Fast Forward: The University of Rochester Advancement E-Newsletter

May 11, 2007

Values and Action

portrait of Jim Thompson

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow humans.”
— Herman Melville

Transformational partnerships, including the involvement of leaders such as George Eastman, Joe Wilson, and others, allowed the University of Rochester to rocket to the status of a world-class research institution in a matter of several decades. If we are to realize our vision of an even greater University, we must build and strengthen new and existing partnerships on many levels and with many facets.

Working in relative isolation, our achievements will be limited. We create synergy by working together, and our opportunities expand dramatically. To reach this level of success, the networks we build must be more far reaching.

Professionals from the nation’s top schools are joining our advancement division. They bring with them a track record of great successes, specialized knowledge, and many best practices in the field. We also have wonderful, talented, and dedicated staff members who have served the University well for many years and who have great insight and institutional memory. This combination gives us an extraordinary opportunity for veteran and new staff members to be partners in building a better advancement team.

We are implementing formal initiatives to vastly expand relationships across the nation. But building partnerships in every aspect of our daily work is also needed for success. The following are relationships that contribute to maximum synergy. We must never lose sight of the fact that these are bonds to be nurtured:

The Board and Key Advisory Groups. They represent our most engaged and motivated volunteer leaders. They bring us insight into the marketplace. Many have tremendous expertise in important aspects of our work. They are among our best advocates and will help cultivate relationships with many friends across the country.

Academic Leaders. Essential in shaping our future, they know how to raise our academic standing and how the University’s programs can serve generations yet to be born. They are leaders in the strategic planning process. They can paint a portrait of the future that will spark excitement and create numerous funding opportunities.

Alumni. They are among our greatest contributions to the world. They go forth and provide leadership for their families, communities, businesses, and their professions. Collectively, they have a positive impact that touches all areas of human endeavor so vast that it is impossible to quantify. Long past graduation, many alumni serve as energetic volunteers, advocates, and advisors for the University. Their connection to the school can and should be deep, lifelong, and rewarding.

The Local Community. As George Eastman hoped, the University contributes to the betterment of community life, ranging from the arts to healthcare. We can open new avenues to share the benefits of this great institution with our local community as well as extend our reach to many communities far beyond Rochester.

Corporations and Foundations. Among their many contributions to the world, research universities help provide grist for the mill of modern business as well as improve the quality of life for millions of people. Our contributions range from vaccines that eradicate diseases to optical technology and beyond. Like universities, foundations exist to support service to society, often in specifically directed ways. By building relationships with these organizations, we make the University stronger and extend our ability to serve.

Parents. In a way, they send us their most cherished assets their children. To maximize the quality of the education we offer, we must partner with parents throughout the process. We all must be learners and community members as well as their daughters and sons, who are our students. We must cultivate University of Rochester families (parents, grandparents, siblings, etc.) with sustained interest and involvement.

I hold the belief down to my core that we are stronger as a cable than as a single line. Each of us must strive to make and encourage interweaving relationships based on shared vision. We must have commitment to something greater than ourselves, something that will outlive us all. We must share that passion with our colleagues and constituents.

Many of my deepest and most productive friendships in life began through partnerships with people united by the passion to build great institutions of higher education. I know in our work together here at the University, we can find joy, camaraderie, and finally the unparalleled satisfaction of knowing we have helped make a positive and lasting difference in the world. Partnerships are at the core of all we do, and we must not lose sight of their importance. Together, we can remake the world, or at least our part of it.


James D. Thompson
Senior Vice President
Chief Advancement Officer

In this Issue

Meliora Weekend: Start With the End In Mind

meliora weekend 2007 (banner)

Meliora Weekend 2006 was a celebratory event for the entire University community and also an extraordinary success for the College, the advancement division, and many partners across campus. We saw numerous examples of outstanding teamwork. New donor-centric strategies and programs were initiated. We discovered we have a distinctive talent for creating events that build relationships and spread the good news about the University.

While October 2007 seems far away, people are already joining forces across the community to prepare for the next Meliora celebration. We offer thanks to President Joel Seligman, Dean Peter Lennie, Senior Vice President Jim Thompson, Executive Director of Alumni Relations Kevin Wesley, Senior Director of Donor Relations Becky Wehle, Senior Director of Alumni Relations Mary Jo Ferr, and many others. Their vision is to exceed all previous expectations, and a solid foundation has already been established.

