December 2014

A Meliora Message 

Many would say we are in the midst of the “holiday season.” Calvin Coolidge would not have been one of those people. The 30th president of the United States considered the holidays neither a season nor a time of year, “but a state of mind to cherish peace and goodwill [and] be plenteous in mercy.” At Rochester, that’s not a state of mind; it’s a state of existence, and it’s called Meliora.

University volunteers and donors continually demonstrate a commitment to goodwill toward humanity through their service and gifts. Whether it is enabling the pursuit of knowledge through scholarships or research funds, supporting facility enhancements that allow us to better educate students and provide superior health care, or in the multitude of ways they help carry out the mission to Learn, Discover, Heal, Create—and make the world ever better, our community exemplifies the Meliora spirit 365 days a year.

Thank you for your steadfast University of Rochester spirit. We hope you are enjoying the holidays, and we wish you the very best in 2015.

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A Year of Change 

Nearing completion, Golisano Children's Hospital has been the face of change at the University since its groundbreaking in September 2012. The new building is set to open in the summer of 2015.

For many schools, units, and programs across the University, 2014 marked the beginning of a new era. The University welcomed four new leaders and celebrated the dedication of an equal number of spaces. There was also the announcement of a significant leadership transition at the Medical Center. Amidst all of the change was the steady support of alumni, faculty, parents, and friends. Take a look at some of the University and Campaign highlights, as well as what 2014 looked like in pictures.

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The 2014 Campaign Honor Roll 


At this time last year the University was celebrating raising more than $1 billion for The Meliora Challenge. After only a year, the Campaign is now celebrating crossing the $1.1 billion milestone.

Driven by support that continues to exemplify the spirit of Meliora, the University had its strongest fiscal year in Advancement history. And once again, remarkable support has led to remarkable impact. The faculty support goal of creating 80 new endowed professorships was achieved and raised to an ambitious 100, and 51 new scholarships were established, adding to the hundreds already providing promising students with great opportunity.

The transformative impact that is defining the Campaign is a product of more than 155,000 donors. But within that large group is a small group who has provided leadership through giving that has motivated and inspired others. These individuals and organizations are recognized in the Campaign Honor Roll.

Following last year’s inaugural edition, the 2014 Campaign Honor Roll includes those who have committed $50,000 or more between July 1, 2005 and June 30, 2014 with annotations identifying significant support of scholarships. There is also an updated list of the endowed professorships that have been established since 2005.

You can find this information and messages from President Joel Seligman and Campaign Co-Chairs and University Trustees Rich Handler ’83 and Cathy Minehan ’68 in the Honor Roll online.

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November 2014

A Meliora Message 

In addition to being a day traditionally filled with several courses of holiday fare, Thanksgiving is also a day that reminds us to be thankful for all that we have.

For all that we have and have accomplished, we are thankful for you. Your leadership and philanthropic contributions make so much of what we are able to do possible. At about the halfway point in our fiscal year, we are seeing indications that it’s going to be another great one, and you—as always—are a major reason why.

We do our best to recognize your every effort and gift because it is the sum of these contributions that drive our progress. Saying thank you is simply something we cannot do enough for as much as you deserve. But to say it once more, thank you.

To you and your family from your University family: Happy Thanksgiving!

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Minehan and Corrigan Add to Scholarship Fund 

Ani Okeke Ewo '16, Trustee Cathy Minehan '68, P'04, and Ugwu Okeke Ewo '16 

First generation Nigerian-Americans Ani Okeke Ewo ’16 and Ugwu Okeke Ewo ’16 are ambitious students and talented football players. Ani is looking forward to a career in marketing or finance; Ugwu aspires to work in physical therapy. Both have the opportunity to achieve their goals—professionally and athletically—at the University because of the Cathy E. Minehan and E. Gerald Corrigan Endowed Scholarship.

The fund that is helping the twin brothers pursue their aspirations will be able to help even more students now that it has received an additional $1 million in support from its creators, Trustee Cathy Minehan ’68, P’04 and her husband, Jerry Corrigan.

“This is a wonderful way for Cathy and Jerry to build on their legacy of student support,” said Peter Lennie, provost and the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences & Engineering. “Their generous commitment to the Minehan-Corrigan Scholarship fund advances a crucial part of our mission: to provide opportunities for talented students with financial need.”

Established in 2004, the scholarship provides assistance for students in the School of Arts & Sciences. Recipients must have significant financial need, with preference given to underrepresented minorities and/or athletes in good academic standing, and to those pursuing faculty-directed research in the social sciences.

On November 6, Ani and Ugwu shared their stories, and gratitude, at the annual Boston Regional Cabinet event, hosted by Cathy and Jerry at the Harvard Club in Boston. The brothers are two of three Minehan-Corrigan Scholarship recipients this year. There have been 11 since the scholarship’s inception.

“They’ve been amazing,” said Minehan, co-chair of The Meliora Challenge, of the scholarship recipients. “The quality of the students who have benefited from this scholarship over the years has been impressive, and Jerry and I have benefited from getting to know them.”

