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

University of Rochester

University of Rochester

Class Acts


Alumni across the United States are spreading Rochester's commitment to community service this fall as part of a pilot project to make Wilson Day a national event.

Regional Alumni Councils in San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, and the District of Columbia joined the Class of 2003 by starting the new school year off with a day of volunteer service to their communities. UR Involved and the Dean of Students Office co-sponsor the program.

Since the late 1980s, the day, named after Xerox founder and former University trustee Joseph C. Wilson '31, has been set aside for new students to do community service. The goal of the pilot project is to tap into that spirit and to connect younger graduates with older alumni, many of whom have not participated in a service-oriented Wilson Day.

This year's events are taking place Saturday, August 28, and Sunday, August 29.

"We're hoping to build a bond between older and younger alumni, and with the communities in which they live," says Wilson Day USA coordinator Amy Lynch '95W (MS), who also is a member of the advisory board of the Community Service Network.

On campus, Wilson Day is being celebrated on Friday, August 27. The Community Service Network organizes the campus activities.


Nearly 200 people raised money for a former Rochester track star by running a 5-kilometer race around campus last spring. The "Dippy's Race 5K" was a benefit run for Josefa "Dippy" Benzoni Cartier '88, who was seriously injured in an automobile accident a year ago.

Cartier, who earned nine All-American distance runner honors while a student at the University, suffered broken bones and severe head injuries when she was involved in a head-on collision in Denver.

Proceeds from the race went toward Cartier's medical expenses.

Organizer John Geraci '87, '89S (MBA) said that the benefit was a way for the University community to show support for Cartier. "She is a pretty special person," he said. "There are a lot of people here who care about her."

The benefit account remains open. Donations can be sent to: Dippy's Race; P.O. Box 273656; River Campus; University of Rochester; Rochester, NY 14627-3656.


For some, business is an art form. For Bill Taylor '68, art forms are his business.

An architect in Tucson, Arizona, Taylor operates The Meliora Architectural Gallery, a nonprofit gallery run out of his office that features three or four shows a year "to promote dialogue between artists and architecture."

The conversation, Taylor says, encourages the improvement of both disciplines.

Roger Mertin, an art and art history professor at the University, recently exhibited a collection of photographs at Taylor's gallery. "Library Project: New Pictures," was a 15-piece exhibition that looked at the architecture of early 20th-century libraries. "I wanted to celebrate libraries--both their architecture and how they are used by people," Mertin says.

Mertin has been awarded a McKnight Fellowship to continue his library photograph series.

Taylor says he combines his sponsorship of the arts with a residential architecture business because they share so much spiritually. "Architecture is the mother of the arts," he says. "It's an art form when given all the right opportunities, not a commercial product."


A doctoral student at the Warner School who works as a vice principal at East High School in Rochester has been recognized by the New York State Council of School Superintendents.

Kim Dyce '89, '90W (MS), '97W (MS) was one of two educators--out of more than 60 applicants--selected to receive a Pathways to Leadership for Women and Minorities Scholarship, funded by Welliver McGuire Inc.

She plans to put the $2,000 scholarship toward her doctoral studies in educational administration.

"I'm blessed to say that I love what I'm doing," she said. "My job is to learn as much as I can, do the job well, and prepare myself to take the next step."


A composer known for drawing on American history, literature, and idiom, Jack Beeson '42E, '43E (MM) is enjoying a revival of sorts.

His 1965 opera, Lizzie Borden, based on a notorious ax murder in 1890s Massachusetts, was presented in a new production by the New York City Opera in March. The production also was featured on the PBS broadcast "Live From Lincoln Center."

And Beeson's ninth opera, a one-act work called Sorry, Wrong Number, based on a 1944 radio play, premiered in late May at the Kaye Playhouse.

An emeritus professor of music at Columbia University, Beeson has established a distinguished record as a composer. In addition to Lizzie Borden, his nine operas include The Sweet Bye and Bye (1957), My Heart's in the Highlands (1969), Dr. Heidegger's Fountain of Youth (1978), and Cyrano (1991).

Lizzie Borden tells the story of the lonely daughter of a wealthy merchant accused, but acquitted, of killing her father and stepmother.

In 1965, the opera's often slashing, boisterous score became a focal point in the divide between the "dissonant" avant garde of the time and composers with more traditional approaches to music.

A March 1999 review in The New York Times praised Beeson's opera for drawing a psychological backdrop for the characters through his music and the words of librettist Kenward Elsmlie.

