George Eastman Circle Newsletter

George Eastman Circle Newsletter


Nathan Moser at podiumOur Goal is Within Reach

Dear Fellow Members,

I am thrilled to be a part of the George Eastman Circle, a community of 1,975 members and leaders of the University. We are so close to reaching the milestone of 2,000 members by December 31, and we need your help. If you each reach out to just one person, we will not only achieve our goal, but far surpass it. Since 2007, we have outmatched our intentions; we began by seeking 250 Charter Members and we secured 1,087!

So far, 400 people have joined in 2011, and made commitments to a variety of critical Annual Fund programs. There is still time to be included in the 2011 Honor Roll list and for you to help us reach 2,000 by encouraging your friends, classmates, and colleagues to join us by December 31. I would also like to encourage you to visit the George Eastman Circle Web site to fulfill your personal pledge commitment for 2011 and renew your membership, if you haven’t already done so.

In addition to growing our membership, we recently celebrated the public kickoff of The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester, during Meliora Weekend. More than 900 members were part of the 9,200 alumni, students, parents, friends, faculty, and staff who joined us in celebration. This record-setting weekend also welcomed President Bill Clinton, Supreme Court justices, authors, and artists to our campuses. Photos of this unforgettable and historic event can be found later in this edition of the newsletter, along with a profile of one of our newest members, Jim Oschmann ’82, more about The Meliora Challenge, and a Meliora Moment from Tim and Robin Wentworth P’11.

I know how important our collective commitments are to the University. We are making a difference―every day, every year, and in every area including research, academics, health care, the arts, and more. Our ability to designate our gifts to our passions is what makes the George Eastman Circle so unique. In this season of thanks, I would like to extend the sincerest of my own thanks to you, for your continued generosity and dedication to the University of Rochester. I hope to see you in March at the annual dinner, and for now, I wish you a very happy New Year!


Nathan Moser ’75 
Member, Board of Trustees
Chair, George Eastman Circle




The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester

Meliora Challenge

The University has recently embarked on the most ambitious comprehensive Campaign in our history. The public phase of The Meliora Challenge was launched in October, as part of Meliora Weekend, with a two-day gala celebration of the University’s history and objectives for the future. President Seligman announced The Meliora Challenge’s overall $1.2 billion goal, highlighting the momentum that has been building since 2005. He enthusiastically shared that $759 million—63 percent of the Campaign goal—had already been raised and his optimism for the push through $1.2 billion. The Meliora Challenge is designed to advance Rochester’s strong faculty and students, create and bolster innovative programs, enable cutting-edge research, and build facilities to provide the best educational, research, arts, and patient-care environments possible.
Our ‘community of leaders,’ led by Board Chair Ed Hajim ’58, with Campaign Co-Chairs Rich Handler ’83 and Cathy Minehan ’68, are leading a growing army of volunteers committed to the critical goals of the Campaign. There are five overarching financial objectives for the Campaign: $130 million in unrestricted support through the Annual Fund and George Eastman Circle; $225 million for student support, primarily through endowed scholarships and fellowships; $350 million for faculty support, including 80 fully endowed professorships; $375 million for priority projects and programmatic support within the schools and units; and $120 million for campus renovations and new facilities. The priorities are distinct and the message is clear. This Campaign is about engaging, empowering, and defining Rochester for the next generation, and building a community of supporters dedicated to the University’s ongoing service to the world.

The impact of the George Eastman Circle is both unique and extraordinary. Through the development of this leadership annual giving society, you, the members, have raised the bar nationally for annual fund programs, and built a community that’s nearing 2,000 engaged leaders. Your generosity has made Rochester’s Annual Fund, a key priority of The Meliora Challenge, one of the fastest growing in the nation—a trend that must continue. Never before has your leadership been more important.
As the University takes on The Meliora Challenge, the priorities and goals of the schools, units, and programs will be unveiled at various campaign launch celebrations. The Golisano Children’s Hospital, led by George Eastman Circle Members, Mark Siewert, Dr. Lissa McAnarney, and Mike Smith, was the first to announce the public phase of their campaign, capping off Meliora Week. The $100 million goal of the Children’s Hospital is part of the $650 million campaign of the University of Rochester Medical Center, led by Circle Members Rick Aab, Phil Saunders, and Honorary Chair Danny Wegman. The Children’s Hospital campaign will enable the University to build a new, stand-alone children’s hospital, and focus on seven key areas: autism spectrum disorder (effective treatment and understanding of behavioral symptoms and their causes); cancer (access to early phase clinical trials and enhanced quality of life); cardiovascular disease (research to find new ways to diagnose and treat childhood heart disease); eating disorders (sustain and enhance recognition, treatment and prevention services); neonatology (specialized research and clinical programs in lung and brain injuries, two of the most serious injuries for premature infants); supportive care team (deliver compassionate care to children and families); and surgery (recruit, train, and retain talented pediatric surgeons and develop new facilities, operating rooms, and minimally invasive surgical techniques).
During this exciting and historic time for the University, George Eastman Circle members are leading the way as Campaign volunteers, Regional Cabinet and National Council members, and as fellow colleagues and strategists for the future of the University of Rochester. To learn more, visit

