August 2012

Championing the Campaign for Simon

Simon School's Schlegel Hall

Dedicated members of the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration community Ron Fielding ’73 (MA), ’76S (MBA), Dan Lazarek ’91S (MBA), Joe Abrams ’74S (MBA) and Patricia Abrams, and Life Trustee James Gleason ’68S (MBA) recently provided a strong example of “giving back.” In addition to previous generosity, pledging these major gifts totaling nearly $7 million is helping to support three strategic initiatives for the Simon School’s campaign: faculty, students, and entrepreneurship. Advancing these initiatives, in conjunction with “program innovation” and “investment in facilities,” is how Simon is supporting The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester.

“We are very grateful to Ron Fielding, Dan Lazarek, Joe and Pat Abrams, and Jim Gleason for their generosity,” said Mark Zupan, dean of the Simon School. “Their support will help us to enhance our programs, attract and retain members of our renowned faculty, and make a Simon education possible for more students.”

Active alumnus and generous benefactor Ron Fielding pledged $5 million in scholarship support. Retired, after working more than 25 years in the municipal bond industry, Fielding has been a frequent and valuable guest lecturer. “I am happy to share the fruits of my business success with the Simon School, which helped me to bridge economic theory with business realities, giving me the ideal preparation to start and succeed at my own business,” said Fielding. Including his previous gifts, Fielding has now given more than $7 million in total scholarship support.

As a longtime member of the Simon School Executive Advisory Committee and National Council, Fielding provides guidance and leadership to Dean Zupan and senior administrators of the Simon School. He is also a George Eastman Circle Member at the Benefactor level.

Dan Lazarek, also a member of the Simon School Executive Advisory Committee and National Council, committed $1 million to support the student-run Simon School Venture Capital (VC) Fund. Lazarek is COO, CFO and co-founder of Access Insurance Holdings, Inc., one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the US; he also participated as a judge for the finals of this year’s Mark Ain Business Model Workshop and Competition. Dan is a Charter Member of the George Eastman Circle at the Benefactor level.

Joe Abrams and his wife, Patricia, pledged $750,000 to the Joseph and Patricia Abrams Endowed Fund for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Simon School. The Abrams’ gift supports positions promoting entrepreneurship or innovation. At the same time, the Abramses made a second commitment of $250,000 to the Abrams Family Fund for Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy Research at the University of Rochester Medical Center. They are Charter Members of the George Eastman Circle at the Benefactor level. Mr. Abrams is a member of the Simon School Executive Advisory Committee and National Council.

James Gleason, chairman of the board of Gleason Corporation and chairman of the Gleason Foundation, committed $150,000 for Simon School scholarships and faculty support. Gleason’s long-standing support enabled the construction of James S. Gleason Hall in 2001 and the significant expansion of the Career Management Center. He is also a longtime member of the Simon School Executive Advisory Committee.

The Simon School has now surpassed $55 million in pursuit of its $85 million goal for The Meliora Challenge. These gifts ensure that the Simon School has the resources to recruit talented students, faculty, and intellectual leaders and continue to grow and compete with the best, for years to come. 

To learn more about these gifts to the Simon School, click here.


Values and Action

The difference between current success and ongoing success is long-term focus and adaptation. As my father always said, change is the first law of the universe. Nothing stays the same. Our aspirations inspire development and innovation in ourselves and the world around us. This restlessness exemplifies the Meliora spirit.

To ensure we stay at the forefront of all fields of our endeavors, we need to always be improving or, as we say at Rochester, be "ever better." If we are to build on the tremendous results of the last fiscal year, we must continue to approach our Campaign with a willingness to do things the hard way; the rigorous way; the Rochester way.

In this issue of Fast Forward we recognize individuals who are helping us sustain our progress through leadership and philanthropy. Their commitment and generosity to the University have enabled us to stay competitive with our peers and connect with our alumni and friends across the country. As we move forward, our Community of Leaders continues to be our greatest source of strength, focus, and embodiment of what it means to be "ever better."


James D. Thompson
Senior Vice President
Chief Advancement Officer

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Regional Cabinets:
Building a National Network

Delaware Valley Regional Cabinet member Mark Garrison ’78, ’79S (MBA), P'11, P'16 at the Cabinet’s first annual dinner in Philadelphia

Regional Cabinets, a key University volunteer structure, are playing an integral role in The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester. By helping to energize and engage alumni, parents, and friends of the University in their areas, Regional Cabinets are critical to making The Meliora Challenge a national campaign. Each Cabinet is composed of 15–20 individuals who have leadership roles within their community and have shown exemplary commitment to the future of the University. Here is a brief overview of Regional Cabinet activity from the first half of 2012: 

Inaugural Meetings

In these operational meetings Senior Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer Jim Thompson stressed the Cabinets’ importance and the impact they can have on the University community in their areas. Discussion focused on the strengths of the area and how members can use them, as well as their passions, to increase the University’s regional presence through their individual efforts.

