June 2016

June 2016

Meliora Weekend 2016: Better Than Ever


Why better than ever? Aside from the standard Rochester answer of “that’s what we do,” it’s because we will also be celebrating the success of The Meliora Challenge, which will be concluding at the end of this month.

You have helped us raise more than $1.3 billion, and we want to thank you with a weekend you won’t soon forget. But don’t take our word for it. See some of the featured fun and guests that will accompany legendary singer Tony Bennett, October 6–9.

During the weekend, George Eastman Circle members and their guests will also be invited to these exclusive George Eastman Circle events:

Welcome Reception

Friday, October 7
4–6 p.m.
Stop for some light refreshments to kick off the weekend.


Saturday, October 8
9–10:30 a.m.
Precedes the keynote address.

Hospitality Suite

Saturday, October 8
11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Take a break, and enjoy some food, drink, and entertainment from student performers.

Registration and ticketing for Meliora Weekend opens in July. For more information and a full schedule of events, visit www.rochester.edu/melioraweekend, email alumni@rochester.edu, or call 877.MELIORA (877.635.4672).

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

Nathan Moser ’75, National Chair,
George Eastman Circle

Dear Friends,

Each year, our gifts help support academic and community programs, advance research, and enhance health care. By giving to the areas we care about most, our collective generosity since the program’s inception in 2007 totals to more than $75 million.

As June 30 marks the close of the University’s fiscal year, I’m sure many of you will renew your membership this month. In thinking about that, I want to emphasize that we have been able to accomplish so much because so many of you continue your philanthropic commitment to the University and its Medical Center, helping leaders shape their budgets for world-class programs and new initiatives.

For the George Eastman Circle to continue making its historic impact, maintaining our collective investment is just as important as expanding our base of supporters and members. If you have not already done so, please renew your membership or make your George Eastman Circle installment. I recommend using the convenient auto-pay option. If you are interested in this method to easily keep your membership current, please contact Kim Rasmussen in University Advancement.

Thank you all for your dedication. Staying together and working together will enable us to make an extraordinary difference in many lives, for many years to come.



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

Sharing an Impact

A passion to make a global impact through the University of Rochester unites all members of the George Eastman Circle, but the connections between Pramit Jhaveri ’87S (MBA) and Navin Ram ’95 run even broader.

Alumnus from India?
Philanthropy a part of their identity?
Created a challenge to inspire others?

Ram and Jhaveri are challenging other Indian alumni to join the George Eastman Circle. Their incentive: each has generously committed $25,000 in matching funds. That means if the challenges are met, they will have helped generate several new George Eastman Circle memberships.

For Ram and Jhaveri, the challenge and matching gift are characteristic of who they are.


Navin Ram

“Giving is an attitude,” said Navin Ram, who credits his father’s charitable disposition, in part, for his own generous nature. “It’s not about an amount. You give what you can to help make a difference.”

A charter member of the George Eastman Circle, Ram has provided annual support to the College and the Debate Union, of which he was an enthusiastic member as an undergraduate student. Now he’s an impassioned advocate.

“Debate incorporates improvisation, critical thinking, and other communication skills that help you develop confidence as a speaker. I think everyone should have to take a class in debate at least once in their life,” said Ram, who, after a 10-year stint with Goldman Sachs, is currently running a manufacturing business in Chennai, India.

Ram credits earning the job at Goldman Sachs to his University experience, which is among the many reasons he is grateful to the University, including being able to return to India and give back to his native community. Simon Business School had a similar impact on the CEO of Citibank India, Pramit Jhaveri.

Jhaveri has become increasingly aware of how significant his Simon education was to his career. On June 5, he was able to share lessons and experiences from his life with newly minted graduates during his address at Simon’s commencement ceremonies, where he also received Simon’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.


Pramit Jhaveri

“It’s a combination of things,” said Jhaveri about the value of his time at Simon. “There are the courses you take and Simon’s overall approach, which teaches you how to think about and analyze issues. But, for me, it was also being 10,000 miles from home. That helped me develop confidence, exposed me to new things, and gave me the opportunity to make friends.”

A desire to help his alma mater and other Indian and international students like him led him to establish the Pramit S. Jhaveri George Eastman Circle Scholarship.

“There are very high quality students who don’t have the funds to go to Simon,” said Jhaveri. “I want to make a contribution to a bright young person’s future. Giving back is an important part of my life, in general. And that doesn’t only mean financially.”

Jhaveri has been working with Advancement to create a Simon alumni network in India. Here, too, Jhaveri is mirrored by Ram who is a member of the School of Arts & Sciences National Council.

“I’m like the Energizer bunny,” said Ram. “I’ve always been engaged in many things, but they’re things I’m passionate about—the University, my community, my family, and many other areas. It’s just who I am.”

Jhaveri would undoubtedly say the same.

To learn more about challenge opportunities or how you can use your membership to inspire others, contact Martha Krohn, associate vice president for Alumni Relations, Annual Giving, and Engagement, at (585) 273–3298 or martha.krohn@rochester.edu.

Your Philanthropy at Work


George Eastman Circle members have pledged more than $75 million in annual funds since the program’s inception in 2007. Students, faculty and staff, and patients feel the impact of these gifts every day. Below are some of the areas where your support has helped enable significant advancements and achievements. Learn more about your philanthropy “at work” by following the links below.


One of our many aspirations for The Meliora Challenge was to enrich our collections. You helped us do that. Your gift help us acquire close to 100 letters written by Susan B. Anthony, adding to a rich collection of rare and unique 19th century manuscripts, which now include a total of 300 letters by Anthony.


