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Spring-Summer 2000
Vol. 62, No. 3

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Class Notes--Class Acts



Lance Drummond '85S (MBA), a member of the University Board of Trustees, is one of the most influential African-Americans in corporate America, according to Black Enterprise magazine.

Drummond, chief operating officer of the Kodak Professional division, and vice president of the Eastman Kodak Company, was named among the top 50 in a list of influential black executives published in the February issue of the magazine.


Masatoshi Koshiba '55 (PhD) has earned a share of the 2000 Wolf Prize in physics, considered second only to the Nobel Prize in prestige, for his work in discovering that the subatomic particles known as neutrinos have mass.

Koshiba, professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, and Raymond Davis, Jr., of the University of Pennsylvania were presented with the $100,000 award from the president of Israel during a May 21 ceremony.

Neutrinos, first detected in 1956 as a by-product of interstellar fusion reactors such as the sun, are thought to be a key in unlocking the secrets of the birth of the universe. But they were long considered unmeasurable because they are so insubstantial that they can pass through the earth.

In their work over the past 30 years, Koshiba and Davis have been able to capture neutrinos long enough to measure them, solving one of the great mysteries of 20th-century physics.


Leslie Firtell '92 is something of a pioneer in the world of life online, having survived a week in an "e-cave" with just a computer for company.

The week-long experiment was sponsored by ABC's Good Morning, America as a test to see how well two Internet-savvy New Yorkers could live in relative isolation. Firtell, who works as a placement director, and fellow e-caver Darryl Hollar each volunteered to spend a week in separate apartments last November with only a change of clothes and a computer connection.

They each received a $500 daily credit to order whatever they wanted, but they had to do it online.

Firtell, who lived on turkey and rye sandwiches ordered from a grocery store, says she received more than 1,600 e-mails a day from viewers and advertisers, and notes that she heard from University friends she had lost touch with.



A Wilmington, Delaware, finance company founded by Henry Beckler '53 is one of the first in the country to join forces with the U.S. Small Business Administration in a new initiative to make more loans and financial counseling services available to businesses owned by minorities and women.

Beckler, founder and CEO of Wilmington-based Star Financial, launched a new industrial development corporation, Star BIDCO, last year as a way to increase the financing options available to small companies that often have difficulty getting support from big lendors.

The company is the first in Delaware to be state-chartered as a regulated nonbank lendor, making it eligible to receive SBA backing. Only a handful of states allow such charters.

Founded in 1986, Star Financial specializes in lending money to small service companies on the basis of how much each company is owed and can expect to receive from its own clients. The company has clients throughout the mid-Atlantic region and on the West Coast.

Star BIDCO plans to offer more traditional financing.

On a "small world" note, the announcement of Beckler's new venture appeared in the Wilmington News Journal under the byline of Jonathan Epstein '93.


Everything you've ever wanted to know about New Jersey will soon be at your fingertips, thanks, in large part, to Maxine Lurie '63 (MA) a historian in--and of--the Garden State.

Lurie is a co-editor (along with Marc Mappen) of the forthcoming Encyclopedia of New Jersey, a 1-million-word compendium that plans "to provide, in one large work, balanced and accurate information about New Jersey as is it today and has been in the past, and about its contributions to the development of the American nation."

Lurie, an associate professor at Seton Hall University, and Mappen, an associate dean of University College at Rutgers University, organized the project, recruiting 500 authors to write on 3,000 different topics. They also helped raise the $1 million needed to finance the book.

The encyclopedia is tentatively scheduled to be published in 2002 by Rutgers University Press.


Marc Weiss '63 had his first taste of the stage as a University student when he was asked if he could draw cartoons for the set of a local production of a Thurber play.

He's now a highly regarded lighting designer, having done the lighting for 45 Broadway shows, including 6 Rms Riv Vu, Deathtrap, and Cabaret.

Some of his recent work illuminated the Cleveland Opera during the company's performances of La Traviata, The Pearl Fishers, Hansel and Gretel, and Lucia di Lammermoor.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer called Weiss a "maestro of light" who "approaches his art with the enthusiasm of an eager apprentice."

A science and philosophy major, Weiss was a member of the staff of Ugh!, a humor magazine, when the theater first came calling. He later started an avant-garde theater company and went on to study under the director of the Washington, D.C., Opera and Washington Ballet.


Stuart Siedman '85 is receiving a paid year off his job at Xerox Corporation in Boston to help raise money for a rare, incurable, childhood disease that his 3-year-old son, Benjamin, suffers from.

