May 2012

Simon Addresses Economic Risk at 2012 New York City Conference

Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman and CEO of General Electric, at the Simon NYC Conference

Despite showing signs of growing strength, the economy is not free from risk, and there are a multitude of factors to be considered in its management. The William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Rochester assembled prominent industry executives, government officials, and preeminent faculty to speak on these points at the third annual Simon New York City Conference. The May 3 conference, which took place at the Grand Hyatt, was titled “Economic Action and the Management of Risk” and addressed global economic policies and their impact on the marketplace.

“This is an invaluable opportunity to learn from some of the most intelligent minds in business today,” said Mark Zupan, dean of the Simon School. “We have created a forum where the exchange of ideas and discussion of pressing issues become the foundation for tomorrow’s regulations and policies. Simon is committed to leading the discourse on the rising challenges in business and the global market.”

In an interview conducted by University Trustee Bernie Ferrari ’70, ’74M (MD), chairman and founder of Ferrari Consultancy LLC and author of Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All, Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and CEO of General Electric, spoke on the worldwide impact of emerging industries. Larry Kudlow ’69, host of CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report,” was also a featured speaker at the event.

Doug Petno ’89S (MBA), CEO of commercial banking for JPMorgan Chase & Co., conducted a question and answer session with Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, who then took live questions from the audience. Dimon was presented with the Simon School’s Executive of the Year Award in recognition of his leadership and central role during the financial crisis. The conference closed with President Barack Obama’s appointee to lead the consumer financial protection bureau, Richard Cordray, who discussed the role his organization will play in regulating and partnering with business. Throughout the conference, Simon School alumni and faculty were active participants as moderators and panelists.

Dean Zupan moderated an alumni panel focused on global issues. The panel was comprised of Mark Danchak ’94, ’99S (MBA), managing director of Harbinger Capital Partners; Saskia Kunst ’01S (MBA), director of corporate strategy and M&A for SBM Offshore NV; Sandeep Pahwa ’95S (MBA), vice chairman and head of investment banking in South East Asia for Barclays Capital; Michael Ryan ’81, ’84S (MBA), chief investment strategist of UBS Wealth Management Americas; and Guy Wyser-Pratte ’62, CEO of Wyser-Pratte Management Co., Inc.

The conference also featured an academic panel discussing the global economy moderated by Marlene Puffer ’87S (MS), ’93S (PhD). Panelists included Thomas Cooley, the Paganelli-Bull Professor of Economics and former dean of the NYU Stern School of Business; David Primo, associate professor of political science and business administration; Clifford Smith Jr., the Louise and Henry Epstein Professor of Business Administration and professor of finance and economics; and Jerold Zimmerman, the Ronald L. Bittner Professor of Business Administration and professor of accounting.

To view a photo gallery of the 2012 Simon NYC Conference, click here.


Values and Action

I continue to be inspired by the exceptional contributions and the growing engagement of the alumni, parents, and friends of our University. Having dedicated much of my life to Advancement, I have seen this type of transformation and it becomes a distinguishing characteristic of an institution. Together, as one engaged body of leaders, we must be a resounding example of the impact of philanthropy.

Our Regional Cabinets are critical building blocks for uniting our alumni, parents, and friends in each region. The San Francisco Bay Regional Cabinet was one of our first cabinets to assemble. This dedicated group of volunteers has instilled energy and enthusiasm within their community on behalf of the life-changing work of the University. In celebration of our success, we will kick off the San Francisco Bay Regional Campaign on June 5. I would like to thank our volunteers, including Charles Munnerlyn ’69 (PhD), inaugural chair of the San Francisco Bay Regional Cabinet, and Joe Abrams ’74S (MBA), P’02 and Carol Karp ’74, P’11 for serving as campaign co-chairs of The Meliora Challenge in the San Francisco Bay area.

Although enthusiastic about our continued momentum, I am saddened to share that we have recently lost one of the great pillars of our University and Medical Center who has been an example of dedication and distinguished leadership. Trustee Ernie Del Monte's life and work epitomized a commitment to improving the world around him. His support of the Medical Center will live on in perpetuity through the Ernest J. Del Monte Neuromedicine Institute and, most recently, the installation of Dr. Web Pilcher as the first Ernest and Thelma Del Monte Distinguished Professor in Neuromedicine. Ernie believed in the fundamental role of the University of Rochester in this community and beyond. His unwavering support and galvanizing vision have left a tremendous mark on our University and the lives of many. Our thoughts remain with his family and cherished friends who share our gratitude for his life and work as a member of the Rochester community.

At a time when we experience great loss, we must also remember our direction for the future. It is said that the greatest way to memorialize is to carry on living in the spirit of those who have passed on. Please click here to learn more about how Ernie’s philanthropy will continue to contribute to solving some of the most pressing medical challenges of our time.


James D. Thompson
Senior Vice President
Chief Advancement Officer

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Discovery Ball Honors Inspiration, Perpetuates Hope

On April 28, more than 860 guests filled the Empire Ballroom of the Rochester Riverside Convention Center for the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center’s 13th annual Discovery Ball. Within the room, each table held a basket containing unlit candles; each candle represented a potential pledge. By the night’s end, the room was aglow with candles, and more than $500,000 had been raised in support of life-saving cancer research and care. 

Cancer survivors and Co-Chairs Greg and Shari Smith helped organize an evening that honored inspiration and perpetuated hope. Throughout the evening, guests were treated to musical entertainment from various University performers. The Wilmot family shared their gratitude for guests’ continued support in the fight against cancer through a moving video address. In his remarks, President Joel Seligman highlighted the Wilmot’s unparalleled commitment in helping to create world-class cancer services for the Rochester community and Western New York Region. President Seligman also emphasized the need for continued community leadership to further advance the Cancer Center's leading-edge services and innovative research.

Megan MacKenzie ’84, a women’s sports pioneer, retired USA Hockey official, and this year’s Inspiration Award winner, provided context for the importance of President Seligman’s message. On the day of her mother’s funeral, Megan was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. Five days later, her father was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. At a time when most people would have been defeated, Megan exhibited extraordinary strength that has not relented. To date, she has raised more than $100,000 through local and national projects for the Comprehensive Breast Care Center at the Wilmot Cancer Center.

“The only way treatment has gotten better is through research,” said Megan. “And the only way we’re going to find a cure is through research and funding that research.”

Megan has become a source of strength to those fighting their own battles with breast cancer, and her story continues to inspire giving, which helps develop new treatments and cures for this terrible disease.

To see a short video on Megan’s story, click here.

To view photos of the 2012 Discovery Ball, click here.

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Eastman School Dean’s Medal Presented to Trustee Martin E. Messinger ’49

President Joel Seligman, Board Chair Ed Hajim ’58, Board Chair Emeritus Bob Witmer ’59, Board Chair Emeritus Bob Goergen ’60, and Trustee Marty Messinger ’49

Dedicated University benefactor and ardent supporter of the arts Martin “Marty” Messinger ’49 was recently recognized for his philanthropy and the profound impact he has had on the Eastman School of Music. On April 27, the Eastman School presented Marty Messinger with the Dean’s Medal, one of the highest honors given by the School.

At The Lotos Club in New York City, 75 guests—including family, friends, and members of the Eastman and University community—gathered to celebrate this honor and Marty’s commitment and contributions to the School. Board Chair Emeritus Bob Witmer ’59, and President Joel Seligman remarked upon the generosity and leadership Marty has shown over the last four decades and Eastman’s Senior Associate Dean for Professional Studies Ray Ricker ’73E (DMA) conveyed gratitude for Marty’s extraordinary service, philanthropy, and longtime partnership.

“His transformational generosity is truly an inspiration, reflecting the kind of involvement that will provide an important foundation of support for Eastman’s second century,” said Ricker. “On behalf of all of us at the Eastman School of Music, we are grateful for Marty’s exceptional leadership, loyal friendship, and outstanding commitment to empowering the Eastman Advantage.”

Entertainment for the evening was provided by three of Eastman’s own talented alumni: Christopher Ziemba ’08, ’11E (MM); David Baron ’10E; and Kevin McDonald ’10, ’10E.

Since joining Eastman’s Board of Managers, Marty has, with his late wife Joan, helped provide a new home for the Eastman Community Music School and established the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music Endowed Fund. This fund provides a permanent source of support for programming and areas of critical need for the dean of the Eastman School. Doug Lowry was recently installed as the first Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music.

Marty is managing director of Neuberger Berman, an independent management firm. He is also a senior trustee of the Messinger Family Foundation, a University life trustee, and a member of the Eastman School National Council.

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Diversity Initiative Supports
The Meliora Challenge

Claude Steele, the I. James Quillen Dean for the School of Education at Stanford University School of Education and keynote speaker for this year’s conference.

On April 20, the 2012 Diversity Conference reaffirmed the University’s commitment to creating the most welcoming and inclusive environment possible. It also reinforced current plans to launch the diversity initiative of The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester more widely later this year. Trustees, Lance Drummond ’85S (MBA) and Kathy Waller ’80, ’83S (MBA) will serve as co-chairs of this initiative.

“Diversity is a core value, an aspiration, a goal, an objective, an ongoing quest,” said President Joel Seligman in his opening remarks. “Diversity is here to stay not because it’s nice, not because it makes us feel good, but because it is demonstrably consistent with the best education, the best preparation for an increasingly globalized world, where our challenge will be working with people who are different from us.”

Keynote speaker Claude Steele, the I. James Quillen Dean for the School of Education at Stanford University, commended President Seligman’s remarks and the University’s commitment to diversity: “When there is a certain will in society to hold a value like diversity, there is hope.”

The diversity initiative of the Campaign will focus on support of three priorities: scholarships and fellowships, faculty, and the campus experience. To create a diverse learning community, the initiative will seek scholarships and professorships to attract the brightest and most talented minds both locally and globally. Additionally, funding for supplemental educational opportunities—such as visiting artists, scholars, and lecturers—will help promote education and dialogue about diversity.

Look for more information on the launch of the diversity initiative of The Meliora Challenge in the coming months. To view the keynote address in its entirety, click here. To view a photo gallery of the Diversity Conference, click here.

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