December 2016

Sean McLaren, DDS, was gracious enough to take time out of his busy schedule to talk about his work and membership

December 2016

Meliora! A Message from Our Chair
Nathan Moser ’75, National Chair, George Eastman Circle

Nathan Moser ’75, National Chair,
George Eastman Circle

Dear Friends,

We had a busy and a productive year.

We helped countless people across the globe benefit from incredible research. We ensured hundreds of students, musicians, and future health care providers across all of Rochester’s campuses received financial aid.  We helped make medical care exceptional.

At Meliora Weekend this fall, we gathered with thousands of fellow classmates, friends, family and community leaders to celebrate our collective impact. We closed out The Meliora Challenge Campaign, and are now focused on creating an even brighter future through our support.

You’ve made a world of difference, every day of the year.

As we close out 2016, I want to thank you again for the significant role you play at the University. Whether you recently joined us, or are looking forward to renewing your George Eastman Circle membership soon, please know how incredibly grateful the entire University is for your leadership.

Have a wonderful holiday season, and—together—let’s keep up the momentum and make 2017 better than ever.



Nathan Moser ’75
Life Trustee
National Chair, George Eastman Circle

P.S. – Click here to see some of the difference you helped make during The Meliora Challenge.

A Member Conversation with
Sean McLaren 03D (Den),06D (Den)

Sean McLaren ’03D (Den), ’06D (Den)

Eastman Institute for Oral Health (EIOH) was recently awarded a $3.5 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for a five-year program that will train more than 100 pediatric and general dentists—plus numerous hygienists, dental assistants and other staff—to treat the unmet oral health needs of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and other conditions.

The program will be led by George Eastman Circle member Sean McLaren, DDS, chair of EIOH pediatric dentistry. He was gracious enough to take time out of his busy schedule to talk about his work and membership.

Congrats on the HRSA grant! What’s most exciting about this new program?

Sean McLaren: It’s ensuring that residents are getting experience they may not otherwise have received and further reducing treatment inadequacies for a growing population of special needs patients. We’re trying to produce exceptional doctors, and this program will provide invaluable learning opportunities.

Did you think you would be spearheading programs like this when you were a dental student?

SM: In dental school, I thought I would mostly be fixing teeth. But the more I got involved with the residency program at [Strong Memorial Hospital] and the pediatric program at [Eastman Institute for Oral Health], the more I was introduced to interesting opportunities that I had never considered or thought possible.

I still really love dentistry, and I think that’s helped keep me so engaged in administrative and policy projects that have potential to shape EIOH and its students.

As an EIOH leader, besides the new special needs program, what else would you like to be able to offer residents or the community?

SM: I would love to start-up an international outreach program for children who have limited or no access to dental care. We have the interest. A lot of our residents have done work of this kind in places around the world. There’s a lot of logistics I haven’t wrapped my head around, including funding, but that’s a long-term goal.

In the short-term, I’m looking at things like equipment, quiet rooms, and other various operational needs.

Seems like the kind of needs donor support might help with.

SM: They really are. Right now, support like that also allows us to send residents to conferences, address clinic issues as they arise, and give us the flexibility to pursue opportunities our budget doesn’t cover.

We love hearing why people decided to join. Can you share your story?

SM: I love this place. I’m a Rochester native, and I graduated from McQuaid Jesuit High School, where students are encouraged by the motto “Men for Others.” To me, that’s what we’re doing. I fully believe in EIOH’s mission and what we teach our residents. The George Eastman Circle was a good way for me to give back to an institution that I grew up admiring.

I direct my gifts to EIOH because we’re a huge safety net for children who come from poor families and have major dental needs. We’re doing things that most other places don’t do, for whatever reason. For example, there are few other pediatric dental care providers that accept the insurances we accept here. We’re a vitally needed resource, not just for the Rochester community, but also for many in the region.

Was providing that kind of help why you got into medicine?

SM: I’ve never liked feeling helpless around family members who were sick or in pain. When I was 15 years old, my brother was in a bad accident that put him in a coma. It was amazing to see the way the doctors and nurses care got him back to breathing on his own and, eventually, talking.

Did that experience help shape the doctor you are today?

SM: Absolutely. It was a traumatic time for my whole family. I remember my parents talking about the differences among the doctors. The doctors they thought were phenomenal were the ones who would take the time to explain what was going on so that they understood. It was so meaningful to have someone come in and not just talk medicine. I always try to do that for my patients and families because I’ve been on that side and know what it’s like to be upset and concerned about a loved one.

Sean McLaren and his wife, Andrea, have been George Eastman Circle members since July 2005. Their membership supports the EIOH Pediatric Dentistry Fund and the General Practice Gift Fund.

Your Philanthropy at Work

This fall’s Garnish Scholars. .

Over the last decade, George Eastman Circle members have created a tremendous impact by supporting hundreds of funds in every corner of the University and its Medical Center. Below are just a few examples of where and how you have helped make a difference. Click here to view the full George Eastman Circle Impact Report.