In addition to their endowed scholarship fund, Cathy and Jerry established the Corrigan-Minehan Professorship in Political Science in Arts, Sciences & Engineering in 2007. They are also Charter Members of the George Eastman Circle.

You can read more about Cathy and Jerry and their gift in the official press release.


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The Meliora Challenge: Texas 


In regions across the country, University alumni, parents, and friends have gathered to celebrate The Meliora Challenge’s progress, reconnect with Rochester, and learn about the University’s future. This month, the University's final regional celebration took place in Texas.

On November 13, Houston-area supporters of the University shared an uplifting evening at Hotel Zaza. Philip Fraher ’93S (MBA), Houston’s vice-chair for the Texas Regional Cabinet, opened a night that served to strengthen bonds and incite pride among those in attendance. Helping to achieve this was the presentation of four inspiring videos featuring students and faculty members as well as a live performance from soprano Danika Felty ’15E and Soeun Lee ’15E (MM). An event with similar aspirations was held the following afternoon at the Park City Club in Dallas.

Through the power of philanthropy, the University community in Texas is putting Rochester in a position to pioneer the future—through new educational techniques, new kinds of technology, new treatments for disease, and new methods of artistic expression. Chair of the Texas Regional Cabinet Karen H. Brown ’61, ’72 (PhD), P’92 highlighted this point in both cities by announcing that together they have raised more than $6 million of a $7.5 million goal for the region.

“But there is still more work to be done,” said Karen in her remarks. “We will build upon the great foundation our efforts have already created and use the momentum to drive initiatives that will engage surrounding areas in the region.”

Beginning in San Francisco in June 2012, the University has launched nine regional campaigns for The Meliora Challenge in areas including Chicago/Midwest, Boston/New England, Phildelphia/Delaware Valley, Washington, D.C., Metro New York, San Diego, and Los Angeles.

Take a look at some of the photos from the Houston event.

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Wine Auction Benefits Stroke Research, Care

Event hosts Stency and Danny Wegman  

Every year, more than 795,000 Americans have a stroke, resulting in nearly 130,000 deaths. Thanks to the expertise of University doctors like Babak Jahromi, M.D., and Curtis Benesch, M.D., at the Strong Memorial Hospital, Keith Nickoloff and Luz Holland are survivors. On November 8, their story helped inspire more than $1 million of support for stroke research and care at the 2014 Toast to Your Health Fine Wine Auction.

For the last 14 years, the auction has brought together wine connoisseurs and friends of UR Medicine for an elegant and fun-filled evening that helps support critical initiatives at the Medical Center.

Hosted by Wegmans and attended by auction chair Sherwood Deutsch, distinguished guest Michael Misch, and 325 other supporters of the Medical Center, the money raised from this year’s event will help educate the next generation of clinical neuroscientists, attract and retain leaders in brain injury research, and turn new ideas into effective treatments for patients. Last year’s event raised more than $1 million for groundbreaking research and approaches to cardiac care.

In the U.S., stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and a leading cause of serious long-term disability. Fortunately for the Rochester community, and the western New York region, UR Medicine’s multi-system approach, collaborative initiatives, the region's only neuromedicine intensive care unit, and cutting-edge research provide patients with some of the most advanced and cost effective stroke care available.

Photos from the event and a video that tells the stories of Keith Nickoloff and Luz Holland are available on the Toast to Your Health Fine Wine Auction web site.

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Rossi Formally Celebrated as Messinger Dean

Jamal Rossi '87E (DMA)  

For only the sixth time in its history of nearly 100 years, the Eastman School of Music celebrated the beginning of a new era in leadership. On October 26, an investiture ceremony was held at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre for Jamal Rossi ’87E (DMA), the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music.

“Music is at the core of every culture, and its appreciation is fundamental to the human experience,” said President Joel Seligman. “Jamal brings to us the virtues of someone with extensive Eastman experience and a fresh outlook. He is extraordinarily well prepared to balance what is most enduring in music with a commitment to its ongoing evolution.” 

For Rossi, the ceremony was an opportunity to celebrate the School’s past influence and look to the years ahead. He emphasized the need to constantly evaluate the curriculum and environment to ensure students are receiving the best preparation for the highly competitive field of music. 

“We have seen great changes in the musical world in recent years, and Eastman has been a leader in adapting to those changes,” said Rossi. “But even as we continue to innovate in the best Eastman tradition, I am convinced that the core values on which this school was built will remain the keys for educating future generations of musicians.”

The ceremony also featured the presentation of the School's Luminary Award to Life Trustee Martin Messinger ’49 for his extraordinary service to music and the arts at the local and national levels. Martin and his late wife, Joan, established the Eastman deanship in 2011 to provide the dean with support for programming and areas of critical need.

You can read Dean Jamal Rossi’s complete remarks and more about Martin Messinger in the official press release.

