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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