Please be sure to mark October 19–21 on your calendar, since this weekend calls for “all hands on deck.” Some highlights of our seventh annual program include:

portrait of Colin Powell
  • A keynote address by General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) on Saturday morning, October 20.
  • An address by Andy Thomas ’91S (M.B.A.), president and CEO of Heineken USA, as part of the Simon School’s first-ever reunion program during Meliora Weekend.
  • The second annual Presidential Symposium on Great Issues of the 21st Century. The preliminary title is Faith and Science and panelists to date are Martin Marty, the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago and one of the most prominent interpreters of religion and culture today; Dr. Charles Townes, a physics Nobel laureate, and a winner of the Templeton Prize for contributions to the understanding of religion; and Trustee Hugo Sonnenschein ’61, moderator.
  • A symposium celebrating the 50th anniversary of the “new” Economics Department featuring a stellar panel of two alumni and two former professors.
  • A scientific symposium and banquet celebrating the 75th anniversary of the chemistry doctoral program.
  • Professor Amartya Sen, an economics Nobel laureate and professor of economics and philosophy at Harvard will speak as part of the philosophy department’s humanities project series, "The Nature and Pursuit of Happiness.”
  • The Neilly Library Series, the Anthony Center’s “Conversations, and the Plutzik Reading Series, which have become highly anticipated annual events during Meliora Weekend. (Speakers will be announced in a later issue.)
  • The third annual “Miller’s Court” with alumnus Arthur Miller ’56 discussing national security and civil liberties with distinguished College alumni and friends.
  • The world premier of a University-comissioned work by Tony Award-winning choreographer Garth Fagan.
  • Entertainment by cast members from HBO’s smash hit, Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Senior Vice President Jim Thompson says, “Last year’s Meliora Weekend was a wonderful success. This weekend is an important part of our overall advancement strategy. I want to thank everyone who is working so hard now to ensure an unforgettable event next October. I offer my personal thanks to Peter Lennie, who is taking a leadership role in our efforts to provide a wonderful weekend.”

If you have questions about programs, contact Mary Jo Ferr at or 273.5927. Alumni, parents, and friends will receive a registration booklet in early August. For continuous updates on programs and speakers, visit the Meliora Weekend web site at

UR Expanding Horizons

A-Team Sweeps Florida

image of a party in Florida

This winter, advancement initiatives provided multiple opportunities for alumni, friends, and donors in Florida to connect with Rochester, even if 1,000-plus miles away.

Coordinated through the Florida Regional Team, school-focused programs were offered by the Eastman School of Music and the School of Nursing in January. Special events for major donors and select friends included a dinner in Naples on January 31 and a lunch in Boca Raton on February 2 where Dr. Robert Joynt, distinguished University professor, spoke on “Health, Illness and Death in the White House.” Focus groups of alumni and friends on each coast helped plan and host the events.

VIP receptions featuring Joel and Friederike Seligman brought together University supporters in Palm Beach at the home of Dr. Bruce and Marsha Moskowitz on March 9 and in Naples at the home of Dan and Dorothy Gill on March 10. An all-alumni brunch at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples on Sunday, March 11 drew an enthusiastic crowd who stood to sing “The Genesee” at the close of the program.

“What a beautiful party!” wrote Sally Rohrdanz C’45 about the brunch. “It’s such fun to be wined and dined at such a gorgeous facility surrounded by all you cordial hosts! The food was delicious and so attractive. Of course, President and Mrs. Seligman were in top form. Thank you again for a great time.”

Marianne Virgilio, Florida team coordinator, asks advancement colleagues to be sure that information is updated on FIST/OASIS for seasonal addresses for alumni and friends who spend time in Florida.

Inaugural Reception in Washington, D.C.

image of a quartet at the reception

On Tuesday, February 27, President Joel Seligman and Dr. Friederike Seligman attended an Inaugural Reception in their honor held at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. Nearly 250 guests gathered for the event.

