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Winter-Spring 2001
Vol. 63, No. 2-3

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Celebrating the Past and Imagining the Future
Excerpts from the Sesquicentennial Convocation

Kodak chairman George Fisher cracks up the Convocation audience with purported e-mail advice from George Eastman. Along with more general admonitions (e.g., cherish the University of Rochester), Eastman ordered his successors to "keep the boxes yellow. . . Nobody messes with this."

"At 150 years, this University rightly deserves a grand celebration. Our University has reached for and surpassed the wildest dreams of the small handful of Rochesterians who founded this institution a century and a half ago. We proudly lay claim to the broad intellectual purpose of a true national university, spanning the arts, sciences, engineering, business, music, medicine, nursing, education -spanning entire worlds of inquiry. Could our founding fathers have ever imagined what we have become?"
-Board of Trustees chairman Robert B. Goergen '60, opening the Convocation

"I shall always be grateful for these curiously intertwined loves of history and baseball which have led me to spend a lifetime looking back into the past, allowing me every now and then to believe that the past is still within all of us, that the private people we have loved in our families and the public figures we have respected in our history really can live on so long as we continue to tell and to retell the stories of their lives."
-Presidential historian and baseball fan Doris Kearns Goodwin, on "Lessons of History"

"Perhaps you could pass along a few thoughts to your dot-this and dot-that contemporaries who are reaping great rewards from their new technologies and remind them that, of all the good work their money can do, nothing creates more long-term hope or progress for the human race than the support of our educational systems and institutions."
-Eastman Kodak chairman George Fisher, quoting an imagined e-mail from

"Miss Anthony was stunned. Should the battle be lost on a technicality? Never. She told the august gentlemen, 'I now pledge my life insurance for $2,000.' The deed was done. In the language of the press, 'The doors of the University of Rochester were opened to women.' That they had been opened by the women, for the women, might with equal propriety have been added."
-Trustee Paula Brownlee '60 (Fellow), on how Susan B. Anthony saved the cause for coeducation after a last-minute pledge toward the required endowment was rejected because of the state of the donor's health

"I think the mission of this University, which has been amazingly steady over the past 150 years, will prove equally durable in the years to come. The mission-educating the leaders for society and providing them, and society, with the requisite intellectual tools-remains basically the same. We have always done a splendid job of that, as our alumni of today and the past attest. And I am confident that our contributions to intellectual ideas and to future leaders of myriad fields will remain equally robust in the years ahead."
-President Jackson, on "Imagining the Future"


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