Meliora Challenge

Members Celebrate Meliora Weekend

MW 3

It was the largest Meliora Weekend in University history—attended by more than 9,200 students, alumni, parents, friends, faculty, and staff—and the entire community was full of celebration. The public launch of the University’s comprehensive Campaign, The Meliora Challenge, gave reason to come together in the spirit of Meliora. With more than 200 events, the record-breaking attendance included more than 900 George Eastman Circle members who enjoyed special opportunities throughout the weekend. Members were able to take advantage of amenities such as the George Eastman Circle hospitality suite, preferred parking, and early registration for tickets to President Bill Clinton’s keynote address, which nearly 670 Eastman Circle members attended. For more about the weekend’s events, view the photo gallery here.

Welcome to One of Our Newest Members — Jim Oschmann ’82 

All of our members have wonderful stories to share. We are pleased to feature one such story from a member in Colorado, who just joined the George Eastman Circle.

OschmannWhen Jim Oschmann ’82 first considered the University of Rochester for his undergraduate degree, he was attracted by its strong reputation and its smaller, more personal size. A physics major with a keen interest in music (he’s also a trumpet player), he appreciated the diverse opportunities the University offered from significant science and engineering to the Eastman School of Music. “I enjoyed exposure to people from diverse backgrounds and the opportunity to occasionally branch out with activities such as playing trumpet in the pit orchestra for a University play.”

Some of these experiences also fueled his career in optics. During his second year, Jim began a work-study program at The Institute of Optics, working with former director,
Dr. Nicholas George
. “Working in this world-renowned Institute with leading researchers translated what had been a purely academic world into the practical world of engineering,” says Jim. “It solidified my understanding and my passion for optics.”

A highly successful executive in the optics industry, Jim has served in technical and managerial positions across the industry and science community, including leadership positions at the Gemini Observatory and the National Solar Observatory. Today, as vice president and general manager of the Antenna and Video Technologies strategic business unit at Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp, he oversees acquisition and execution of these technology programs for our nation’s tactical defense needs. He continues to maintain a close connection with The Institute of Optics, and has an impact worldwide on the optics industry through his involvement on the Board of Directors for the SPIE, which serves more than 170 countries, in addition to various conference chair and advisory committees.

“I am grateful to be working in a field that I thoroughly enjoy and which allows me to contribute to society. I want to give back to the institutions that gave me the foundation for my career. The scholarships that I received from the University of Rochester were critical, and I want to help other Rochester students who need financial aid. Through the George Eastman Circle, I can do that and increase the production of highly qualified graduates who will continue in the engineering and science fields, helping our country remain competitive in the decades to come.”

A Society of Leaders

In addition to their commitment to the George Eastman Circle, many of our members are leaders across the University. By dedicating time to Regional Cabinets, National Councils, Advisory Committees, Reunion Committees, student mentoring, and much more, we are truly the University’s society of leaders. As we define the University of the future, our peers continue to inspire us to be ever better. These gifts, celebrations, and events are tangible proof that George Eastman Circle members have an immediate impact on the University and create lasting legacies.

  • • The University formally dedicated the Gwen M. Greene Career and Internship Center. President Seligman, Dean Richard Feldman, Burt Nadler, the director of the Center, and Erik Penney ’96, ’05S (MBA), shared meaningful insights about Gwen M. Greene ’65 and her contributions to the students, alumni, and friends of the University. Gwen’s unique ability to inspire the people around her was more than evident in the generous showing of support. The celebration was attended by many of Gwen’s former classmates and friends, as well as her scholarship recipients, whom she has remained close to, and concluded with a special performance by the YellowJackets. Gwen is the chair of annual giving programs, a University Trustee, and a Charter Member of the George Eastman Circle. For more information on the dedication, click here.

  • • University Trustee, Barry Florescue ’66, delivered the keynote address at the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration convocation ceremony. As a highly successful investor, former CEO, and chairman of numerous prominent corporations, Barry provided words of wisdom, advice, and encouragement to the Simon community as they began their educational journey. The Simon School convocation marks the beginning of a new year with the students signing the Simon School Credo, affirming their dedication to integrity and ethical behavior. Barry is a Charter Member of the George Eastman Circle, and along with Charter Member and University Trustee Alan Hilfiker ’60, is leading the Campaign efforts in Florida. For more information on the convocation, click here.

