January 2013

Regional Campaign for New England Begins in Boston

The Boston regional campaign launch, held in the Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, became the largest University event ever held in the city.

More than 250 members of the University community gathered on January 15 in the Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston to celebrate the University’s third regional launch of The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester.

Alumni, parents, and friends were welcomed by Trustee Cathy Minehan ’68, P’04, co-chair of The Meliora Challenge and chair of the Boston Regional Cabinet. In her remarks, Minehan provided a brief overview of the University’s Campaign and encouraged attendees to support its ambitions.

“Through this and other regional campaigns, we seek to evoke George Eastman’s spirit and inspire a new generation of philanthropy,” said Minehan. “My hope is tonight you will find inspiration to take action.”

Stephen Fantone ’79 (PhD), chair of the Boston regional campaign, announced the goals for the greater Boston area and the New England region. The campaign aims to reach $30 million, through support for priority areas of The Meliora Challenge and surpass 180 George Eastman Circle members, by June 30, 2016.

As an example of those who stand to benefit most from the Campaign, College of Arts, Sciences & Engineering student Shiv Rambarran ’13 testified to how perfectly the University suited his wide interests and diverse background. Rambarran noted his experiences were made possible, in part, by his scholarship and stressed the importance of providing support to future students. Following his comments, soprano Adelaide Boedecker ’13E (MM), accompanied by pianist and fellow Eastman student Heather McEwen Goldman ’13E (MM), performed pieces from both the classical and musical theater repertory.

The evening concluded with a message from President Joel Seligman. Highlighting the Campaign’s successes thus far, Seligman pointed to University transformations that will be possible thanks to the dedicated commitment of energized alumni and friends throughout the country. He closed with an invitation he has extended to attendees in each city he has visited; he invited those who have been away from Rochester to “come home.”

To view photos from the event, click here.


Values and Action

The beginning of a new year is widely thought to provide a fresh start. I am of the mind that every day presents this same opportunity. Also common is the idea that this is an opportunity to “wipe the slate clean.” To me, this often seems to be counterproductive. All of the events and experiences of the previous year have brought us to today, and we should further embrace them and use them as our teachers for the future. I see this time of year as an opportunity to refocus on where we have been, where we are, and where we want to be next year.

Two days ago we celebrated the regional launch of The Meliora Challenge in Boston. More than 250 members and representatives of the entire University community came together in support of our Campaign, an effort spearheaded by the leadership of our Boston Regional Cabinet. The continuing formation of Regional Cabinets and the dedication of their members are playing a significant role in helping us bring the Campaign to our alumni, parents, and friends across the country. Later this month the Campaign will be in Miami, with plans to visit other cities throughout 2013.

As we pursue our Campaign goals, leadership from our Community of Leaders will be increasingly important. For that reason, I am very pleased to report membership in the George Eastman Circle has reached 2,500, a number 10 times the size of our original goal of 250! Since our formal launch at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City, this represents phenomenal growth. New memberships and renewals from our Charter Members have put us on track to reach our goal of 3,300 memberships by the close of The Meliora Challenge in 2016. I hope many of you will join me in celebrating this milestone at the George Eastman Circle dinner in New York City this March.

All of our goals can be reached and surpassed. By treating each day as an opportunity, setting long- and short-term goals, and working together, there is no goal we cannot accomplish. I’m looking forward to another great year of success and progress!


James D. Thompson
Senior Vice President
Chief Advancement Officer

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Lambert and Schleifer Endow Directorship for River Campus Libraries 

Joseph Lambert ’59 and Harold Schleifer

Rush Rhees Library provided Joseph Lambert ’59 and Harold Schleifer with a wealth of fond memories and inspiration, which contributed to the creation of a newly endowed position at the University. Together, the two men have committed $1 million to endow the Joseph N. Lambert and Harold B. Schleifer Director of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation at the University of Rochester’s River Campus Libraries.

 “This is an amazing gift for which all of us at the University of Rochester are profoundly grateful,” said President Joel Seligman. “Joseph Lambert and Harold Schleifer possess a deep understanding of the evolving work of libraries. Through their professional and personal experiences, they recognize the critical role that libraries play in advancing and preserving knowledge. Their commitment will allow collections that were once the preserve of a handful of scholars to be widely available through the Internet.”

Partners for 27 years, Lambert and Schleifer have close ties to the world of libraries. At the age of 14, Schleifer was stacking the shelves as a page at the New York Public Library. Lambert also found work among the stacks while attending Rochester as an undergraduate student, checking out books, locating materials in the reserve reading room, and even tending the fireplace in the Welles-Brown Room of Rush Rhees Library. These early experiences sensitized the two men to sweeping changes occurring in today’s libraries and influenced their decision to make an enduring contribution.

“Buildings and books come and go, but good people will always be essential,” said Schleifer. “As the University continues to grow, this directorship will support scholarship and students in perpetuity,” added Lambert.

After graduating from the University with a B.A. in psychology, Lambert went on to medical school at New York University. He then fulfilled a military commitment before becoming an ophthalmologist, where he practiced and taught as a clinical faculty member at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA, in Southern California. Lambert also worked in the pharmaceutical industry in drug safety and clinical research. Today, he remains active in the University community as a member of the San Diego Regional Cabinet. Now retired, Schleifer led a career inspired by his early library work and ultimately became the dean of the University Library at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona—a position he held for 28 years—where he led a major construction and renovation project for the Cal Poly Pomona University Library.

“This is an exciting time for libraries. There are whole worlds being created in archiving and preserving e-mails, Web sites, and blogs paralleling what was done with print materials in the past, but reflective of advancements in electronic communication and documentation,” noted Schleifer. “Unique materials will always be important and more so, today, with the application of technology to these collections. Digitization and the Internet have made Rochester’s resources available to the world.”

For more information, click here.

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