The What Matters to U Agency (WMTU) is the newest addition to the Student Government family. Created in the Spring of 2019, WMTU strives to engage the entire student body.  

At its core, the purpose of WMTU is to devise, plan and execute events that will appeal to multiple facets of the student population at the University of Miami. Our flagship event – What Matters To U – is a moderated discussion series that does just that. WMTU aims to listen to the campus community and turn feedback into engaging events.

Mitchell Kaplan Banner

What Matters to U Presents: Mitchell Kaplan

Thursday, April 22nd, 2021



Mitchell Kaplan, a native of Miami Beach, opened the first Books & Books in 1982 in Coral Gables, Florida.  Now with five South Florida locations, Books & Books hosts over 400 events per year.  In addition, two of the stores are home to well-established cafes and there are Books & Books affiliated stores at the Miami International Airport, and in Key West, where he collaborates with the noted author Judy Blume and her husband, George.  Among his honors, Mitchell served as president of the American Booksellers Association and he received the Literarian Award from the National Book Foundation.  Books & Books was also Publishers Weekly’s bookstore of the year.

As co-founder of the Miami Book Fair in 1985, Mitchell has served as the chairperson of its Board of Directors and continues to guide the programming team at the Fair which takes place on the campus of Miami Dade College in the heart of downtown Miami. Each year the Fair presents close to 500 authors over one week in November, along with a street festival, where bookstalls line the streets adjacent to the campus. Programs take place in Creole, Spanish and English, reflecting the diversity of Miami.

Mitchell, with his partner Paula Mazur, established The Mazur Kaplan Company to bring books to the screen, both film and television.  His most recent release is Let Him Go starring Diane Lane and Kevin Costner.

Mitchell also hosts the podcast The Literary Life with Mitchell Kaplan, broadcast from Miami, where he lives with his wife, Rachelle.  They have three children, Anya, Daniel and Jonah.