Simply walking from class to class under the majestic elm trees which lined the main quad and knowing that I was part of an institution which would help to shape my future in ways I could not even imagine! I was aware that the education I was receiving was one of the best in the world and that I was so fortunate!
My favorite professor on River Campus was Dr. Alfred Geier, professor of Classics, Greek Literature and Thought, Plato. In his classroom, we students learned of the philosophy of the ancient thinkers and had a chance to grapple with many of life's truly important questions. Dr. Geier took on the persona of Zeus for me as he stood tall and wise at the podium, as anxious to hear the thoughts of his students as he was to impart his knowledge.
I remember fretting with him over whether or not I should take a course as a Pass/Fail option during office hours. I was having some doubts early on about my ability to grasp some of the concepts. His reply was a question: "Why are you so worried about a grade when you really should be more concerned about what Socrates is telling us?" He is a great teacher indeed!
In Nursing School, my favorite professor was Marjorie Pfaudler, RN. She taught me my first clinical course at SMH when I was a nervous, green, wide-eyed student. Miss Pfaudler always had a smile on her face and instantly put her students at ease. She taught us compassion for our patients which besides competence, is the single most important virtue of a good nurse and indeed of a good person!
I also remember "TAs" (Teaching Assistants) in Chemistry lab who, IN JEST, informed us that our lab grades would be inversely proportional to the length of our skirts! Mini- skirts were becoming quite the fashion accessory back then! Some of my male classmates actually considered wearing skirts to lab!!!
I loved attending Yellow Jackets basketball games at the Palestra - especially when my big brother, Jim Holoka was playing. Watching homecoming football games while shivering in the stands, and wearing huge, yellow, pompom mum corsages was so much fun - especially when we won!!!
Both of my brothers, James Holoka '69 (Professor, Eastern Michigan University) and David Holowka '76 (Architect, NYC Public Library System) are alums as well. Note: Our last name is actually, Holowka, but when we entered the school system, our parents dropped the "w" so as to decrease confusion over the pronunciation. My brother, James has kept that spelling and David and I have gone back to the original Holowka, pronounced: Hello-ka.
So many, many wonderful memories. I am looking forward to seeing many of my classmates at Reunion this Fall!
I am so grateful to the University of Rochester!!! Meliora!!!
- Mary Ann (Holowka) Sprung
What U of R means to me 40 years later
The University of Rochester was a time and place that shaped my world. I was on my own and I learned what to do that was the 'real' me ….and I figured out what not to do as well. My days and years at U of R opened my eyes to new cultures and ways and beliefs. It was a whole new world.
It was a place of safety………. to grow and learn and experiment.
It was the greatest adventure of my life that took me to a place of coming to know who I really was as a person. It gave me experiences that allowed the shy and introverted young girl I was, to blossom into a confident young women equipped to deal in the world. The U of R campus was storybook: a great place to see, do, and be.
The "U of R", as I still so fondly say, means I was exposed to some of the greatest minds in academia. It was a blessing to sit in the classrooms of the brightest, most innovative and forward thinking professors in the country. So many were extraordinary! So many of them were my 'favorites'. So many were the kind of teachers who mentored you and helped you with life lessons as well; knowledge beyond the text books. We knew they cared about the person, not just the grade. They inspired the professional I am today.
And, the best minds for the future sat beside me as well, as my classmates at U of R; super smart, talented, of good values, and from all over the world.
When I reflect back on my days at the U of R, I am proud to say I was a student there. I am proud to say I attended U of R with many who were change agents, who have done good in the world; noble and righteous and 'giving' deeds in this world.
U of R showed me how to work positively and authentically with others who were different in background, religion, ethnicity, regional cultures, etc. At U of R, several individual and collective acts of activism renewed my understanding of and commitment to fighting for social justice.
What it means to me is that I received the best education anyone could have; the knowledge, the skills, the practices. I went to the institution of higher education that was just right for me….the size, the number of people, the campus, and the activities….everything
What it means 40 years later is that the U of R 'touched' me in a very profound way. I can see some things as if it were yesterday. Some people are steeped in my memories like yesterday.
I could never forget the U of R. I will support it, celebrate it, honor it, and continue to reflect on it, as I continue to grow.
"By the Genesee"………………Wow!
- Nas I. Afi
Professor Russell Peck is another highlight of my undergrad years. It was great to read his recent profile in Rochester Review and to see how active he remains for his students! What an example he remains of how to inspire others. Professor Jarold Ramsay was my faculty advisor in the English Department. He made a scared freshman feel that adjusting to life on one's own would all work out and be OK!
I held a part-time job in the Admissions Office for two years and three summers, and seeing how the University operated on an administrative basis in the days of W Allen Wallis made me consider a career change into that part of academia for quite some time.
As a Rochester area native, the U of R has always meant "home" for me in any case, and I always try to visit the campus when visiting family in Pittsford, Fairport, and East Rochester. Additional draws to the campus include a younger brother, Eric, in the class of '75, and the Interfaith Chapel where I was married in 1972. Wherever I have lived, the U of R provided a base from which to meet people, make friends, and stay connected, however informally, with the academic world. Now as a member of the George Eastman Circle and as a member of the newly established Texas Cabinet for University Advancement, I hope I can assist in adding some life and breath to the name of the University in this part of the country.
- Gary S. Walter
My favorite Rochester Memory!
I am packing my favorite little tiger stripe overnight bag (born in 1950, we are tigers in the Chinese calendar). Tomorrow at 5:32 a.m., I am taking the Amtrak to NYC with U of R classmate, Carol Arieno. It is April, but it will be a cold and snowy morning. My dear husband, Michael, ('71 U of R) will drive us to the station, even though he recently suffered a concussion during a dog walking incident. The neighborhood around the train stations are still harsh.
We are meeting Judy Francavilla deJong, Barb Thorne Benkwitt, and Pat Gordon (all UR' 72). Kris Kawakami Dean, who cheerled this outing had to bail out due to a real work emergency. We will spend a hopefully wonderful evening with Matthew Broderick and his new show.
Many lifelong friends, who are smart, caring and fun are a precious gift from the University of Rochester.
- Mary (Hasek) Grenier
My favorite memories
Forty years later, I know that U of R provided me with a superb education in a wonderful right-sized setting filled with wonderful, intelligent people. I frequently refer to it as the best four years of my life.
- Paula (Lapin) Zeman
- Bill Robinson
I thank my suitemates, Bill Benkwitt and Paul Hudson, for talking me into taking it even though it was for Chem majors and Chem engineers
- Ken Cohn
Add Your Own Memory