Norton Herrick received the UM President’s Medal on May 24 during a private ceremony and luncheon on the Coral Gables campus.
With Herrick’s family and friends looking on, UM President Donna E. Shalala awarded the medal to him during the ceremony held in her boardroom, saying that the collection he donated “will assure that wide audiences of movie lovers and scholars alike will have access to this treasure of rare and classic” moving image materials.
The Herrick collection includes approximately 3,500 high-quality films in two formats from the golden age of moving pictures, spanning the 1930s though the 1970s. Some of the rare films include early silent films featuring Hollywood stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Mack Sennett’s The Keystone Cops. Among the animated features are early Betty Boop, Felix the Cat, and Bosko cartoons. The Golden Age of television is also represented in the collection, including programs such as This Is Your Life, The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show, and The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show.
Noting the rare and unusual film and television titles in the collection, School of Communication Dean Sam L Grogg, who attended the medal ceremony, said his school’s “faculty and students will eagerly mine this treasure trove of cinematic history and popular culture.”
During the presentation, Shalala said Herrick, who is chair of Herrick Entertainment, a motion picture and theatrical production and financing company, recognizes the historical and cultural legacy motion pictures capture and preserve.
“Whether in black and white or vivid Technicolor, motion pictures have the power to entertain and educate,” Shalala said. “Mr. Herrick will make both possible through his generous donation.”