Fast Forward: The University of Rochester Advancement E-Newsletter

December 31, 2009

Make a Gift  Click to Print

Values and Action

Jim Thompson

“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means.”
—Albert Einstein

The holiday season provides an opportunity to reflect upon the things that are most important in our lives. At the top of the list are the family and friends who bring us joy and enrich our life’s journey. We are also privileged to work closely in our professional lives with many individuals who help to shape and build the institutions that we care about. At the University of Rochester, we are fortunate to have so many dedicated donors, volunteers, faculty, staff, and community leaders working together to make the University ever better.

This past fall featured several events that honored generous individuals who have made important contributions to the University’s progress. They are our exemplars and modern day heroes. They lead and inspire this generation to live “ever better.”

On October 9, we dedicated the Edmund A. Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in recognition of the generosity, leadership, and service of our University Board Chair Ed Hajim ’58. Ed’s $30 million gift commitment in 2008 was the largest single gift commitment in the University’s history. Through his leadership, Ed is showing us the way to move the University and our world forward.

George Eastman Circle LogoOn October 10, George Eastman’s statue was dedicated on the River Campus by the Charter Members of the George Eastman Circle [link]. This enduring memorial was made possible thanks to the support of George Eastman Circle National Co-chair and University Trustee Larry Bloch ’75 and his wife Cindy. The statue honors Eastman for his philanthropy and dedicated vision that transformed the University of Rochester, our community, and the world. Eastman serves as an inspiration for the generations that will advance the University in the 21st century and beyond.

On November 10, we announced that the Eye Institute at the University of Rochester Medical Center was renamed the David and Ilene Flaum Eye Institute. David and his family have been champions of the Eye Institute for many years. The Institute was renamed in recognition of their ongoing leadership, advocacy, and support.

On December 4, we dedicated the Ernest J. Del Monte Neuromedicine Institute at the Medical Center. A $10 million gift commitment from University Life Trustee Ernie Del Monte will help accelerate the quest for new treatments for neurological conditions. By advancing the frontiers of translational research, clinical care, and education, the Del Monte Institute will dramatically improve countless lives in the Rochester community and around the world.

On December 14, we dedicated the Adeline P. Lutz Pavilion at the David and Ilene Flaum Eye Institute at the Medical Center. Adeline Lutz credits the Eye Institute for saving her vision and wanted to ensure that future patients receive treatments of the highest quality. The Lutz Pavilion was named in honor of Adeline’s kindness and caring and in recognition of a $6 million gift commitment from her and her late husband Jack Lutz.

Rochester traditions of leadership and generosity are thriving. We are very fortunate that a new generation of leaders is emerging to take their place among the greats of history. They have strengthened the University through their generosity and support. They are moving us forward with their enthusiasm, energy, and ability to inspire others. We are hopeful that many others will follow their example.

I send you my very best wishes for a successful New Year.


James D. Thompson
Senior Vice President
Chief Advancement Officer



Meliora Weekend 2009 Highlights

Hajim Family

Meliora Weekend 2009 — Better Than Ever
More than 5,500 alumni, parents, faculty, and friends came to Meliora Weekend 2009 to enjoy an incredible variety of events ranging from the opening of Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre and the dedication of the Edmund A. Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, to the keynote address by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu '70, to entertainment by comedian Bill Maher and the dedication of the George Eastman statue. Guests were also treated to a series of compelling discussions on timely topics, including the Presidential Symposium on Great Issues of the 21st Century. The Simon School, School of Nursing, and College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering held class reunions that included many special events and activities that provided friends with the opportunity to enjoy each other's company. On October 15–17, 2009, more than 400 alumni and guests gathered at the School of Medicine during Alumni Weekend to celebrate and reconnect with friends. Alumni traveled from far and wide to mark their anniversary milestone.


View photo galleries of Fall 2009 events by clicking the links below:

Meliora Weekend 2009 Highlights

Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre

Hajim School Dedication

George Eastman Circle Event Featuring Malcolm Gladwell

Meliora Weekend Keynote Speaker, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu '70

George Eastman Statue Dedication


Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre — Name Your Seat Today

Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre

The Eastman School of Music celebrated the debut of the newly renovated Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre during Meliora Weekend. Kodak Hall, named in recognition of a $10 million commitment from Eastman Kodak Company, is the first part of a planned two phase project to renovate the Eastman School’s facilities and to build a new addition that will include performance and rehearsal spaces as well as faculty studios. The initial series of celebratory concerts showcased the hall’s newly renovated space and acoustics. The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra presented the first concert in the new hall, which included the debut of an original composition by Eastman Dean Douglas Lowry entitled Geo in honor of George Eastman. To date, major support of the project has been provided by New York State, the Davenport-Hatch Foundation, Eastman alumna Betty Strasenburgh ’52, the Wegman Family Charitable Foundation, Catherine B. Carlson, Mary Hamlin and George Hamlin, and others.