They were entertained by the ViM Saxophone Quartet. Following a warm introduction by Richard Keil ‘83, director of media relations at Public Strategies Inc., President Seligman shared his vision and the good news from Rochester with yet another important constituency. In addition, he met with many alumni, friends, and government representatives while in the D.C. area, strengthening existing ties and establishing new connections for the University of Rochester.

Student Voices Carry the Good News to London

image of the ramblers in London

The University of Rochester’s Midnight Ramblers, an all-male a cappella group whose undergraduate members come from as far away as India and Thailand, recently performed a series of concerts in Great Britain.

In addition to singing before the British Parliament, in Trafalgar Square, and at Covent Gardens, the Ramblers gave a special performance for alumni on Thursday, March 15 at London’s National Liberal Club.

An audience of 76 people with University connections, including alumni and study abroad students, gathered for what Associate Director of Alumni Relations Kelly Clark describes as “a real Rochester family event.” Attendees ranged from a member of the Class of 1951 to currently enrolled students. Alumni from the College, Simon, the School of Medicine and Dentistry, and Eastman were in attendance.

The Midnight Ramblers’ special performance was a remarkable event that took campus life today to the heart of London and suggests possibilities for the future. “The Ramblers were wonderful ambassadors for the University, not just at the alumni event but throughout the whole tour,” says Kelly.

President Seligman’s Advancement Schedule

  • May 16 – Appreciation dinner for Charles Munnerlyn and Thomas Sloan (The Witmer House).
  • May 17 – Dedication of Robert B. Goergen Hall for Biomedical Engineering and Optics.
  • May 19 – Pre-Commencement Dinner (The Witmer House).
  • May 31 – New Rochester Area Trustee Dinner (The Witmer House).
  • June 5 – Garden Party (Memorial Art Gallery and The Witmer House).


A warm welcome to new members of the advancement team and congratulations to those who have moved to new positions:

portrait of Katherine Wintemute

Team Member Profile: Katharine “Kay” Wintemute

Director, Learning and Development

Kay joined us in late March. She is an accomplished learning and organization development specialist who has held positions in national and international organizations, with particular focus on talent management, performance management, and leadership development.

In her new position, Kay’s goal is to build a comprehensive, best-in-nation, University advancement learning and development program. Participating employees will be equipped with the tools and expertise to give their best to the division in their current roles as well as in future positions.

She worked at Stony Brook University Hospital where she was a senior corporate education specialist. Prior to that, she worked for eight years at Arrow Electronics Inc., in Melville, New York, the world’s largest distributor of semiconductors and computer products, first as a training specialist and then as training project manager.

The extensive experience she gained at Arrow Electronics includes facilitating programs on leadership, managing and building performance, recruiting and developing business talent, and mentoring. Participants in her programs ranged in level from senior executives to new managers. She partnered with business units to recognize and prepare high-potential employees for roles of increasing responsibility.

Kay also worked at Newsday, one of the nation’s largest newspapers, in a number of related positions including recruiter and training and organizational development project manager.

She studied in Britain, attaining qualifications similar to the M.B.A. degree level in the United States. Additionally, she took coursework at Columbia University’s Teachers College and has earned numerous specialized certifications in her field.

portrait of Darnell Hines, Jr.

Team Member Profile: Darnell Hines, Jr.

Director of Stewardship

Developing a national reputation as a leader in the stewardship arena, Darnell comes to Rochester from Ohio State University, where he was director of donor relations and stewardship in the Moritz College of Law.

In that position, he created a program that helped increase both the number of annual fund donors and the size of their contributions. He oversaw the law school’s gift acknowledgements and publications, including stewardship reports on the use of endowed and non-endowed funds. Darnell also has extensive experience in special events, leadership giving societies, and the creation of individualized stewardship plans.

At Ohio State, before joining the law school team, he served as coordinator of enrollment services, implementing admissions policies and leading the committee that read applications.

Previously, Darnell worked as membership and development services assistant at the Reading Recovery Council of North America. Members of this international, nonprofit organization help low-achieving children read at their grade level. Among other activities, he managed gift acknowledgements, traveled to national and regional conferences to recruit members, and increased advertising revenue at the Journal of Reading Recovery by 50 percent.

