February 2012

As a George Eastman Circle member, you are part of a key constituency of the University’s community of leaders

February 2012

The Honor Of Giving

Dear Friends,

Thank you for being part of the George Eastman Circle and for your incredible leadership. Whether you have just joined us, or have been a member for years and recently renewed your commitment, you have likely heard that our membership stands at 2,050—which is a remarkable success.

In a few weeks, you will receive the 2011 George Eastman Circle Honor Roll, which recognizes active members who have made five-year gift commitments to the University from the inception of our program through the close of 2011. Within this honor roll, you will also find the many ways your gifts have had an impact on the University of Rochester. I am honored to share a place in this book with all of you.

Every year, the generosity of Eastman Circle members is bolstering financial aid, supporting a world-class faculty, and enhancing already extraordinary programming. We are making the expansion of schools and units possible, promoting arts and culture, and ensuring the delivery of “Medicine of the Highest Order.” In these ways, and many more, we are exemplifying philanthropic leadership.

As a George Eastman Circle member, you are part of a key constituency of the University’s community of leaders—a community we need to continue to expand. In this issue, you will read more about our new Rochester Region Leadership Council and its members, who are already leading by example and helping us grow our program’s reach.

Currently, we have Eastman Circle members in 42 states and 11 countries. If we each extend an invitation of membership to our friends, former classmates, and colleagues, we will broaden the George Eastman Circle’s role and legacy, along with our global network. We will also increase the impact of the Annual Fund, which has a goal of $130 million for The Meliora Challenge. By the next time I write to you, I hope to be able to say that we have members in all 50 states.

Together, we can help the University deliver this success. Again, I am sincerely grateful for all of your ongoing support and participation—and I look forward to thanking you in person and celebrating with you at this year’s George Eastman Circle Dinner in New York City on March 15.

Until then, Meliora!


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

George Eastman Circle Launches Rochester Leadership Council

The new George Eastman Circle Leadership Council for the Rochester Region has been formed and will hold its inaugural meeting on April 24. This diverse group of 16 leaders exemplifies the Rochester region, which has more than 800 George Eastman Circle members. The Leadership Council represents all units of the University according to their volunteer interests, professional associations, and academic degrees. The Rochester Council will be a blueprint for additional leadership groups as we extend our reach into other key regions and cities in the future.

Led by Honorary Chair Phil Saunders and Co-ChairsAlexander (Sandy) Williams ’92, Courtney Williams ’87, and John Paganelli, the Leadership Council was formed to promote the Eastman Circle to the University’s alumni, parents, and members of the Rochester community. Council members will host events, leverage their networks, serve as strategic advisors for their region, and encourage participation in the Eastman Circle to grow its Rochester region membership. For a complete listing of the Leadership Council for the Rochester Region, please click here.

A special thank you to all George Eastman Circle members for being advocates, and for the many leadership roles you play across the University.

Member Profile: Noah D. Drezner ’00

All of our members have wonderful stories to share. We are pleased to feature one such story from a member who played a critical role in developing the new Associates level of membership in the George Eastman Circle.

As a prospective student, Noah Drezner ’00 was drawn to the University of Rochester by its academic offerings. But it was a litmus test that solidified his decision to attend. “When I visited campuses, I would randomly say ‘hello’ to people and watch their reactions. The friendliness of Rochester really sold me. It’s such a warm and supportive campus, I knew it would be a good fit socially and academically.”

An environmental sciences major, Noah also developed a co-curricular trajectory that included fundraising work for the University. Working on his honors thesis his senior year, he suddenly realized that development work within higher education was more than just an interest: it was his passion. “Rochester afforded me the opportunity to begin an exploration of myself that I didn’t have the maturity or reflectivity to do before coming to campus. I always had an interest in the power of philanthropy, but was unable to articulate it until Rochester helped me find my voice and my true passion.”

Noah went on to pursue a master’s in higher education at the University of Pennsylvania, intending to re-enter his career as a practitioner. But his exploration in theory and practice ultimately led him to a Ph.D., also from Penn, and his current role as assistant professor of higher education at the University of Maryland, where his research includes higher education’s role in prosocial behaviors and giving in communities of color and other non-traditional donor groups.