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Morrow Installed as Inaugural Benefactor Distinguished Professor

Mark Taubman, Gary Morrow '77M (Flw), '88 (MS), Brad Berk, and Joel Seligman 

For the last 40 years, Gary R. Morrow ’77M (Flw), ’88 (MS) has been an authority in cancer control and survivorship, broadly published on topics related to the physical and physiological effects of cancer treatment. On November 17, Morrow was recognized for his leadership as well as his outstanding service as a physician, scientist, and mentor at a formal installation ceremony as the inaugural Benefactor Distinguished Professor.

“It is easy to focus on the physical effects of cancer, but there are deep, enduring psychological effects that are sometimes not easily seen,” said President Joel Seligman. “Gary Morrow’s work in this sense is profoundly important, and he stands among the best in his field. We are proud to have his leadership and delighted to recognize him with this prestigious honor.”

The first endowed professorship at the School of Medicine and Dentistry was the Charles A. Dewey Professorship of Medicine, established in 1929 by Charles Dewey, M.D., a graduate in the Class of 1861. Since then, 86 more have been added. The exceptional faculty members holding these positions are exploring new ways to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease, enhancing the clinical work and research related to geriatric fracture, strengthening efforts in cardiovascular care, research, and education, and working in cancer genomics, a relatively new discipline dedicated to identifying the mechanisms that drive cancer growth.

Morrow, a tenured professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Surgery at the School of Medicine and Dentistry, built the Cancer Control Program at the Medical Center. At the time, his efforts made the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center one of only two cancer centers in the country to be chosen by the NIH as a hub for the National Community Oncology Research Program, a national network of investigators, cancer care providers, academic institutions, and other organizations. He has also been a leader in attracting more than $40 million in federal grants for cancer control research.

“Gary has often said the two most important words to mentoring are ‘follow me.’ In many respects, we have been following him for decades,” said Mark Taubman, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry and University vice president for health sciences. “He was one of the first investigators to focus on cancer survivorship and he has built a cancer control program at the Medical Center that has made significant contributions to the quality of life for cancer patients and survivors for decades. It is our good fortune to have Gary at the University.”

An original member of the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, Morrow currently directs the Wilmot Cancer Institute’s Cancer Control and Survivorship research program. He received his undergraduate degrees in English and mechanical-industrial engineering at the University of Notre Dame and his master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology at the University of Rhode Island. He also served in the U.S. Navy for four years aboard a nuclear submarine.  Many facets of his career have been recognized by awards, including the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s Distinguished Research Mentor Award in 2012.

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October 2014

A Meliora Message 

That’s it. Another Meliora Weekend is in the books. It is the 14th celebration we have held, but with the inclusion of the sesquicentennial celebration—which inspired the creation of Meliora Weekend—it technically marked a 15th anniversary. Putting together a better weekend for this milestone would have been difficult.

Headliners Doris Kearns Goodwin, Jason Alexander, and Laverne Cox provided a strong foundation for a schedule of more than 150 different programs. We saw the return of signature programs such as Miller’s Court, MEL Talks, and the Presidential Symposium and some new features, like the food truck rodeo. We heard from leaders and faculty across the University about what’s on the horizon for their respective schools and units and about exciting research currently taking place. We enjoyed an abundance of art, music, and athletics. And on display as always, were the many ways the University continues to grow—dedication ceremonies were held for the Larry and Cindy Bloch Alumni and Advancement Center, the Brian F. Prince Athletic Complex, and College Town. 

Between and during all of the programs were the innumerable moments that make Meliora Weekend a unique experience—like when former Yellowjackets from the Class of 1964 sang “The Genesee” with current Yellowjackets, or when an old photo inspired a new memory for alumni from the Class of 2004. 

With all of this going on, before we knew it, “welcome back” became “see you next year.” But it doesn’t have to be that way.

While there really isn’t an equal to Meliora Weekend, there are many other University events throughout the year that offer the opportunity to reconnect with friends, interact with alumni, students, faculty, and University leaders, or simply revisit the campus. Don’t wait a whole year to experience Meliora!

Take a look at some of this year’s highlights in the Meliora Weekend 2014 photo gallery.

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Evarts Establishes Professorship in Orthopaedics 

C. McCollister “Mac” Evarts ’57M (MD), ’64M (Res)

Over the course of a distinguished tenure of 50 years, C. McCollister “Mac” Evarts ’57M (MD), ’64M (Res), Distinguished University Professor and former CEO of the Medical Center, has helped the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation garner national recognition as an orthopaedic surgeon, mentor, educator, and strategic leader. Now retired from the Medical Center, Mac continues to offer significant support as a philanthropist.

With a $1 million commitment to establish the Dr. C. McCollister Evarts Professorship in Orthopaedics, Mac has created a resource that will help recruit and retain exceptional faculty in the field of orthopaedics. John T. Gorczyca, M.D., director of UR Medicine’s Orthopaedic Residency Program, is the inaugural recipient.

