The Rochester Review, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA

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One might have wondered about "friendly ghosts" at this year's commencement as Henry Clay Vedder III '98 received his diploma: The biology major is the fourth generation in his family to attend Rochester, graduating exactly 100 years after his great-grandfather's Commencement.

Two years ago Vedder transferred to the University from Georgia Southern University to pursue his studies in biology and science. The College, then in the initial stages of its Renaissance Plan, offered what he saw as wider options for study and more research opportunities. He plans to become a physician.

In the mid-1800s, the first Henry Clay Vedder earned his undergraduate degree at Rochester before pursuing doctoral studies in theology and church history. His son, Edward Bright Vedder, graduated from the University in 1898 and went on to become a renowned medical researcher. (When this Vedder graduated, it was in the president-less four-year space between the terms of David Jayne Hill and Rush Rhees; at that time, undergraduate programs were growing by leaps and bounds.) Edward's son, Henry Clay Vedder II, attended Rochester before completing his medical studies at George Washington University.

This past May at the University's Commencement ceremonies Vedder III was applauded by his mother, Martha Vedder Cullinane, and stepfather, John Cullinane, and his two older sisters. Perhaps there were also three generations of proud Vedders smiling from above.

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