Darnell has been a presenter at a number of professional conferences, such as the 2005 CASE Conference for Donor Relations Professionals, where he spoke on the topic of “Stewardship as a New Position.” He also chaired “Stewardship Omnibus,” the Association of Donor Relations Professionals’ 2006 Midwestern Regional Conference. He earned his B.A. in political science from Ohio State.

New and Newly Promoted Advancement Team Members

Click on names below to read team member profiles. To see the full list, click here.

Kim Cardone
Communications Assistant

Nicole Galusha

Jennifer Jacoby
Senior Research Analyst

Betsy Jenson
Development Associate

Kelly Johnson
Associate Director of Reunion Giving

Karen McIntyre
Development Program Assistant, JPWCC

Mary O'Neill
Assistant Director of Reunion Giving

Linda Pettenski
Administrative Assistant

Deborah Roller
Presidential Travel Scheduler

Janet Wood
Administrative Assistant

Elizabeth Zogby
Interim Associate Director of Foundation Relations

Giving Highlights

  • The Wilmot Cancer Center Comprehensive Campaign has surpassed the $30 million mark toward the $42.5 million goal. Recent gifts include $50,000 from J. T. Mauro Co., $50,000 from Betty Henshaw, and $15,000 from Thomson West.
  • This year’s James P. Wilmot Cancer Center’s Discovery Ball, held on the evening of Saturday, April 28, was attended by a record crowd of 1,100. The result was a total contribution of over $1.5 million (after expenses) to support patient care, cancer research, and the Wilmot Cancer Center ’s comprehensive campaign.

    Highlights of the evening included the presentation of the Inspiration Award to William Bonnez, M.D., Richard Reichman, M.D., and Robert Rose , Ph.D. for their research on the human papilloma virus, which led to the development of the cervical cancer vaccine.

    Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D. and Medical Center C.E.O. along with President Joel Seligman publicly announced for the first time the $5 million gift given by John Rowe, M.D. to support the Wilmot Cancer Center Comprehensive Campaign. Richard I. Fisher, M.D., the center’s director, ably served as Master of Ceremony for the Ball. He has been instrumental in moving the campaign forward and managing plans for the new cancer center facility, where the Discovery Ball will be celebrated next year.
  • The University of Rochester has established a scholarship fund, the beneficiaries of which will be called the Alan and Jane Handler Scholars, with a $500,000 grant from the Handler Charitable Trust. Click here for the full story.
  • Trustee Michael Jones and his wife Diane have pledged $1.5 million to establish an endowed professorship in the Simon Graduate School of Business. Click here for the full story.
  • College and Warner School Alumnus Dr. Herbert Miller ’62, ‘64W (M.A.) pledged a $62,500 gift to the Warner School: $50,000 to establish the Herbert R. Miller Scholarship Fund and $12,500 through 2011 in Annual Fund payments – also making him a charter George Eastman Circle member. This is the second largest gift the Warner School has received.

    The Herbert R. Miller Scholarship will be awarded to a teaching and curriculum student who has the prospect of doing something to “make a difference” in the use of technology in education or in mathematics education, or both.
  • April Luehmann, assistant professor of teaching and curriculum at the Warner School, has been awarded a Knowles Science Teaching Foundation Young Scholars Fellowship totaling $110,000. Click here for the full story.
  • Richard T. Fields donated $225,000 to support research to find a cure for FSH muscular dystrophy. This gift represents his initial contribution. Discussions continue concerning an eight-year commitment to create the Fields Center for FSHD Research and Care.
  • Three members of the Eastman School of Music community were recently given 2007 Fulbright Awards to study abroad. Click here for the full story.
  • The School of Nursing received a gift of $150,000 for unrestricted purposes from the estate of Edna Muntz.


OASIS launch party photo

FF: Congratulations! OASIS is live and we understand that the advancement team is off to a great start using the system. Do you have any stats to report?

OASIS Team: Yes! Everyone was obviously looking forward to getting their hands on OASIS. At the end of the second day of availability, we had more than 262 new contact reports, 59 tasks, 17 new prospects added, 429 new messages, and lots of great questions coming from users through their Staff Support Representatives (SSRs). We are off to a fantastic start!