“This new professorship illustrates a lifelong commitment on Mac’s part to education and the importance of mentoring upcoming generations of new orthopaedic physicians,” said Mark Taubman, M.D., dean of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and University vice president for health sciences. “In his role as residency director for the past four years, John Gorczyca has already made a significant impact and will continue to further strengthen the educational mission of the department, setting a new standard for the future.”

Mac, past chair of the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, retired from the Medical Center in 2006 and is currently a faculty member at the Penn State Hershey Bone and Joint Institute. He is credited with helping to introduce total hip replacement surgery to the United States and highlighting the prevention of thromboembolic disease in the musculoskeletal patient.

“Considering the ever-increasing number of older Americans who suffer from musculoskeletal problems, clearly there is an incredible role to be played by orthopaedic physicians,” said Mac. “The future of care lies in the education of our residents, and it is our obligation to kindle their fire, to help stoke their already strong passion for patient care and research, so that we continue a legacy of great medicine for future generations. This gift will help do that.”

In addition to the professorship, Mac has established an endowed fund for students pursuing musculoskeletal education in the School of Medicine and Dentistry and provided leadership support for the Loretta C. Ford Education Wing Expansion at the School of Nursing. He has provided ongoing support to the University as a George Eastman Circle member.

For his many University accomplishments and contributions, this past Meliora Weekend, Mac was awarded the University’s highest alumni honor, the Charles Force and Marjorie Force Hutchison Medal. He was also recognized by the School of Medicine and Dentistry Alumni Council in 2007 with the Distinguished Alumnus Award, which recognizes individuals who exemplify the standards and objectives of the School of Medicine and Dentistry through outstanding personal conduct, professional accomplishments, and community service. Preference is given to one whose achievements have had a significant impact on the medical field on a national and global scale.

You can read more about Mac, this gift, and Dr. Gorcyza in the official press release.

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Norton Installed as Inaugural Independence Chair 

Sally Norton, Ph.D., R.N., and School of Nursing Dean Kathy Rideout 95W (EdD)

Over the last decade, Sally A. Norton, Ph.D., R.N., has been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on several National Institutes of Health-funded studies that have examined the communication strategies used by clinicians to discuss end-of-life issues. And she recently led a New York State-funded program to strengthen nurses’ care of hospitalized older adults with serious, life-limiting illness. 

These examples represent a small portion of a career that has made her a nationally recognized expert on palliative care and end-of-life issues. They are also why she was chosen to be the inaugural Independence Chair in Nursing and Palliative Care. On October 7, the University recognized Norton’s achievements and the generosity of the Independence Foundation. 

“I am thrilled that Independence Foundation’s philanthropy has enabled the establishment of this endowed professorship,” said President Joel Seligman. “It highlights the importance of excellence in nursing and, in particular, the individuals who dedicate their careers to showing incredible empathy at a sensitive time. Sally is truly a leader in this field, and we are so fortunate to have her.”

The Independence Foundation is committed to supporting organizations that provide direct services and support—in broad areas of cultural and arts programming, legal aid, and health and human resources—to those who would otherwise lack access. This is the second professorship the Foundation has created for the School of Nursing. In 1989, the School of Nursing received a $1 million endowment grant from the Foundation to create the Independence Foundation Chair in Nursing Education. Over the years, the fund’s growth allowed for the creation a second endowed position to which Norton was appointed.

“Sally and her team are part of an effort that is helping Rochester gain national recognition for palliative care in the acute-care setting,” said Kathy H. Rideout ’95W (EdD), dean of the School of Nursing and professor of clinical nursing. “In addition to her keen intellect and exceptional skills as a researcher, educator, and clinician, Sally brings warmth and compassion to her patients and their families.” 

Co-director for research in the Division of Palliative Care in the Department of Medicine, Norton has focused her research on palliative care and end-of-life decision making with an emphasis on the communication processes and practice pattern of care delivery in the acute and long-term care settings. In 2012, she was inducted as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, which is composed of more than 1,800 of the nation’s top nurse researchers, policy makers, scholars, executives, educators, and practitioners. Selection to the academy is one of the highest honors in the field of nursing.

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Lowry Hall Dedicated

Doug Lowry's family: daughters, Melanie and Jennifer; his son, Timothy; and his wife, Marcia

Immediately inside the Eastman School of Music’s Main Building is Main Hall. It provides entrance to Eastman Theatre and Kilbourn Hall and access to the grand staircase that leads to the Cominsky Promenade. It also features portraits of George Eastman and the School’s past deans. The elegant corridor is now graced with the portrait, and name, of another Eastman leader. 

On October 2, the Eastman community gathered to re-dedicate Main Hall as Lowry Hall, in honor of the late Eastman Dean Douglas Lowry. For many, this space is the heart of the School, making it only fitting that it now bears the name of a beloved member of the Eastman community.