A Charter Member of the George Eastman Circle, former chair of the University’s Young Alumni Council, and a member of the Alumni National Council, Noah emphasizes the importance of having a more accessible Associates level for recent graduates. He shared this concept with Advancement staff and worked with them and other volunteers to create this critical new membership level.

“I know lots of younger alumni are just as passionate about Rochester as I am and want to say ‘thank you’ by joining the George Eastman Circle. But they often don’t have the access point of $1,500 per year initially. Creating an Associates level membership allows these enthusiastic supporters of the University to become engaged long-term and make a difference. I truly believe that everyone has the ability to be a philanthropist, and I’m excited to help connect recent Rochester grads with an area they are passionate about through this new level of George Eastman Circle membership.”

For more information on the new Associates level membership please click here.

Leadership Through Philanthropy

Reaching the $1.2 billion goal of The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester will require leadership of all kinds. George Eastman Circle members are playing a significant role in the progress we have made thus far. Their generosity and longtime commitment to supporting the University’s faculty, students, programs, Annual Fund, and facilities are critical to advancing our mission to Learn, Discover, Heal, Create—and make the world ever better. The following gifts and honors demonstrate how George Eastman Circle members continue to be the leaders and exemplars of this Campaign:

J. Michael Smith, co-chair of the Golisano Children’s Hospital campaign and his wife Alice, made a $1.3 million leadership gift in support of the Children’s Hospital. Click here for more information.

Golisano Children’s Hospital Chair of the Board of Directors and Co-Chair of its campaign, Mark Siewert, and his wife, Marcia, support enhancements to seven pediatric programs with a $1 million gift. Click here.

Evans Y. Lam ’83, ’84S (MBA) and his wife, Susanna, established the Susanna and Evans Y. Lam Professorship at the Simon School, helping the effort to attract global business scholars. Click here.

Joseph T. ’75S (MBA) and Janice M. ’78S (MBA) Willett, gave $3.5 million in support of scholarships at the Simon School, the College’s Department of English, and the University’s International Theatre Program. Click here.

At his home in Florida, the Simon School awarded Barry Florescue ’66 the Dean’s Medal for the philanthropy and inspirational leadership he has provided to the School and the University’s new undergraduate business degree program in his name. Click here.

J. Peter Simon ’08S (LLD) received the Simon School’s Dean’s Medal at the 25th Naming Anniversary of the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration for his philanthropy and inspirational leadership. Click here.

A Meliora Moment:
Paul Burgett 68E, 72E (MA), 76E (PhD)

In my long association with the University of Rochester, three Meliora Moments dominate memories of nearly half a century as a student, academic leader, and teacher.

The first was my arrival at the Eastman School of Music as a freshman in 1964. Those early days were momentous and thrilling. Despite inevitable anxieties that accompany being new to a place and a certain terrible certainty that Eastman would realize soon enough that it had made a mistake by admitting me, I also quickly felt absorbed by a sense of having arrived at Parnassus, of being in the midst of musical greatness much larger than myself, of new associations with fellow musicians on a scale unlike anything I had ever experienced. Music was the totem that bound us, and the ecstatic feelings stirred within me from those earliest associations and activities and that fed my musical and social development remain as vibrant and alive within me today as then. Simply walking into the Main Hall at Gibbs Street today enlivens those feelings; telling any current or former Eastmanite that I’ll meet them under the clock is commonly understood; browsing the stacks of the Sibley Library with its musty smells calls up memories of courses taken long ago; sitting in the Eastman Theatre and Kilbourn Hall recalls sounds and sights of great musical performers and memorable performances as well as storied legends, some funny, some profound, about both.…

To read more of Paul’s Meliora Moment, click here.

Make Your Reservations Now:
March 15, 2012
George Eastman Circle Dinner in New York City

Maureen Dowd, The New York Times columnist and bestselling author

Make your reservations now!

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

Thursday, March 15, 2012
Gotham Hall
1356 Broadway at 36th Street
New York, NY

To make your reservations, contact the Office of Donor Relations at 585-275-7393.