University of Rochester

Meliora Weekend 2006

Focusing on Issues and Ideas

Annual fall celebration brings national and alumni experts to campus October 6–8. By Enid Arbelo
Steven Chu ’70
WEEKEND GUEST: Chu helped convene a panel of experts to discuss energy use and sustainability. (Photo: Courtesy Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

For Nobel laureate Steven Chu ’70, how to address global climate change and its irreversible damage is one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century.

That’s why Chu, director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a University trustee, is helping convene an international panel of experts to discuss the future of the world’s energy needs, the environmental and economic effects of energy development, and the prospects for sustainable energy during Meliora Weekend at the University this fall.

“How do you actually get to where you want to get? You can’t conserve your way to a solution,” Chu says. “We have to figure this one out. We can’t sit and wait.”

Meliora Weekend, October 6–8 Highlights

Scheduled to join Chu for the Presidential Symposium on Great Issues of the 21st Century are Zhou Dadi, director-general of China’s Energy Research Institute and an expert on energy development; John Holdren, director of the Woods Hole Research Center and current president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and Susan Tierney, former assistant secretary for policy at the U.S. Department of Energy and a consultant on energy and environmental economics and policy.

Trustee Hugo Sonnenschein ’61, president emeritus of the University of Chicago, will moderate the symposium.

The panel discussion is one highlight in the annual three-day celebration that also features reunion activities for classes of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering as well as family weekend events for parents of students in the College. The weekend includes homecoming and the Head of the Genesee Regatta.
Fall Celebrations:
Eastman, Medical Center
Host Weekends

Sponsored by the College in collaboration with the Simon and Warner Schools, Meliora Weekend is open to all Rochester alumni, students, and parents, as well as members of the University community and the general public. Registration is required, and some events require an additional fee.

Meliora Weekend is one of several celebrations this fall.

From October 12 to 14, the Medical Center will hold its Alumni Weekend.

And from October 20 to 22, Eastman Weekend will take place at the Eastman School.

Kicking off Friday, October 6, and concluding on Sunday, October 8, the weekend features presentations, discussions, and talks on social, cultural, and scientific topics facing contemporary society.

Mary Jo Ferr, director of alumni relations in the College and one of the weekend’s main organizers, says this fall’s lineup is especially strong and diverse. Faculty, guests, alumni, and students all participate to make sure the weekend offers events and activities that cover a wide range of interests.

“Top national experts are coming to discuss some of the most important issues facing the country today,” Ferr says. “We’re proud to note that 11 speakers are our own alumni.”

Other highlights include a talk by Lani Guinier, the first black woman to earn tenure at the Harvard Law School, who will inaugurate a new annual lecture series sponsored by the Frederick Douglass Institute, and Fareed Zakaria, the editor of Newsweek International, who will discuss the “Future of Freedom.” The 2006 Stanton/Anthony Conversations—this year’s topic is the “Future of Feminism”—will be hosted by ABC News correspondent Lynn Sherr and features Awista Ayub ’01, founder of the Afghan Youth Sports Exchange.

The mix of live entertainment includes music, dancing, psychic fairs, and comedy—which comes this year courtesy of comedian and actor Drew Carey and his “Improv All-Stars.”

Lani Guinier


In addition, a total of 13 classes of the College will celebrate their reunion during the weekend. A reunion highlight is a ceremony for members of the Class of 1956 who will receive medallions to mark the 50th anniversary of their graduation.

The weekend is expected to draw more than 5,000 guests to the University for the celebration, says Ferr.

Becky Wehle, director of parent relations, says the weekend is a chance to see University students at their best, from athletic competitions to dance performances.

Students also will discuss ways to build community leadership, specifically in integrating sustainability into the student experience during a student-sponsored symposium on Saturday, October 7.

“It is great that students are taking that much ownership of the weekend and wanting to be that involved,” Wehle says.

Parents also will have the opportunity to meet the people who influence their students’ academic life, such as career counselors and members of the academic advising team.

“Everyone will put together a different weekend experience,” says Wehle.


Here’s a look at some of the highlights for Meliora Weekend 2006.


The 2006 Stanton/Anthony Conversations: The Future of Feminism. Lynn Sherr leads a roundtable discussion featuring Awista Ayub ’01, founder of the Afghan Youth Sports Exchange, and Crystal Lander, director of campus programs for the Feminist Majority Foundation.

Law, Social Change, and Social Movements. Legal scholar Lani Guinier inaugurates a new lecture series at the Frederick Douglass Institute.

Wall Street. Dan Cantor ’81, managing director, CK Advisors; Mike Jones ’76, CEO, Clover Capital Management and a University trustee; Joan Lavis ’83S (MBA), managing director at UBS, and Brian Roseboro ’81, managing director at Promontory Financial Group, discuss the economy and the markets. Mark Zupan, dean of the Simon School, moderates.

50th Reunion Medallion Ceremony. Members of the Class of 1956 receive medallions marking their five decades as alumni of the University. Instituted last year, the ceremony also will honor the Slater Reunion Classes of 1941, 1946, and 1951.

Drew Carey and the Improv All-Stars. Veterans of the Carey-hosted version of Whose Line Is It, Anyway? take the stage at the Palestra.


Future of Freedom. Fareed Zakaria, the editor of Newsweek International and host of the PBS show Foreign Exchange, discusses international events.

Presidential Symposium on Great Issues of the 21st Century: Energy Sustainability. Steven Chu ’70, a Nobel Prize–winning scientist and a University trustee; Zhou Dadi, director-general of China’s Energy Research Institute; John Holdren, director of the Woods Hole Research Center; and Susan Tierney, former assistant secretary for policy at the U.S. Department of Energy, discuss the world’s growing appetite for energy. Trustee Hugo Sonnenschein ’61, president emeritus of the University of Chicago, moderates.

Miller’s Court. Harvard law professor Arthur Miller ’56 convenes a roundtable on First Amendment issues. He’s joined by Judge Lewis Kaplan ’66 of the U.S. District Court of New York; Richard Leibner ’59, president of the N.S. Bienstock talent agency; Judge Robert Sack ’60 of the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals; Miami Herald columnist Robert Steinback ’77; attorney Mark Zaid ’89; and the Washington Post’s national security correspondent Dana Priest.

The State of Diversity. President Joel Seligman, Richard Feldman, interim dean of the College, and Francis Price ’74, ’77S (MBA), chair of the Multicultural Alumni Advisory Council and a University trustee, discuss diversity initiatives.

Yellowjackets 50th Anniversary Concert.

Get more information on Meliora Weekend.