This renovation and expansion project is a major step toward fulfilling George Eastman’s vision and provides the University and the Rochester community with a world-class music hall for the 21st century. Friends of the Eastman School of Music and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra now have a special opportunity to express their support through the Seat Naming Campaign. You can purchase individual, orchestra-level seats that will be dedicated with an inscribed nameplate on the arm.

To name a seat and make a gift, visit the Eastman Theatre Renovation and Expansion Web site, or call Andrea Weinstein, senior director for academic development, at (585) 273-1341.

Del Monte Institute Will Lead Nation’s Advances in Neuromedicine

Del Monte Institute Dedication

The Ernest J. Del Monte Neuromedicine Institute was officially dedicated during a ceremony held Friday, December 4. The Institute builds upon the University of Rochester Medical Center’s tremendous strengths in neuromedicine to advance the frontiers of translational research, clinical care, and education. The facility is bringing together the University’s world-class neuromedicine centers and programs in one location, positioning the University of Rochester to lead the nation’s quest for new treatments for diseases of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous systems.

Ernest J. Del Monte, legendary business leader and a Life Trustee of the University, gave special remarks at the event. His generosity was honored and the Institute’s exciting future was discussed by top leaders in attendance including Dr. Bradford C. Berk ‘79M (MD), 81M (PhD), CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center and Senior Vice President for Health Sciences; President Joel Seligman; Dr. Mark B. Taubman, M.D., Acting CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center and Acting Senior Vice President for Health Sciences; Dr. Elizabeth R. McAnarney, M.D., Acting Dean, School of Medicine and Dentistry; Dr. Steven A. Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., Edward A. and Alma Vollertsen Rykenboer Professor, Chairman of Neurology, and Co-Director, Center for Translational Neuromedicine; and Dr. Webster H. Pilcher ‘83M (MD), ‘83M (PhD), ‘89M (Res), Frank P. Smith Professor, Chairman of Neurosurgery, and Director, Ernest J. Del Monte Institute.

To see photos from the gift announcement, click here
Ernest J. Del Monte Neuromedicine Institute.


Wine Auction Raises More Than $725,000

David and Ilene FlaumNearly 300 guests attended the annual Toast to Your Health Fine Wine Auction, which was held on Saturday, November 14, 2009 at the Wegmans Conference Center.  Honorary Chairs Laurence and Dennis Kessler presided over the event hosted by Danny and Stency Wegman.  The Wine Auction raised more than $725,000 to support both the Kessler Family Burn/Trauma Intensive Care Unit at Strong Memorial Hospital and a community-wide need for special emergency room beds at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Unity Health System, and Rochester General Hospital. Major support for the event was provided by Constellation Brands.

To see photos from the event, click here:
Toast to Your Health Wine Auction.


Eye Institute Named to Honor Longtime Supporters

David and Ilene FlaumUniversity Trustee and Medical Center Board member David M. Flaum and his family have been champions of the University of Rochester Eye Institute for years. In recognition of their ongoing leadership, advocacy, and support, President Joel Seligman announced on that the center will be renamed the David and Ilene Flaum Eye Institute.

“David and Ilene Flaum have been unyielding in their commitment to the University of Rochester on many levels,” said Seligman. “In addition to their significant and ongoing charitable contributions, David has played a pivotal role in building awareness of the Eye Institute and identifying and securing funding opportunities. This naming is a fitting and enduring way to honor their steadfast support.” 

“During the early days of the Eye Institute, David expressed to me that he thought we had a wonderful future and he wanted to be involved,” said Steven E. Feldon, M.D., M.B.A., chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and director of the David and Ilene Flaum Eye Institute. “He’s been instrumental in fostering its growth.”

“I’d always been interested in the science of vision and know personally the transformative power of improved sight. So being a part of something that could positively impact lives was certainly a draw,” said Flaum, an inaugural member of the Eye Institute’s Advisory Board. “But I was also attracted by the recruitment of Dr. Feldon who impressed me immediately and continues to prove himself a great leader.”

Flaum is the founder and CEO of Flaum Management Co., a real estate development company based in Rochester. In 2008, he was the Eye Institute’s Partner in Vision Award Winner.