“The Main Hall is where the annual Holiday Sing is held, and for Doug, who was a dean and faculty member, as well as a performer, it bridges his two worlds,” said President Joel Seligman. “It is an appropriate way to recognize his consequential years as dean.”

You can read a personal account of the ceremony from Andrew Psarris ’15E on the Eastman website. Andrew is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in trumpet performance and has played principal and recorded for the Eastman Wind Ensemble and Eastman Philharmonia. He has also played for all three Jazz ensembles.

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Bloch Center Dedicated

Matt Bloch ’13S (MBA), Cindy Bloch P13S, Larry Bloch 75, P13S, and Reisa Bloch 

The original Yankee Stadium was affectionately referred to as “the house that Ruth built,” in honor of Babe Ruth’s legendary career. Similarly, the base of operations for the University’s Advancement program could be called “the house that Jim and Larry built,” for the vastly successful partnership between Jim Thompson, former chief advancement officer, and Trustee Larry Bloch ’75, P’13S. It, however, is in honor of a different partnership for which the Advancement building, and program, has been named in perpetuity.

In April, Larry and his wife, Cindy Bloch P’13S, created the Larry and Cindy Bloch Endowment for University Advancement. On October 15, to recognize their generous support of the program, members of the Board of Trustees and Advancement staff, joined by President Joel Seligman and Board Chair Ed Hajim ’58, gathered to recognize the Blochs and formally dedicate the Larry and Cindy Bloch Alumni and Advancement Center.

“Our Advancement program has reached this level because we were bold, because we insisted on best practices, because we didn’t compromise,” said Seligman. “Larry and Cindy have helped ensure we will have the resources to continue to be ambitious. I am delighted to honor and recognize their philanthropy, their counsel, and their vision for Advancement and the University.”

The Blochs’ inspirational support and visionary leadership can be seen across the University in spaces such as this center and the Bloch Fitness Center on the River Campus. It can also be seen in traditions, like those inspired by the statue of George Eastman they funded, which has become ingrained in the University’s culture. With their enduring support of Advancement, they will forever be linked to the University’s pursuit to Learn, Discover, Heal, Create—and make the world ever better.

You can read more about Larry and Cindy’s gift in the official press release.

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Prince Complex Dedicated

Brian Prince '86, '89S (MBA) with his parents, Christine and Richard Prince 

When George VanderZwaag, executive director of athletics, arrived at the University in 1999, his immediate priority was the renovation of the indoor athletic space. It wasn’t long after that was completed that he began to oversee planning for a similar renovation to the outdoor athletic complex. And he knew it wasn’t going to be realized without a special kind of leadership.

The University found its leader in Brian F. Prince ’86, ’89S (MBA). On October 16, President Joel Seligman, Board Chair Ed Hajim ’58, VanderZwaag, and members of the athletics community gathered to recognize Brian and formally dedicate the Brian F. Prince Athletic Complex.

“This University is on the move and usually it has taken a human catalyst to realize our vision,” said Seligman. “Brian has taken on that role for the next great phase of development for our athletics program. His loyalty to the University, passion for athletics, and dedication to the spirit of Meliora have truly helped us to be ‘ever better.’”

Brian has demonstrated a deep understanding and appreciation for the range of facilities needed to accommodate the entire student experience. His generosity and broad-scale partnership have helped enable the athletics program to continue to make valuable contributions to the advancement of the University’s academic mission and the pursuit of top students from around the world.

You can read about Brian’s leadership gift in the official press release.

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The Meliora Challenge: Los Angeles

On September 21, more than 100 members of the University community attended a Campaign event that brought Rochester to the west coast. Los Angeles-area alumni, parents, and friends gathered at The Langham Huntington in Pasadena for an evening that recognized the area’s support for The Meliora Challenge, inspired University pride, and looked to the future. 

“The theme of this evening is quite simple,” said Trustee and Charter Member of the George Eastman Circle Larry Bloch ’75, P’13S, vice-chair of West Coast efforts for The Meliora Challenge. “It is to highlight and illustrate the mission of the University, which is eloquently stated in just 10 words: Learn, Discover, Heal, Create—and make the world ever better.

Those 10 words were brought to life by four video-portraits and a live performance by soprano Danika Felty ’15E accompanied by Serena Lee ’15E (MM). The event also aimed to inspire new support for The Meliora Challenge.

“I am proud to inform you that we a set goal for the Los Angeles region to raise more than $33 million,” said Trustee Evans Y. Lam ’83, ’84S (MBA), a member of the Los Angeles Regional Cabinet and Charter Member of the George Eastman Circle. “To date, we have already raised 91 percent of our goal.”

The Los Angeles event was the third of its kind in California, following San Diego in April and San Francisco in June 2012, which kicked off the University’s regional campaigns.

You can see some of the attendees and highlights from the event in this photo gallery.

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September 2014

A Meliora Message 

With more than 150 activities scheduled for the University’s 14th Meliora Weekend beginning October 16, some tough decisions will have to be made—especially on Saturday, which offers an entire day’s worth of programming. 

Here are some of Saturday’s highlights that shouldn’t be missed.

11 a.m.–Noon. Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin, will give the weekend’s keynote address at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Get tickets while they are still available! For those who cannot make it downtown, there will also be a live simulcast in Strong Auditorium.

2 p.m.–3:30 p.m. Administrators from universities in the northeast will discuss the future of higher education at the Presidential Symposium. Panelists will include Edward D. Miller ’68M (MD), CEO emeritus of Johns Hopkins Medicine, John Sexton, president of New York University, Kent Syverud, chancellor of Syracuse University, and Nancy Zimpher, chancellor of State University of New York. University Trustee Hugo Sonnenschein ’61, president emeritus and Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, will moderate the conversation. 

3:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. Noted attorney and broadcaster Arthur Miller ’56, ’08 (LLD) will “hold court” on privacy in the digital age. Henry Kautz, University of Rochester professor of computer science, and Linn Foster Freedman, partner and Data Protection Group chair at Nixon Peabody, will join Miller and other panelists to discuss constitutional issues as they relate to the Internet.

These programs represent a miniscule portion of the weekend’s excitement. You can put your weekend itinerary together by visiting the Meliora Weekend website’s “Schedule of Events” page.

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A New CEO, A New Institute 

Bradford Berk '81M (MD), '81M (PhD) and Mark Taubman, M.D.

On September 17, Bradford C. Berk ’81M (MD), ’81M (PhD), announced his plans to transition from his role as senior vice president for health sciences and CEO of UR Medicine and the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) to launch a new Rochester Neurorestoration Institute at the URMC.

President Joel Seligman has named Mark B. Taubman, M.D., currently vice president for health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry, as Berk’s successor. Taubman will maintain his position as dean in the transition, which occurs on January 1, 2015.   

“Brad has provided outstanding leadership to our medical education and research programs and to our multi-hospital network,” Seligman said. “He has already made significant contributions to the Medical Center by changing the focus to patient- and family-centered care. Brad now wants to turn his full attention to neurorestorative medicine. I am confident that he will develop a Neurorestoration Institute that will be one of this nation’s leading scientific and patient care institutes. I will support this Institute as a top priority for our University.”  

Seligman announced that the University Board of Trustees had approved a Distinguished University Professorship for Berk, effective upon his return to the faculty. 

Taubman, a highly respected leader at the URMC, has served as dean since March 2010, which followed nine-months of service as URMC CEO while Berk recovered from his spinal cord injury in 2009. 

“In his recent five-year review, Mark was praised for his strategic ability with the School of Medicine and Dentistry, his hiring and promotion of outstanding leaders, his implementation of operational plans, his integrity and his ability to engage Medical Center leaders during the post-2008 recession period of financial challenges,” Seligman said. “Mark has proven to be unflappable, a straight shooter, a dean with particular success in working with his research and clinical faculty. He is a man of unquestioned honesty and integrity, whose sense of ethics is of the highest order.”

Taubman is credited with steering the School of Medicine and Dentistry through turbulent financial times, leading the creation of the Medical Center’s strategic plan for research, and his strategic plan for education gave birth to the inter-professional Institute for Innovative Education, to list a few of his accomplishments.

“As a long-time professional colleague and friend, I’m well aware of Mark’s strengths as a thinker and leader,” Berk said. “I am fortunate to be able to turn the reins over to someone as capable and visionary as Mark Taubman.” 

You can read more about the new Rochester Neurorestoration Institute and the leadership transition in the official press release.

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Goldbergs, Nathans Support DM2 Research

Albert (Alfy) and Lilyan (Lil) Nathan

Myotonic dystrophy (DM) is a genetic disease that is split into two types: DM1 and DM2. Although they share similar characteristics, DM2 is more difficult to recognize and is often misdiagnosed. Michael and Sherry Goldberg and Lilyan (Lil) and Albert (Alfy) Nathan hope to change that with the Goldberg Nathan Myotonic Dystrophy Type 2 Endowment, a $1.25 million gift that will help advance DM2 research.

“We are deeply grateful to the Nathan and Goldberg families for their extreme generosity,” said Robert Holloway, M.D., M.P.H., the chair of the Department of Neurology and the Edward A. and Alma Vollertsen Rykenboer Chair in Neurophysiology. “Due to the efforts of Chad Heatwole, Richard Moxley, Charles Thornton, and many others here in Rochester, we believe that new therapies for this disease are on the horizon. This gift will help accelerate these efforts.” 

The Goldbergs can attest to the complexity of DM2 firsthand, as their son struggled with the disease for many years before it was diagnosed. The family had difficulty finding a neurologist that specialized in treating the disease and were even more discouraged to discover that very little research funding was being dedicated to find new therapies. Then they found UR Medicine neurologist Chad Heatwole, M.D. 