January 31—Northern New Jersey, Co-Chaired by Trustee Janice Willett ’78S (MBA) and Joseph Willett ’75S (MBA); Members: Jeffrey Baumel ’80, P’15, Ellie Bertin-Colucci ’82N, Nicholas Colucci ’81, Stephen Givant ’81, Elizabeth Jennison ’83, ’87M (MD), ’88M (Res), J. Peter Simon ’08S (LLD), Thomas Uhlman ’68, Robin Wentworth P’11, Timothy Wentworth P’11, and Ruth Zowader ’70, P’06, P’11

April 18—Texas, Chaired by Karen H. Brown ’61, ’72 (PhD), P’92; Vice-Chair, Houston, Philip Fraher ’93S (MBA); Vice-Chair, Austin/San Antonio, James Goral ’71, ’75M (MS), ’76M (MD); Members: Bobbe Barnes ’67, Gary Bischoping ’97S (MBA), James Cox ’64M (MD), Life Trustee Bruce Crockett ’66, Michael Durham ’73, Gerardo Flores ’92S (MBA), Charles Groat ’62, David Heller ’83E (MM), ’86E (DMA), Nicholas Jenkins ’81, ’89S (MBA), William Lasher ’66, Eric Lestin ’72, Peter Mann ’88, Frank Monachelli ’94, ’95S (MBA), Mark Osman ’63, Robert Potter ’57 (MA), ’60 (PhD), Stephen Shepard ’78S (MBA), Joseph Smith ’72, Gary Walter ’72, and B. Ann Wright ’63, ’66 (MA), ’77 (PhD)

June 28—New York City, Chaired by Trustee Bernard (Bernie) T. Ferrari ’70, ’74M (MD); Members: Neil Augustine ’88, ’89S (MBA), Daniel Cantor ’81, Irwin Engelman, Rosalyn Engelman ’78 (MS), Mark Gabrellian ’79, Michael Lax ’75, Leslie Spira Lopez ’77, Arthur Miller ’56, ’08 (LLD), Jack Rowe ’70M (MD), ’02M (ScD), P’93, Barry Swidler ’77, P’05, and Tyler Zachem ’88

First Annual Dinners

The following Cabinets hosted alumni, parents, and friends of the University from their area to celebrate the University and its connections in the region. Dinner guests received a University update from President Joel Seligman and enjoyed vocal performances from University of Rochester students.

May 4—Delaware Valley, Chaired by Joseph Serletti ’82M (MD), ’88M (Res)
June 19—Westchester-Fairfield Counties, Chaired by Mark Camel ’77

Additionally, the University recently celebrated the launch of its first regional campaign thanks to the leadership of the San Francisco Bay Regional Cabinet and campaign Co-Chairs Trustee Carol Karp ’74, P’11 and Joe Abrams ’74S (MBA), P’02. In late September, the University plans to launch its second regional campaign in Chicago; Boston’s campaign is scheduled to be launched the following month, in October.

Since January 2010, 11 Regional Cabinets have been formed, with a combined total of more than 150 members. Ongoing outreach activities foster continuous growth in the Regional Cabinet network. A 12th Cabinet will be launched in San Diego in early 2013.

To see photos of Regional Cabinet members, click here.

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Meliora Weekend Spotlight

Dandelion Square

Rochester’s 12th Meliora Weekend will be taking place October 11–14. Each year, the weekend provides the University community with a diverse array of more than 200 programs. Representing every aspect of Rochester’s mission to Learn, Discover, Heal, Create—and make the world ever better, programming includes panels and lectures, reunions and open houses, sporting events, musical performances, art exhibits, and more. The following programs are among the many other exciting and engaging programs this year's line-up has to offer:

Presidential Symposium: The Humanities, Artistic Expression, and the Digital Age: Innovation and Opportunities. The Presidential Symposium brings together distinguished professionals from a specific field, for spirited debate and discussion on topical issues. This year’s panelists include Tod Machover, Muriel R. Cooper Professor of Music and Media at the MIT Media Lab and director of the Lab’s Hyperinstruments and Opera of the Future Groups; Katherine Hayles, professor and director of graduate studies in the Program in Literature at Duke University; and Stanley Fish, Davidson-Kahn Distinguished University Professor of Humanities and Law at Florida International University. University Trustee Hugo Sonnenschein ’61, president emeritus and distinguished service professor at the University of Chicago, will moderate.

Protecting America: A View from the Commander, Naval Special Warfare (SEALs). Several programs throughout the weekend provide opportunities to learn from faculty and alumni. “Protecting America” offers a distinctive experience through a behind-the-scenes look into the lives of the men and women defending our country. We are privileged to have Rear Admiral Sean A. Pybus ’79, a career naval special warfare SEAL officer, share his perspective on the contributions of the U.S. Navy and the Navy SEALs in today’s complex, national security environment. He will also talk about the qualities and roles of America’s Special Operations Forces and the challenges they face moving forward. Attendees are encouraged to stay for the question and answer period following his remarks.

Medicine, Technology, and Innovation Luncheon. Biotechnology and biomedicine are incurring dramatic changes in today’s ever-evolving world. In this luncheon discussion, University of Rochester faculty and students will share insights on medical device technology, biomarkers and other early-detection and diagnostic tools, as well as treatment, enhancements to noninvasive procedures, and tissue engineering. Participants include Robert L. Clark, dean of Edmund A. Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and interim senior vice president of research; Amy Lerner, associate professor of biomedical engineering; Ankur Chandra, assistant professor of vascular surgery; and Rachel Rakvica, one of the first graduates of the new medical technology innovation master’s program.

To see photos of the speakers, click here.

For more information on Meliora Weekend programming, click here.

The Eastman School of Music will be holding its biennial Eastman Weekend concurrently with Meliora Weekend. Programming will include recognition of the 1961-62 Eastman Philharmonia European Tour and a tribute to Eastman’s legendary jazz professor and renowned arranger, Rayburn Wright.

Registration for these and other events begins this month. Watch your mail; registration materials will be coming to your home soon.

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