"If there's one art form in which murderous psychopaths really shine, it's opera," the Times reviewer wrote. "What this version [of the Borden story] offers, in addition to stageworthy characters, is a psychological dimension, borrowed partly from Electra and partly from a Freudian view of the tensions between Lizzie and her father."


Ann Wright '63, '66 (Mas), '77 (PhD), will be plotting a new course as the vice president for enrollment at Rice University, the first person to hold the post at the Houston school.

Wright, a former director of admissions for the University who was most recently chief public affairs officer for Smith College, manages the offices of admission, financial aid, registrar, student information system, and student billing at Rice. She began the job in June.

In other academic news, Joan Stone '76W (PhD) has been named dean of the college of Imaging Arts and Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology.

A member of the RIT faculty and administration since 1976, Stone is the chief academic officer for 100 full-time faculty and about 2,400 students in the college, which includes the School for American Crafts, School of Art, School of Design, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences, and School of Printing Management and Sciences.


Renée Fleming '83E (MM) has hit the proverbial high note with her solo CD The Beautiful Voice. The soprano's album won a Grammy Award this year for best classical vocal performance during the 41st annual award ceremony hosted by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Fleming's album--which includes selections of arias by Charpentier, Gounod, Massenet, von Flotow, and others--also was up for best classical album, but lost to an album by Robert Shaw.

The award is Fleming's first for a solo CD. She has been nominated in several categories for each of the past three years and performed on a CD for Shaw that won a Grammy in 1998.


Business executive Richard Couch '79S (MBA) is sold on Simon students.

Couch is chairman and managing principal of Diablo Management Group of Alamo, California, a firm that specializes in providing interim corporate leadership to companies that need management or guidance through financial or operational crises, restructurings, sales, or mergers.

He routinely recruits two or three--and sometimes as many as five--Simon M.B.A. students to spend a summer as part of the "turnaround" firm's far-flung activities. Through DMG, students have worked for companies in Japan, France, and Germany, as well as in the United States.

"I feel pretty confident that I know something about, and can rely upon, their problem-solving skills, their intellect, and their ability to work in teams," Couch says. "Students bring good skills and high standards of expectation and performance--along with curiosity and energy--great attributes in any endeavor."

With a full-time staff of fewer than half a dozen, DMG maintains a large stable of senior-level consultants who work as independent contractors assigned to companies that range from startups to $2 billion corporations. Once assigned, the consultants frequently work as employees of the DMG clients.

Couch says he's hired business students from other schools but finds he keeps coming back to the Simon School. That's not simply because he wants to help the alma mater, he says.

"I'm doing this because I want to help the businesses of my clients by bringing in smart people who work hard, learn quickly, and fill a need--not because I want to give assignments to Simon students," he says. "The arrangements supporting clients must be mutually beneficial--for both the consultant and the customer."


Nan Johnson '60 (Mas), director of the Susan B. Anthony University Center, has been named Woman of the Year by the University's Women's Caucus in recognition of her pioneering political and educational leadership.

Johnson, who also is an adjunct professor of political science, retired in June as director of the center, a post she had held since the center was created in 1995.

Eleanor Smeal, president of The Feminist Majority Foundation, presented the keynote address at the award dinner for Johnson.

A leading activist on political and educational issues for women, Johnson served as a Monroe County legislator for 20 years and chaired the legislature's Human Services Committee.

In 1998, she co-directed Forum 98, a national women's issues conference commemorating the 150th anniversary of the first women's rights convention. And in 1995, she co-chaired the national celebration, known as "95/75," commemorating the 75th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote.

Nora Bredes, a former Suffolk County, New York, legislator and longtime activist in women's, environmental, and public health issues, took over as director of the center July 1.

The 1999 Woman of the Year Award Dinner was co-sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Students.


Karen Brown '61, '72 (PhD) has been named deputy director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The agency is a nonregulatory arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce that promotes the use of commercial standards for technology and measurements.

Before her appointment, Brown had worked for 22 years at IBM, serving most recently as a Distinguished Engineer in Microelectronics. She earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry and history and a doctorate in chemistry from Rochester.


A satellite whose mission is to help scientists better understand Earth's environment got a boost from David Kordenstein '60, according to Rochester Democrat and Chronicle columnist Carol Ritter.

Kordenstein, who holds degrees from the College and from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, was a systems engineer on the Landsat 7 project that was launched into orbit last April. The satellite is the latest segment of Mission to Planet Earth, NASA's extended effort to study changes in Earth's environment.

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