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Vol. 66, No. 1

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“Just stick to your job of attracting and educating the best-qualified candidates, and the ‘diversity’ will take care of itself.” —John Frank ’51


Debating Diversity
Regarding the essay by College Admissions Director Greg MacDonald (“‘Court’-ing Diversity,” Spring– Summer 2003): Does Mr. MacDonald equate student body diversity with affirmative action? Is student body diversity really a compelling interest? Does he have any data or other evidence to support the assertion that a diverse student body has the effect on the individual students that he claims? Does this mean that all of us who graduated before affirmative action have been deprived of a completely rounded education?

There is no doubt in my mind that the Supreme Court’s decision in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke was made correctly. If my grandson, like Bakke, failed to be accepted by the University because a less-qualified “diverse applicant” was accepted instead, I should feel that the University had failed in its primary role of scholarship. What Bakke teaches is that while education is not a fundamental right, applicants for admission have a fundamental right to an unbiased selection system.

When I went to the University, I don’t think “diversity” was the policy, and yet I tend to think I have been able to fit in with most everybody I have met. I picked that up from my parents, a decent education, a little religion, and common sense—not from someone second-guessing what kind of diversity it takes to fashion a global person.

Just stick to your job of attracting and educating the best-qualified candidates, and the “diversity” will take care of itself. “Best qualified” is difficult enough to classify without adding the nebulous factor of “diverse” to the formula.

John Frank ’51
Delray Beach, Florida

In late June, the Supreme Court ruled that universities may make “narrowly tailored” use of race in admissions decisions. Rochester and 37 other private universities had urged the court to uphold affirmative action when two University of Michigan cases were argued before the court last spring—Editor.

Praise for New Major
While at the University in 1952–53, history was my major area of study. I left to marry and raise a family, and I lived in Africa for a year. When I returned to my studies in 1966, the State University of New York—College at New Paltz offered a major in African area studies, one of the earliest programs in the United States.

I relished the interdisciplinary program with courses in literature, history, psychology, social science, economics, and political science. I was awarded a bachelor of arts degree in African area studies in June 1967.

It was with great pleasure that I read your article “College Launches African-American Studies Major” (Spring– Summer 2003) about the new major being administered by the Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies. The interdisciplinary approach that I was offered at New Paltz has been invaluable to me throughout my life, and I am thrilled that the University has such a program available now.

Betty Leahy Smalley
Peekskill, New York

More for Math
I very much enjoyed the article regarding math majors in the Winter 2002–03 issue. I myself considered majoring in mathematics while at Rochester, and (somewhat to the chagrin of my technically oriented father) chose political science and economics instead.

I am not sure I would be doing anything differently today than my current practice of law had I chosen math. However, I believe I did not have the full experience your students receive in the program the article describes. They seem to feel a true connection to the subject matter. I am happy Rochester is making efforts in this regard.

I wish all the best to the students who endeavor in this important field.

Corrina Ulrich’87

Calling Drama Alumni
Whether you were involved in theater on the River Campus through academic or extracurricular activities (including the International Theatre Program, Drama House, CoPA, Q Club, and many others), we’d like to hear from you!

We’re building a list of alumni who managed to find time to make theater part of their Rochester experience so we can keep you informed of news and upcoming events.

And, during Meliora Weekend, current Drama House students will host a reception for past and present drama enthusiasts on Friday, October 10, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Drama House. For more information, contact Sara Cohen at or Adam Konowe ’90 at

Sarah Cohen ’05

Sounding the Horn
The Eastman Fund announcement on the inside back cover of your most recent issue (Spring–Summer 2003) brought back vivid memories of that day in the Eastman Theatre 47 1/2 years ago.

Arguably, Joshua and his horn possibly did have an effect on that Biblical wall, but, in all humility, I do not think that the stentorian sounds that I and the two other trumpet players produced that afternoon in 1954 had any effect on the collapse of the Eastman Theatre ceiling.

The incident had a very “time stood still” feeling about it. We heard this very loud crack, almost like thunder, and then, to the left of the chandelier, the plaster seemed to float down, almost in slow motion, followed by the instantaneous destruction of the seats.

To this day, the trumpet continues to be an integral part of my life, although I probably do not play quite as badly as I did on the Eastman Theatre stage that afternoon.

Steve Toback ’58E
New Rochelle, New York

Remembering a Classmate
On January 4, 2003, we lost a fellow classmate, colleague, and beloved friend —Kathleen Michaels Gronborg ’89N. At the nursing school she displayed the coveted ability to live in the moment while working toward the future. We were privileged to share all of the fun and love created by her joyous spirit.

Kathy became a dedicated pediatric nurse who settled at the Children’s Hospital in San Diego. In 1998, at the age of 30, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Doctors gave her less than one year to live.

With inimitable grace and unending strength, she willed herself to continue embracing life. During her five-year battle, Kathy was twice recognized as one of Children’s Hospital’s top five employees—the only nurse to be so honored. She married the love of her life, Tor Gronborg, in September 2000. In 2001, she received San Diego’s Top 40 Under 40 Award, presented to the city’s best and brightest young leaders.

A fund has been established at Children’s Hospital in San Diego to honor Kathy’s devotion to children and to support pediatric nursing care.

Contributions can be sent to Children’s Hospital and Health Center, Donor Services, Mail Code 5005, 3020 Children’s Way, San Diego, CA 92123. Please indicate that your donation is for the Kathleen Michaels Gronborg Fund.

Also please visit our album of pictures and stories celebrating Kathy’s life at the University and beyond on the Web at
Kathy left behind many friends, relatives, and wonderful memories. She is truly missed by all those who knew her.

Fern Daum Kumar ’89N
Livingston, New Jersey

Caroline Embler Andrew ’89N
Littleton, Colorado

Laura Hales Soliman ’89
Fords, New Jersey

The story “Technology Transfer” in the Spring–Summer 2003 issue of Rochester Review should have noted that Saara Totterman and José Tamez-Peña are cofounders of the new company VirtualScopics along with Kevin Parker, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The Review welcomes letters from readers and will print them as space permits. Letters may be edited for brevity and clarity. Unsigned letters cannot be used, but names of the writers may be withheld on request. Send letters to Rochester Review, 147 Wallis Hall, P.O. Box 270033, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0033;

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