Student athletes’ experiences are enhanced in the classroom and on the field through your generous support. A great example of this is illustrated by the Garnish Scholar Program, which was created in honor of Lysle “Spike” Garnish, a coach and mentor to many Rochester student athletes from 1930 to 1948. Read more about the many successes this past year.


Every year, more than 85,000 children and families are served at the Golisano Children’s Hospital. Our mission is to provide comprehensive care, perform progressive research that will lead to medical breakthroughs, and educate future pediatricians and specialists. Learn about the impact you’ve help make.


Your support of the Eastman School of Music inspires students to explore their career aspirations to become musical leaders of the future. Travel to Gibbs Street and see the difference you are making.


A “Better than Ever” Meliora Weekend 2016


Meliora Weekend 2016 was packed full of delightful celebrations. Highlights included the Presidential Symposium with Ken Burns, a performance by the legendary Tony Bennett, an evening with Trevor Noah, an outdoor concert with Ben Folds, and a lively keynote with MSNBC’s Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.

You can view photos from weekend’s events by clicking here.

George Eastman Circle Volunteer Councils

There are currently seven councils, located in Boston, Chicago, Metro New York, Philadelphia, Rochester, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. Plans for additional councils in other national locations are forthcoming. George Eastman Circle Leadership Councils are led by volunteers who actively promote leadership annual giving to the University’s closest alumni, friends, and parents, and serve as ambassadors. Councils are comprised of 10 to 20 volunteer leaders, including a chair and/or cochairs, who have active George Eastman Circle memberships.

You can learn more about these and other volunteer opportunities by calling Erin Bory at (585) 275-6603 or by clicking here.

University News

Daniel Ari Mendelson ’93M (MS), ’95M (MD), ’98M (Res),’00M (Flw), Sheila Konar, and Howard Konar

George Eastman Circle members provide critical funds that enable world-class research and health care, create countless academic opportunities, and cultivate the imagination.

The members featured below have made significant Campaign gifts in addition to their membership commitments or have exemplified Meliora in the areas of academia, health care, arts and culture, and/or research.

Skill matched only by compassion. On November 17, the University officially recognized Daniel Ari Mendelson ’93M (MS), ’95M (MD), ’98M (Res), ’00M (Flw) as the William and Sheila Konar Family Professor in Geriatrics, Palliative Medicine, and Person-Centered Care. The professorship was created by the Konar family to enhance patient-centered care, especially for the elderly and complex patients.

Cofounder of the Geriatric Fracture Center (GFC) at Highland Hospital, Mendelson has earned international acclaim for his specialized work in geriatric fracture care. He is also the founder of the Palliative Care Consult Service at Highland Hospital and helped launch the Palliative Care Program at Strong Memorial Hospital. His work is defined by his dedication to determining what the most effective care for patients is and improving the care experience for them and their families.

Read more about the creation of this professorship and why Daniel Mendelson was selected as the inaugural Konar Family Professor.

Leadership for leadership. Longtime friends of the Eastman School of Music, George W. Hamlin, IV, and his wife, Mary, committed $2.5 million to establish the Hamlin Family Director of the Institute for Music Leadership and the Hamlin Family Scholarship.

The directorship will provide support to the Institute for Music Leadership and its mission in perpetuity. The Hamlins created the scholarship to give exceptional students who are passionate about attending Eastman the means to overcome the financial obstacles that might force them to attend a school that was a second or third choice.

Read more about the Institute for Music Leadership and the Hamlin family’s gift.

Upcoming Events

One of the ways we’re able to thank you for your commitment to philanthropy at the University is to extend invitations to various regional gatherings, dinners, and University programs.

George Eastman Circle Reception in Washington, D.C.
December 7, 2016
DLA Piper
Washington, D.C.

Join fellow George Eastman Circle members for an evening of conversation featuring a University of Rochester update from Joe Testani, assistant dean and executive director for the Gwen M. Greene Career & Internship Center. This event is by invitation only. If you’re interested in attending please contact Erin Bory, or (585) 265-6603

Holiday Celebration at the George Eastman Museum
December 9, 2016
George Eastman Museum
Rochester, NY

Join President Joel Seligman, alumni, parents, and friends for an evening of merriment! Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a cappella caroling by After Hours, and the many treasures the museum has to offer, including the popular tabletop tree display and Sweet Creations gingerbread houses. Admission is $20 per person and includes the hors d’oeuvres reception, dessert, and two drink tickets for wine or beer. Self-guided tours will be available, and the museum shop will be open for holiday shopping.

For more information and to RSVP, click here.


Celebrate Meliora
Celebrate the success of The Meliora Challenge in a city near you. Additional details will be available soon. For more information or to register for any of the following events, please click here or contact Advancement Events at (800) 281-2055.

January 19, 2017
Sarasota, Florida

January 20, 2017
Palm Beach, Florida

January 26, 2017
San Francisco, California

February 22, 2017
Washington, D.C.

May 2, 2017
New York, New York

June 7, 2017
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

June 8, 2017
Chicago, Illinois