“Dr. Heatwole gave us the first glimmer of hope that someone was actually interested in helping people with this disease,” said Michael Goldberg, founding partner of the Chicago law firm Goldberg Weisman Cairo. “While our family had never made a major donation to a charity or medical institution before, we believed in Dr. Heatwole, the University of Rochester, and in the importance of helping find a cure for DM2 for our son and for the untold number of other people afflicted with this disease.”

The Nathans’ and Goldbergs’ endowment will be dedicated to finding new therapies for the disease and enabling Heatwole and other researchers at the University of Rochester to dedicate more of their time to studying DM2. These resources will allow UR Medicine scientists to develop a more precise understanding of the disease and create the infrastructure necessary to entice pharmaceutical companies to invest in new experimental treatments. 

You can read more about the Goldbergs’ and Nathans’ gift in the official press release.

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Barowsky Foundation Establishes Fellowship

Andrew P. Barowsky '72 

A University of Rochester education can take a student far in life. The Andrew P. Barowsky Foundation, Inc. has taken a more literal approach to help make that happen. With a $1 million commitment, the Barowsky Foundation has established a fellowship for students of Dominican University of California pursuing graduate degrees at the University of Rochester. 

Driven by a desire to become involved in education, Andrew P. Barowsky ’72, president of the Barowsky Foundation, began serving on the board of trustees at Dominican University in 2004, where he currently serves as chair. Knowing more than a quarter of Dominican University students are first generation college graduates and that nearly half come from ethnically diverse backgrounds, Barowsky sought to promote academic advancement by creating a path between Dominican University and his alma mater. 

“The University of Rochester has benefited enormously from Andrew’s generous support over the years,” said Peter Lennie, provost and the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences & Engineering. “As his foundation establishes a bridge between Dominican University and the University of Rochester, we are reminded of his great commitment to higher education and its capacity for service to society.” 

Andrew, a Charter Member of the George Eastman Circle, is the chairman and CEO of Abaco LLC, and former president and CEO of Lepage Bakeries, Inc. Thanks to his generosity, students who might not have been able to pursue graduate school outside of California now have both the incentive and financial support to attend the University of Rochester. The fellowship will ultimately support five graduate students per year.   

“I created this fellowship,” said Barowsky, “to enhance society by using resources in a way that fosters inquiry, supports a culture of inclusion and open-mindedness, and integrates ideas, research and learning together to make the world a better place.”

You can read more about the Barowsky Foundation’s gift in the official press release

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Bils Installed as Inaugural Fyfe Professor

Joel Seligman, Mark Bils, Ph.D., and Gloria Culver '91M (MS), '94M (PhD)

Why has income inequality translated into consumption inequality? How has wage stickiness affected hiring in recessions? Have distortions in labor or product markets exacerbated recent recessions? These areas of inquiry are the domain of Mark Bils, Ph.D.

Bils is a professor in the Department of Economics and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. His distinguished career as an economist was recognized on September 15, when he became the inaugural Hazel Fyfe Professor in Economics.

An anonymous donor’s bequest honoring the Fyfe Family helped create this professorship, named in honor of Hazel Fyfe Gallaher ’46, who was also recognized during the installation ceremony. 

“Mark has used his brilliance in statistical analysis to tackle important economic issues, and has become widely respected in his field,” said President Joel Seligman. “I am sure Hazel, who worked as a statistician at Kodak for 30 years, would have approved of this appointment, and I am grateful this anonymous bequest has enabled us to celebrate her legacy.”

While the donor’s bequest was initially intended to only establish one endowed professorship, the value of the commitment allowed the University to create a second professorship in economics. The additional professorship was created in honor of Hazel’s brother, Gordon Samuel Fyfe ’46. The family legacy is further enriched through the Fyfe Scholarship Fund for Economics Majors.

The creation of this professorship—and the other funds—has made “Fyfe” synonymous with excellence in economics in perpetuity. As the first Fyfe Professor, Bils will provide an outstanding example for his successors.

“Mark’s work is consistently described as ‘paradigm shifting,’” said Gloria Culver ’91M (MS), ’94M (PhD), interim dean of the School of Arts & Sciences. “His research has spanned many areas, producing an even broader and more significant impact. As highly regarded as he is in his field, he is equally—if not more—valuable as a University community member, through his teaching and leadership.”

Bils earned his doctorate at MIT in 1985 and joined the University faculty in the same year. His research has examined topics such as how wage-setting and pricing contribute to business-cycle fluctuations and measuring the importance of new and better consumer products. He has published on these subjects in several journals and has been the associate editor of a number of others, including the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, a position he currently holds. 

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August 2014

A Meliora Message

Thomas J. Farrell ’88, ’90W (MS) has been named to lead University Advancement.

“Tom Farrell is a highly experienced star in Advancement. I am delighted that he will soon be leading our Advancement team,” said President Joel Seligman. “He brings strong Rochester connections as an alumnus and as someone who began his career in our Advancement Office. Since then, he has established an exceptional track record of fundraising leadership at the highest level.”