Of course, we could not be here without the efforts of the SSRs. SSRs were selected by department managers across the division to serve as advancement systems support providers and are the end users’ link to OASIS. During the last two weeks of April, they offered 103 staff members in-depth OASIS training and spent a considerable amount of time before then preparing to be trainers.

A second wave of training begins in June for those advancement staff members who do not have direct fundraising responsibilities.

FF: We heard the Go-live celebration was a huge success. Can you share details?

OASIS Team: Definitely! On May 1, Jim Thompson, Joel Seligman, CIO Dave Lewis, Michiel Westerkamp, president of SunGard Higher Education, and other distinguished guests — including more than 100 advancement and University Information Technology staff members — helped us officially launch OASIS. President Seligman and Jim Thompson shared inspirational words, participated in a ceremonial ribbon cutting, and then enjoyed a celebratory slice of cake to mark the occasion. We were thrilled with the show of support from the advancement organization and want to thank everyone for attending!

The OASIS team welcomes comments and suggestions at any time. Contact us at or xOASIS (x6.2747).

Out & About

May 11 — Rochester — Golisano Children’s Hospital’s Miracle Lunch to honor miracle maker award winners. Rochester Riverside Convention Center. Contact: Angela Pullen, program assistant for special events (585) 273-5937;

May 17 — Rochester — Bi-annual meeting of the School of Medicine and Dentistry Alumni Council. Louise Slaughter Room at SMD. 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.

May 17 — Rochester — Dedication of Robert Goergen Hall for Biomedical Engieering and Optics. 3:30 pm — dinner in Flaum Auditorium for trustees and donors.

May 18 — Victor, New York — 19th Annual Simon School Golf Classic. Ravenwood Golf Club. 11:30 am. Register by May 10 - $125. Contact: Office of Alumni Relations and Development (585) 275-7563

May 23 —Rochester —Visiting Nurse Service (VNS) Annual Hospice Angel Gala. Oak Hill Country Club. 6:00 to 10:00 pm. $60 per ticket. Contact Shelly Roberts, assistant director of the foundation (585) 787-2233 x8504;

May 25 — Washington, DC — ViM Saxophone Quartet performance. Join alumni, parents, and students for an evening at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Free; registration required. Contact: Eastman School of Music Office of Alumni Relations (866) ESM-ALUM or (585) 274-1111

May 29 — Anaheim, California — Urology Resident/FLW Alumni Reception. American Urological Association. Contact: Deb Walker, associate director of development (585) 273-5472;

May 30 — Victor, New York — Highland Hospital Golf Classic. Ravenwood Golf Club. 1:00 pm. Contact: Megan Vargulick, program assistant (585) 275-0806;

June 5 — Rochester — Garden Party at the Memorial Art Gallery featuring President Joel Seligman‘s “State of the University Address.” 5:30 remarks; 6:00 reception. For More information call (585) 273-5888

In the Field

A tip for travelers: Associate Director of Development Andrew Grossman, who frequently puts his “boots on the ground” for the division, has found a link that is likely to be useful to people who travel with their computers. It lists free wi-fi locations in various cities. The lists also show the various cafes around town, which can also be helpful when setting up meetings. Check them out:



Never Forget to Keep Balance in Your Life: Spotlight on Andrea Pizzo

portrait of Andrea Pizzo

The ancient Greek playwright Euripides wrote some advice nearly 2,500 years ago that is still relevant to all of us today: ”The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are very wise.“

In their communities, members of the A-Team are involved in a surprising variety of activities that bring balance to their lives and extend their personal quests for excellence. A lifelong passion has brought recognition to Administrative Assistant Andrea Pizzo. She was recently named to the Rochester Men’s and Women’s Bowling Hall of Fame Class of 2007 for Outstanding Achievement.

A top Rochester bowler for nearly 15 years, Andrea has received numerous honors and set a standard for excellence. We offer our congratulations on a fantastic record to date and look forward to hearing news of her future accomplishments.

Current Advancement Job Opportunities

For more information about open positions in the University of Rochester's Advancement Division, visit our Advancement Careers website.

UR Links

Keeping you connected to online information about Rochester

Givin' Grins

The lighter side of advancement. Humor courtesy of

Submit to Fast Forward

Contact a newsletter correspondent in your area:

Fast Forward Archive