  • Craig T. Jordan, Ph.D. was installed as the first Philip and Marilyn Wehrheim Professor. Family and friends of Philip Wehrheim and Marilyn Wehrheim ’61, ’82 (MS) and supporters of the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center celebrated the Wehrheims’ outstanding commitment and the lasting impact their generosity will have on cancer research and the University. Craig Jordan is a nationally recognized leader in cancer stem cell research and his laboratory focuses on understanding and eradicating cells that give rise to cancer. Philip and Marilyn reside in Rochester. They are Charter Members of the George Eastman Circle and longtime supporters of the University. For more information on the installation, click here.

Members Honored for Commitment to Being “Ever Better”

Eastman Statue

University alumni were honored this fall for their outstanding accomplishments, service, commitment, and leadership to the University and within the community. We are fortunate to count many of these remarkable leaders from across the University as members of the George Eastman Circle. Congratulations to the following award recipients:

Arts, Sciences and Engineering
Hugo F. Sonnenschein ’61, Dean’s Medal
Michael E. Jones ’76, James S. Armstrong Alumni Service Award
Lynn G. Seppala ’74 (PhD), Distinguished Alumnus Award, Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Gail A. Lione ’71, Distinguished Alumnus Award, Arts and Sciences
Daniel K. Cantor ’81, John N. Wilder Award
Joseph F. Cunningham ’67 (MA), John N. Wilder Award

School of Medicine and Dentistry
Robert M. Sutherland ’66M (PhD), Dean’s Medal
John E. Brewer ’74M (MD), Humanitarian Award
Frank W. LoGerfo ’66M (MD), Alumni Service Award
Paul F. Griner ’59M (MD), Distinguished Alumnus Award
Barbara A. Simms, John N. Wilder Award

Simon Graduate School of Business
Martin L. Stern ’79, ’80S (MBA), Alumni Service Award
Carol Anthony (John) Davidson ’88S (MBA), Distinguished Alumnus Award
Michael P. Ryan ’81, ’84S (MBA), Distinguished Alumnus Award
John W. Anderson ’80S (MBA), John N. Wilder Award

School of Nursing
Jean E. Johnson, PhD, FAAN, Dean’s Medal
Patricia W. Stone ’97N (PhD), FAAN, Distinguished Alumnus Award
Connie Lynn Leary ’59N, John N. Wilder Award

Eastman Institute for Oral Health
Jack W. Howitt AB, DDS, Director’s Award

Click here to see photos of some of the awards recipients.

A Meliora Moment — Tim and Robin Wentworth P’11

Tim and Robin Wentworth P’11 have been Charter Members of the George Eastman Circle since 2007. The Wentworths’ giving supports the needs of Arts, Sciences and Engineering, and their leadership is a true representation of the spirit of Meliora.

Tim and Robin Wentworth P’11
Parents – Arts, Sciences and Engineering

WentworthsOur Meliora moment came after our daughter Liz finished her third successful year at UR, (and we finished our third year on the Parents Council), when we realized that the University had exceeded our highest expectations in a great many ways. Our daughter has developed into a confident young woman who, as a triple major with a minor as well, has shown us just how much the University can add to a student’s confidence and capabilities. We also feel that Joel Seligman is at the very top of our list of truly fabulous leaders whom we have ever seen run an institution of any sort.

While we had not attended UR, and, in fact, had not lived in Rochester in nearly 30 years, as native Rochesterians we reflected on how proud we were that Liz was at the University, particularly in view of the amazing role the University plays in the life of our hometown, and where much of our family still reside. We realized that we wanted to “do something” to give back in a longer term way to the University, even though our charitable giving had never included any of the universities which had been part of our lives up to this point. We also knew that as community college graduates, we wanted to do something for the University that would focus on providing help to a student aspiring to get to the University from a start at a community college. 

Working with Lis Bischoff-Ormsbee, who heads the Parents Council, we quickly were able to establish an endowed scholarship that will be granted each year to a deserving community college graduate transfer student who will be a living example of the true meaning of Meliora.

What is your Meliora Moment? Click here to share your story and read others. 

Save the Date: March 15, 2012 GEC Dinner in New York City

Maureen Dowd

Save the Date
George Eastman Circle
NYC Annual Dinner
Keynote Address
by Maureen Dowd,
New York Times columnist and
bestselling author

Thursday, March 15, 2012
Gotham Hall
1356 Broadway
New York, NY
Look for your invitation in the mail this January!

Contact Us

We are deeply grateful for your support and commitment to the University of Rochester. Please contact us with comments and suggestions for future issues of the George Eastman Circle Newsletter. You can bookmark our Web site to learn how to become more involved.

Jenifer Cheney
University of Rochester
Alumni and Advancement Center
300 East River Road
P.O. Box 270441
Rochester, NY 14627
Tel. (585) 276-5581 or (800) 598-1330
Main Advancement Tel. (585) 273-2700
Web site: