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; firstname.lastname@example.org.
About that Logo . . .
I was delighted to read (March-April) that the University now has so much in excess resources that it can afford to pay Vice President [Bill] Murphy to tackle the high priority issue of changing the logo. After all, modification of the logo guarantees that new and higher academic standards and achievements (and the resulting accolades) will follow. My guess is that changing the logo will affect the academic achievements at the University as much as would the purchase of a professional football team—as many other universities seem to do. What is wrong with the present logo? How does it affect the academic standards which, after all, are the purpose of a University? Would it be wrong to take the money budgeted to make this apparently priority change and award it as student scholarships? Perhaps a more effective public relations campaign could be mounted by having someone at the Eastman School rescore “The Genesee” to a hip-hop melody. (Can’t you imagine old Azariah Boody’s cows hip-hopping over their dandelion-covered pastures?) Another constructive publicity step might be to dump “The Genesee” in favor of the music from Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumble Bee.” That would really identify us as Yellow Jackets!
. . . and Diversity . . .
The March-April issue, with its articles on the great effort being put forth to improve both the University’s logo and its diversity, disturbs me a little. It makes me worry that the administration is concentrating on superficialities rather than foundations; on how things look, rather than how they are. There’s a possibility—though by no means a certainty—that all other things being equal, I’d feel more comfortable if my professor or my doctor were of my sex and ethnic background. But all other things are never equal. I want my teachers to be excellent in their fields, fair in their judgment, and able to lead their students to a knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject. As for my health care professionals, of primary importance is that they be highly skilled, followed by compassionate, open-minded, and respectful. That any of them look like me is way down on the list, if anywhere. Let’s go for excellence. If the University is known as a place of highest quality, it won’t matter what its faculty looks like—or its logo.
. . . and the Name
In my opinion the University should think about changing its name as well as its logo. The alternative name would be, of course, Eastman University. The issue was raised 30 years ago when I was a graduate student. It went nowhere, but perhaps now is the time to reconsider it. “Eastman” is a lot classier than the current name regardless of its long history. And when the University of Rochester is reduced to “U of R,” the result is almost anonymity once you are 200 miles away from the school. Also, U of R sounds too casual. There already is the Eastman School of Music and George Eastman House. The transition to Eastman University would not be difficult. I think the University would get a bounce out of the change in terms of applications and profile. I hope the people in charge think about it. By the way, I love the colors and the dandelion.
Memories and Praise
I was saddened to learn (In Memoriam, March-April) of the passing of Don H. Herbst ’59. Donnie was a native of Webster, New York, as am I. His father ran a soda fountain (for those of you old enough to know what that was) for many years on Main Street. The shop was a favorite hangout for many a Webster High School student. Donnie’s passing marks the end of an era for me. On a less somber note, I must applaud the look and content of Rochester Review. As the managing editor of a financial services trade publication, I know all too well the trials and tribulations of putting a good print publication together these days. Congratulations on your efforts. Review is nicely designed and very informative. Keep up the good work!
The author is managing editor of Currents Magazine, a publication of the Financial Service Centers of America—Editor.