The disease, Sanfilippo Syndrome, is a rare disorder that affects children's ability to break down complex sugars. Children who have the disease live, on average, 10 to 15 years.

Siedman will work with the Children's Medical Research Foundation during his sabbatical, which is made possible through Xerox's Social Service Leave program. The foundation has awarded nearly $900,000 since 1995 to researchers looking for a cure for the disease.

Since learning about his son's illness, Siedman has raised $80,000 through a "Birdies for Ben" golf event, held last August in Boston.

Siedman joined Xerox in 1986 and is a color product manager for the Xerox of New England.


Karen Smith-Pilkington '88S (MBA) has been honored for helping make her workplace, Eastman Kodak Company, more diverse.

Smith-Pilkington, vice president of the company's camera and battery business, was one of two Kodak employees to receive a CEO's diversity award.

She was recognized for her work to mentor women and help them succeed at the company.


The history of the Rochester Chapter of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity reads a little like the history of the University itself: In the middle of the 19th century, a group of students at Madison University (now Colgate) launched a new educational life at Rochester.

So, it's not surprising that the Rochester chapter also is celebrating its sesquicentennial this year. The international fraternity will hold its annual business meeting at Rochester August 10­12, in part to celebrate the 150-year existence of the Alpha Delts on campus.

The fraternity, one of 23 Greek chapters on the University campus, and the University share a long list of prominent alumni.

"Throughout the history of the University, we have been there in one form or another," says Aron Reima '98, vice president of the alumni chapter.

Alpha Delta Phi house

The Alpha Delta Phi connection to Rochester begins in February 1850, when eight defectors from Madison University loaded into a sleigh and drove 20 miles to Clinton, home of Hamilton College and the birthplace of the fraternity. About half of Rochester's founding faculty and students came from Madison.

After an initiation ceremony, the students announced their plans to head to Rochester to start a chapter at the new University being organized there.

By 1851, a total of 13 Alpha Delt initiates had transferred to the University. They held their organizational meetings in the janitor's room in the basement of the United States Hotel, the University's only building at the time. The fraternity has had a house on the Fraternity Quadrangle since that section of the River Campus opened in the early 1930s.

Charles Gleason '42, a longtime member of the fraternity's alumni organization, says few connections are as important to alumni as their Greek ties.

"When Alpha Delts think of the University, the first thing they think of is the fraternity," Gleason says.

The fraternity and the University also share some famous alumni and historical figures. Among the Alpha Delts at Rochester were William C. Morey, Class of 1868, professor of history and the namesake of Morey Hall; Gerald B. Zornow, '37, a one-time chairman of the Eastman Kodak Company; and Francis Bellamy, Class of 1876, the author of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Representatives of the fraternity's 26 chapters throughout the United States are expected to attend the August meeting.

The University Sesquicentennial celebration is October 12­15.


David Sweet '61, a longtime dean at Cleveland State University, becomes the sixth president of Youngstown State University in July.

Sweet, who holds a doctorate from Ohio State University, served on the Ohio Public Utilities Commission and the state's Department of Economic and Community Development before being selected as the first dean of the College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State in 1978.

In other administrative news, Sheila Blumstein '65 was appointed interim president at Brown University when E. Gordon Gee announced his resignation last winter. Blumstein, who earned her doctorate at Harvard, is chair of the department of cognitive and linguistic sciences at Brown.

She also has served as dean and as interim provost at Brown.


William Warfield '88E (DMA), one of the premier vocalists of the 20th century, returned to his alma mater for a special set of performances to celebrate his 80th birthday.

Warfield, best known for his lead role in George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess, was the narrator for a January performance of New Morning for the World with the Eastman Philharmonia. The composition, written by Pulitzer Prize­winning Eastman professor Joseph Schwanter, features the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Warfield also performed a special benefit concert at the Harley School in Brighton. He was accompanied by the Eastman Virtuosi, a chamber orchestra that features Eastman faculty members.


George Dick, Jr. '36 took time out from his trip to Alaska with a group of Rochester alumni last summer to pay a visit to Mount Fellows, a 4,476-foot mountain in Denali National Park named after Robert Fellows '39.

Fellows was head of the U.S. Geological Survey in Alaska in 1949 and had just launched a 10-year field project in the park when he died. The mountain was named for him in 1950.

Dick, who first met Fellows as a Boy Scout growing up in Rochester, took time out from the 12-day Alumni Association tour to try to find his college friend's mountain.

"It looked just as it was described to me: rather spread, with not much peak, no trees, no snow, but a great location near park headquarters," Dick later wrote in a summary letter to the Alumni Association.

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