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n the agency's 36-year history, 285 Rochester alumni have joined the Peace Corps. That places Rochester eighth nationally among all small colleges and universities producing volunteers, the Peace Corps agency has announced.

"You and the faculty at Rochester can take great pride in having instilled in your students a spirit of service and a sense of adventure," Peace Corps director Mark Gearan wrote in a letter to President Thomas Jackson.

Adventure was one of the primary reasons Sarah Collard '95 joined the Peace Corps. "I wanted to explore," she said. Collard took on a two-year stint as a teacher in the African nation, the Republic of the Gambia. "I was the first female teacher these children had ever had. I know that I adjusted some of their perceptions about the United States. They began to understand that there are different cultures with beliefs other than their own.

"Saying good-bye was the most painful thing I've ever done."

(Rochester has another important Peace Corps connection: Donald Hess, now retired as Rochester's vice president for administration, was director of the U.S. Peace Corps and Peace Corps/Korea in the early 1970s.)

The Peace Corps defines small colleges and universities as those with fewer than 5,000 undergraduates. Other institutions in that category that have produced the most Peace Corps volunteers are the University of Chicago, Dartmouth College, Oberlin College, Tufts University, Carleton College, Saint Olaf College, Middlebury College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Emory University.

More than 150,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps since its launch in 1961. Today, nearly 6,600 volunteers work with the corps in 87 countries.


Adds one more sizable piece to the Plutzik Library

Rush Rhees Library is almost brimful with the recent acquisition of several thousand volumes in the William and Hannelore Heyen Collection of Modern Prose and Poetry. With materials from the extensive collection of poet William Heyen, the major literary archive includes inscribed first editions, along with Heyen's own manuscripts and journals.

The collection is part of what is to become the Hyam Plutzik Library for Contemporary Writing, a collaboration of Rush Rhees Library and the Hyam Plutzik Memorial Poetry Series of the Department of English. The Plutzik Library, currently the conference room and hallway near the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, will also include the Jarold Ramsey Study named after recently retired English Professor Jarold Ramsey. The overall facility will provide space for the study of writing and various literary readings and events.

A lead gift from Jonathan and Lesley Plutzik, the son and daughter-in-law of the late University Professor Hyam Plutzik, has been made to help with the construction of the facility. Other gifts are being sought and it is hoped that construction can begin later in the year. Many friends and former students of Ramsey have contributed to the project in a special effort chaired by Myra Gelband '71 and Alan Hilfiker '60, University trustees. Numerous alumni and friends have also donated generously for purchase of the Heyen Collection, including leadership gifts from Trustee Andrew H. Neilly, Jr., '47, and Lyndon Wells and Marie Ostendorf Wells '50.


When WRUR officially hit the airwaves at 8 p.m. on February 10, 1948, founders George McKelvey '50, '58 (Mas) and Glenn Bassett '48 boasted that, with its 10-watt transmitters, the radio station could be heard on any radio on both the men's and women's campuses. Now in its fiftieth year, WRUR, powered by 300 times the original 10 watts, broadcasts throughout Monroe County.

George McKelvey reminisced about the radio station for its golden anniversary via telephone in January. He died soon after, on January 18. He was 72. McKelvey was the retired director of development for Harvey Mudd College. Previous to that, he was director of alumni relations for the University of Rochester and associate director of the American Alumni Council.

"I had been reading a story in the New York Herald-Tribune about college radio stations," recalled McKelvey. "And it just seemed as though Rochester needed one." (McKelvey came to Rochester after a stint as a radio operator during World War II.)

McKelvey and Bassett made a sales pitch to the College's Board of Controls and "I conned them out of $3,500," McKelvey said. With cash in hand, he traveled to New York City and bought the original control panel for the station. It was installed on the ground floor of Burton Hall, near the stairway leading to what was then the Faculty Club.

Opening night ceremonies in Strong Auditorium included speeches from Eastman School director Howard Hanson and College deans Clark and Wilder, along with performances by the women's glee club, something called the Little Upper Gutter Dramatic Intencio Society, and the Eastman School's symphony orchestra and jazz ensemble. The station then broadcast every evening from 7 p.m. to midnight. Programming included classical music, wire service news (hot off a Western Union telegram), intercollegiate sports, and performances by the College's drama and glee clubs. The station also carried programming from the Empire Network, an affiliation of college radio stations.

"An outstanding example of undergraduate progressivism is the promotion of WRUR," the 1949 Interpres declared. "Here is another concretion of an idea belonging in this generation. Here is a new thought pushing away stagnant thinking."

"It was a big project, big for the campus," said McKelvey of the radio station. Beginning with 12 volunteers "it quickly became the largest campus organization." WRUR now has about 150 students involved, plus several community volunteers.


If you're an alumnus with both a winter and a summer address, please notify the Alumni Association. This way, we can keep you informed of special alumni programs in your area of the country, all year long.

To report your seasonal address, call the Alumni Association at (800) 333-0175. In Rochester, call (716) 273-5888.

The e-mail address is, and the mailing address is 685 Mt. Hope Ave., University of Rochester, P.O. Box 278993, Rochester, NY 14627-8993.


Rochester regional council event hosts help keep our connections to the University vital and exciting. Our thanks to the following who sponsored events during the Yellowjackets Winter Tour: St. Louis--Lois and Robert Orchard; Cleveland--Mary Ruhl '93 and Tim Healy '89; Detroit--Theresa Tuthill '84, '91 (PhD); Buffalo--Charles Harrington '45; Chicago--Robert '42 and Ruth Diller Woods '44.

Thanks also should go to the following alumni for sponsoring events: Atlanta--Kathy Waller '80, '83S (MBA) and Dick Berkowitz (parent '99); St. Petersburg--Jack Fassett '48; New York City--Sandra Jacobus Shore '70, Victor Boyajian '82, and Ray Stark '67; and Rochester--Lois Christianson Giess '63, Roger Lathan '54, and Bill Ryan '49.


If you would like the Alumni Association's help in contacting a classmate or friend, please write that person a letter (specifying the individual's name and class year) and send it--in a sealed envelope if you prefer--to the Fairbank Alumni House, University of Rochester, P.O. Box 278993, Rochester, NY 14627-8993. We will then forward the letter.

We forward these requests to protect the privacy of our 79,000 alumni. The Alumni Association does not, without permission, share the addresses or phone numbers of alumni with anyone, including fellow alumni.

Alumni Association
685 Mt. Hope Ave.
University of Rochester
Box 278993
Rochester, NY 14627-8993
Phone: (800) 333-0175 or
(716) 273-5888
Fax: (716) 473-5739
E-mail address:
Web site:

Editorial Office, 147 Administration
Building, University of Rochester,
Box 270033, Rochester, NY
Phone: (716) 275-4117
Fax: (716) 275-0359
E-mail address:
Web site:


With organizations in major American cities and around the world, the Regional Alumni Councils offer a range of opportunities for alumni to become involved with the College, including community service activities, student recruitment, social events, fundraising efforts, career networking, and reunion planning. For details in your area, call Terry Gurnett '77, at the Alumni Association, (800) 281-2055. The Rochester-area number is (716) 273-5894. The e-mail address is info@alumni.rochester and the URL for the Alumni Association Web site is

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Rochester Review--Volume 60 Number 3--Spring-Summer 1998
Copyright 1998, University of Rochester
Maintained by University Public Relations(jc)