Currently chief development officer for the University of Illinois and president/CEO of the University of Illinois Foundation, Farrell will begin his tenure at Rochester on November 1. He will replace James Osterholt, who since September 2013 has served in an interim chief advancement officer role.

Farrell will become senior vice president and the James D. Thompson Chief Advancement Officer, a position created by a gift from University Trustee Larry Bloch ’75, P’13S and his wife, Cindy Bloch P’13S.

Farrell brings more than 24 years of advancement experience, which began in 1990 as class campaign fundraiser at the University. From 1993-95, he served as director of the University’s Reunion Major Gifts Program, managing multi-million dollar regional campaigns as part of an overall $375 million University campaign goal. He then led the fundraising program at the University at Buffalo Law School, before joining Dartmouth College as director of gift planning. In 2001, Farrell began a 10-year stint at the University of Pennsylvania where he managed Penn’s undergraduate and individual giving program and served as a member of its senior management team responsible for coordinating all institutional advancement activity, including strategy for Penn’s recently completed $4.3 billion Making History capital campaign.

In 2010, Farrell joined the University of Chicago as vice president for alumni relations and development, leading a staff of 450 advancement professionals from all schools, divisions and units, including the University of Chicago Medical Center, and planning Chicago’s current comprehensive campaign.

You can read more about Tom Farrell’s appointment in the official press release. You can also read more about Larry and Cindy Bloch’s gift in the April 2014 issue of Fast Forward.


Fielding Builds on Legacy

Ron Fielding '73 (MA), '76S (MBA), P'14S

After graduating nearly 40 years ago from the Simon Business School, Ron Fielding ’73 (MA), ’76S (MBA), P’14S is still showing his appreciation for the education he received, and in doing so, building an impressive legacy of student support.

With a generous $2.5 million gift in support of scholarships, Ron has now committed nearly $10 million to scholarships for Simon School students.

“I am deeply appreciative of Ron’s longtime support of the Simon Business School’s students,” said President Joel Seligman. “He has been a remarkable advocate for scholarships and has set a tremendous example. This most recent generous commitment will enable even more students to find success through a Simon education.” 

The recent gift comes after Fielding pledged $6 million to the Ronald H. Fielding Scholarship Fund in 2012. He credits the Simon School for preparing him to start, and have success in, his own business, and for that he is “happy to share the fruits of [his] business success with the Simon School.”

Ron, now retired after working more than 25 years in the municipal bond industry, is as active in the Simon School community as he is generous. He is a frequent guest-lecturer, a mentor for many students, and has provided invaluable guidance as a member of the Simon School Executive Advisory Committee, National Council, and campaign committee.

In May, the School showed its appreciation for all that Ron has done as an alumnus, as well as a volunteer and donor. During commencement, Ron was awarded the Dean’s Medal. Among the highest honors given by the School, the Dean’s Medal recognizes extraordinary service, philanthropy, and leadership to the School and the overall dedication and commitment that inspire others to take leadership roles at the University.

You can read more about Ron’s previous giving on the Simon Business School website or in the Summer 2013 issue of Endeavor. You can also learn more about scholarships and fellowships and how to create them in the Endowed Scholarships Brochure.

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Fine Family Supports Alzheimer's Care, Research

Anton Porsteinsson '93M (Res), the William and Sheila Konar Endowed Professor and director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Care, Research and Education Program, and Frederick J. Marshall, M.D., director of UR Medicine’s Memory Care Program, review a patient’s brain scan at the Memory Care Clinic. 

Within the last 20 years, gifts creating endowed professorships have linked the Fine Family to excellence in neurology and gerontology. The family’s continued commitment to battling neurological disease has recently created the Julius, Helen, and Robert Fine Professorship.

A $2 million gift from the Robert Fine Trust establishing the new Fine Professorship will be used to support care and research for Alzheimer’s disease.

“Professorships are the building blocks of a great university,” said President Joel Seligman. “We are deeply grateful to the Fine Family for their decades of support for the Medical Center. This gift will serve as a lasting tribute and will further enable the groundbreaking work being done in neurology and neurosurgery.”

The Julius, Helen, and Robert Fine Professorship follows the creation of two other professorships named in honor of the Fine Family. 

In 2000, a generous gift from the Chester and Dorris Carlson Charitable Trust created the Paul H. Fine Professorship in Medicine. The gift, made at the direction of Catherine Carlson, recognized the exemplary skills and distinguished career of Paul Fine ’57, ’61M (MD), ’66M (Res), professor emeritus in UR Medicine’s Department of Medicine. Five years prior, Joseph Aresty gave $2 million to establish the Helen Aresty Fine and Irving Fine Professorship in Neurology in memory of his sister, who struggled with Lou Gehrig’s disease, and in honor of his brother-in-law.

You can read more about this gift and the Fine Family’s legacy in the official press release. You can also learn more about Alzheimer’s and how you can support the fight against it at the University of Rochester in the Alzheimer's Disease Care and Research case statement.

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