There are critical areas in health care that need exceptional young doctors. But heavy debt loads often restrict their career choices. Your generosity helped remove those limitations. We were able to provide scholarships that made it easier for top medical and graduate students to follow their passions.


One of the Memorial Art Gallery’s ongoing missions has been to bring art to the community. By designating your gifts to the museum, you helped us triple our outreach to students in public elementary school and host and provide educational tours to 9,500 regional students.

Getting Social


Are you part of our social circle?

The George Eastman Circle LinkedIn group provides networking opportunities to its members around the world. Our LinkedIn page is an excellent place for you to catch up on honors and accolades of current members, share insights on business topics you are interested in, and exchange ideas with other members.

To join this exclusive members-only group, you first need to have a LinkedIn account. Once you have created an account, or if you already have one, visit the George Eastman Circle LinkedIn page, and click “Join” in the upper right hand corner of the screen.

Leading by Example
UR president Joel Seligman awards the Charles Force Hutchison and Marjorie Smith Hutchison Medal to Joseph F. Cunningham '67. (MA) // University of Rochester College of Arts and Sciences commencement ceremony at the River Campus May 17, 2015. // photo by J. Adam Fenster / University of Rochester

Joel Seligman, president, CEO, and Robert G. Witmer, Jr. University Professor awards the Charles Force Hutchison and Marjorie Smith Hutchison Medal to Joseph F. Cunningham ’67.  // photo by J. Adam Fenster / University of Rochester

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.

For broad thinkers. Faculty members, students, and alumni have shown a renewed interest in ensuring the humanities remain vibrant at the University. Joseph F. Cunningham ’67 (MA) and his wife, Andrea are among them. With a $2 million commitment, the Cunninghams created the Joseph F. and Andrea H. Cunningham Endowed Fund for the Humanities.

Read more about the Cunninghams and how their fund will help students obtain a fuller appreciation for the world.

New leaders. George Eastman Circle members provide leadership through their annual gifts, and for many, through their service as volunteers. On May 13, fifteen-year Trustee Danny Wegman became the new board chairman. Wegman succeeds fellow George Eastman Circle member Ed Hajim ’58. In recognition of Hajim’s leadership, the board voted to name the new Science & Engineering Quadrangle in his honor. And two other members were elected as new trustees: Lizette M. Pérez-Deisboeck ’87 and Alan Zekelman ’87S (MS).

Read more about our new board chair, the new quadrangle, and our newest trustees.

Upcoming Events


Through a dedication to philanthropy, the George Eastman Circle helps to shape the future of the University and touch lives around the world. Your five-year commitments provide critical budget-relieving annual funds to specific schools and units of the University and its Medical Center and, ultimately, strengthen the University’s ability to make a profound impact on society.

One of the ways we’re able to thank you is to extend invitations to various regional gatherings, dinners, and University programs. For more information or to register for any of the following events, please visit the Rochester Alumni Exchange or contact the Office of Donor Relations at 800-281-2055.

49th Annual Garden Party
June 14, 2016
Memorial Art Gallery
Rochester, N.Y.

UR Reception in London
June 21, 2016
Barber-Surgeon’s Hall
London, England

Join University of Rochester alumni, parents, and friends for a reception featuring Joel Seligman, president, CEO, and Robert G. Witmer, Jr. University Professor.

Find more information and RVSP on the Rochester Alumni Exchange.

UR Reception in Zurich
June 23, 2016
Hotel Savoy Baur en Ville
Zurich, Switzerland

Join University of Rochester and Simon Business School students, alumni, parents, and friends for a reception featuring Joel Seligman, president, CEO, and Robert G. Witmer, Jr. University Professor and Simon Business School Dean Andrew Ainslie.

Find more information and RSVP on the Rochester Alumni Exchange.

2016 Shaw Festival

July 9
Ontario, Canada

Join University alumni, parents, and friends for a performance of Alice in Wonderland at the internationally acclaimed Shaw Festival, now in its 55th season! Prior to the show, enjoy lunch at Queens Landing, as well as a presentation by Paul Sportelli ’83E, music director of the Shaw Festival and conductor for Alice in Wonderland.

Find more information and RSVP on the Rochester Alumni Exchange.

Rochester at Tanglewood
August 6, 2016
Lenox, MA

6:30 p.m.—Dinner
8:30 p.m.—Concert

Join fellow Rochester alumni, parents, and friends at Tanglewood for an exciting performance of Adams, Chopin, and Strauss, conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero and featuring pianist Daniil Trifonov.

Prior to the concert, enjoy dinner on the beautiful Tanglewood grounds with Joel Seligman, president, CEO, and Robert G. Witmer, Jr. University Professor and Jamal Rossi, the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music.

Tickets for the dinner and concert are $90 per person.
Dinner only tickets can be purchased for $35 per person.

Register online or contact the Office of Donor Relations at 800-281-2055.

Fringe Festival at the Planetarium

September 17, 2016
Strasenburgh Planetarium
Rochester, NY

Join us for a reception and a performance of “Anomaly” by BIODANCE, a Rochester-based dance company led by artistic director and choreographer Missy Pfohl Smith, director of the University’s  Program of Dance and Movement.

Registration will open in mid-July.

Meliora Weekend
October 6–9, 2016
University of Rochester
Rochester, N.Y.

Registration will open in July. Read more about the weekend celebrations and events.