Golisano Children's Hospital Gala Breaks Record

Golisano Children's Hospital GalaThis year's annual Golisano Children's Hospital Gala was held on Saturday, October 24 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. More than 860 guests attended this year and helped to raise a record-breaking net revenue of $686,000. Peter and Allison Formicola served as Honorary Chairs of this year's event. Peter and Allison played an extremely active role this year and were instrumental in securing many new sponsorships and live auction items. We were extremely honored that Peter was able to join us that evening and are deeply saddened by his recent passing. Al Chesonis, a Golisano Children's Hospital Board Member, served as Chair of the event.

To see photos from the event, click here:
Golisano Children's Hospital Gala

50th Reunion Gift Challenge Inspires Extraordinary Results

Bob Witmer, Joel Seligman, and Richard LeibnerThe 50th Reunion Gift Campaign for the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering issued by Richard Leibner and G. Robert Witmer, Jr. motivated fellow classmates to achieve an unprecedented level in personal giving. As of December 28, the Class of 1959 giving total is $4.1 million. The Challenge, which matches George Eastman Circle gifts of at least $1,500 a year for five years by 2:1, inspired 18 class members to join the Circle. The results of the Leibner and Witmer Challenge and the response from classmates have been extraordinary, and there is still time to reach even greater levels of support. Members of all reunion classes may still make gifts to support their class reunion campaigns. Learn more here.

Adeline P. Lutz Makes $6 Million Gift Committment to the Flaum Eye Institute

Adeline P. Lutz Pavilion Dedication

Adeline P. Lutz, a retired music teacher, and her late husband, Walter “Jack” Lutz, who worked at Kodak as an engineer, made a $6 million gift commitment to the David and Ilene Flaum Eye Institute. The gift was announced to the press on October 22. On December 14 of this year, the entrance and facility that houses the Flaum Eye Institute was renamed the Adeline P. Lutz Pavilion in her honor.

Lutz credits the Flaum Eye Institute and her primary ophthalmologist, corneal surgeon Steven Ching, M.D., with saving her sight. “Jack and I wanted to repay him and everyone at the Eye Institute…and ensure that future patients continue to get the very best, the very newest, treatments,” said Lutz. Steven E. Feldon, M.D., M.B.A., chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and director of the Flaum Eye Institute, said, “This generous offering is one of the largest gifts ever received. We are grateful for the Lutzes’ support of our faculty and programs and will use their donation to further enhance the Eye Institute’s role as it becomes one of the top centers in the nation.”

To see photos from the event, click here:
Adeline P. Lutz Pavilion Dedication

Medical Center Announces New Dental Institute

Eastman Institute for Oral HealthLast summer, the Medical Center announced the creation of the Eastman Institute for Oral Health, a division within the Medical Center and now a fully integrated dental enterprise, representing $8.1 million in research funding and 500 faculty, residents and staff. The new Institute brings together all its dental academic units: Eastman Dental Center, the School of Medicine and Dentistry’s Department of Dentistry, and the Center for Oral Biology.

The Eastman Institute for Oral Health has begun the following renovations to improve clinical services for the community:

  • Adding treatment rooms to Eastman Dental Downtown in Sibley Building
  • New Urgent Care Center opening in January at its Elmwood Avenue site to treat 60 patients a day
  • Adding treatment rooms in the General Dentistry and Orthodontic clinics, renovations to the lobby and Periodontics/Prosthodontics area
  • Incorporate new technologies to provide patients the latest in cosmetic, implant and restorative work

In addition, under the new organizational structure, basic science and clinical researchers will work more closely together to translate scientific discoveries for patients’ benefit, such as improving oral health care in children.

Cyril Meyerowitz, D.D.S, M.S., who has served as director of Eastman Dental Center for the last 10 years, was appointed director of the new Institute. “By creating one dental enterprise university-wide, we will, for the first time, be able to truly realize our full potential,” he said.

To see photos from the announcement, click here:
Eastman Institute for Oral Health

George Eastman Circle Dinner: Save the Date

George Eastman Circle LogoMarch 11 : New York City — Save the date for the 2010 George Eastman Circle Dinner to be held at The Plaza Hotel, Fifth Avenue at Central Park South. The featured speaker will be noted television journalist and author Tom Brokaw. A formal invitation will be mailed to George Eastman Circle members in February. For more information, contact Becky Wehle, executive director of Donor Relations, at (585) 273-5892 or e-mail

Fast Forward Archive

June 10, 2009
February 17, 2009
December 22, 2008
December 4, 2008