March 2012

Ferraris Endow
Humanities Symposia

Linda and Bernie Ferrari

University Trustee Bernard (Bernie) T. Ferrari ’70, ’74M (MD) and his wife, Linda Gaddis Ferrari, have established the Ferrari Humanities Symposia. Their support endows a yearly symposium and related curricula―intended to explore collaborations between the arts and sciences―and furthers The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester.

Throughout his education, courses in the humanities complemented Bernie’s studies in science and medicine, offering him a balanced education and perspective on life. “The study of the humanities provides people with the ability to better appreciate beauty, and better appreciate life,” said Bernie. The arts first captured Bernie’s interest as an undergraduate, through a course on Medieval and Renaissance-era architecture and art. Those formative years began a long-standing appreciation of the arts, particularly for paintings from the Italian Renaissance period. With an emphasis on that era, the Ferrari Humanities Symposia aim to broaden and enrich the liberal arts education of undergraduates, enhance the experience of graduate students, and strengthen the connection between University faculty and scholars around the world.

“Through the Symposia we hope to create another opportunity for students at the University to study, appreciate, and reflect on an extraordinary piece of history,” said Bernie. “We are creating new collaborations for students in different academic disciplines.”

The Symposia's inaugural event begins with a visit and public talk by renowned historian and academic Anthony Grafton. His March 21 keynote lecture, titled “Maps of Time: Science, Scholarship, and History in Early Modern Europe,” will be open to the public in the Hawkins-Carlson Room of Rush Rhees Library.

President Joel Seligman acknowledged the Ferraris’ generosity and underscored the importance of their gift. “The vitality of the Arts and Humanities at our University is critical to all of our students and faculty, and the Ferraris’ support strengthens our ability to promote these ideals while expanding our connections in the community and with scholars from around the world.”

Bernie worked as chief operating officer of the Ochsner Clinic prior to his nearly 20-year career as the director of the medical practice and partner of McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm. Most recently he added author to his list of accomplishments, publishing Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All (Portfolio, 2012). Currently, he is a member of the Campaign Cabinet for The Meliora Challenge, serving as vice chair of the Campaign for New York. He is also a trustee of The Juilliard School in New York, a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Linda has a bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan University and earned her MBA at the Tulane University Freeman School of Business. Formerly a medical researcher and banker, she is a docent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Linda and Bernie are both Charter Members of the George Eastman Circle at the Founders level. 

For additional information about the Ferrari Humanities Symposia, click here.  


Values and Action

I am proud to share the news of our exceptional progress in this month’s Fast Forward. In this issue, two of the stories provide examples of strengthening the University’s core. The third is about our newest publication, Endeavor, dedicated to telling the story of The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester.

Our community of leaders continues to help Rochester advance through important scholarships and the new innovative Ferrari Humanities Symposia. Each new gift plays a role in supporting the development of new technologies, medical breakthroughs, scholarly endeavors, and business ventures. All of these help us carry out our mission to make the world ever better.

With shared vision, leadership, and talent, we are truly making a difference.  


James D. Thompson
Senior Vice President
Chief Advancement Officer

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Endeavor―Campaign News for the University of Rochester Community 

Endeavor, University Advancement’s new newsletter, is on its way to your mailbox. This printed publication is dedicated to telling the exciting stories of the impact that your generosity is having on the University community. Endeavor will share the voices of those who are making a difference because of philanthropic support, and highlight the volunteers whose selflessness is shaping the University of Rochester for the future.  

The first issue of Endeavor will feature faculty, students, schools, and units that exemplify the type of effects that gifts to The Meliora Challenge are having on the University and the people it serves. You will be able to read about the Rochester professor who created a multi-billion dollar industry, three scholarship students who represent the next generation of leaders in optics, nursing, and the arts, and how children will be the beneficiaries of the largest capital project in University history. 

Look for these stories and others to be delivered to you this month!

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Celebrating a Commitment

to Education 

The third annual Celebration of Scholarships dinner will take place on April 11 at the Memorial Art Gallery. The University-wide event will bring together endowed scholarship recipients and the donors who generously support their academic pursuits. Featured speakers will include President Joel Seligman, Board Chair Ed Hajim ’58, and Trustee and Co-Chair of the Scholarships Initiative for The Meliora Challenge, Nancy Lieberman ’77, as well as student speakers and performers.

Endowed scholarships are one of the highest priorities of The Meliora Challenge. These funds are paramount to the University’s ability to attract and retain the most promising and talented students, regardless of their financial capability. In addition to making a world-class education affordable, scholarships can help alleviate the burden of carrying significant student loans. This makes Rochester even more competitive among its peers, enhances student experiences while at the University, and helps shape a diverse learning community. Supporting endowed scholarships enables the University to educate the next generation of leaders and strengthen all of the areas we serve.

For information about establishing an endowed scholarship, please contact Jim Thompson, senior vice president and chief advancement officer, at (585) 273-2158 or

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