University of Rochester

Alumni Honored at Commencement

Several alumni were recognized for their achievements and service during this spring’s commencement ceremonies.

award winners

HONOREES: (Clockwise from top left) Witmer and Martin received Hutchison Medals, and Munnerlyn and McCreless received Distinguished Scholar Medals.

Patrick McCreless ’81E (PhD), a professor of music theory at Yale University, received a Distinguished Scholar Medal, an award given to recognize Rochester graduates for their achievements as scholars, scientists, and researchers. An internationally recognized expert on Richard Wagner and the music of the late 19th century, McCreless is a past president of the Society for Music Theory.

University Trustee Charles Munnerlyn ’69 (PhD), an optics entrepreneur who is known as one of the founding fathers of laser vision correction, also received a Distinguished Scholar Medal. The holder of more than 30 U.S. patents in the field of optics, Munnerlyn was a founder of VISX Inc., a leading manufacturer of laser-based vision correction systems, which was later acquired by Advanced Medical Optics.

Joseph Martin ’71M (PhD), the Edward R. and Anne G. Lefler Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard, received the Charles Force Hutchison and Marjorie Smith Hutchison Medal, an award given to recognize alumni for their achievements and service. As a physician, researcher, and faculty member, Martin has established or helped establish several leading programs, including the Huntington Disease Center, the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.

University Trustee and Board Chairman Emeritus G. Robert Witmer Jr. ’59, who has served on the Board of Trustees for 29 years, including five years as chairman, also was presented with the Hutchison Medal. Witmer, who as a student was cocaptain of the Yellowjacket basketball team, established a distinguished career at the Rochester law office of Nixon Peabody and has served as president of the New York State Bar Association. He is a life member of the American Law Institute and a charter member of the New York State Judicial Institute on Professionalism in the Law. Witmer has served as president of the Eastman Dental Center Board of Directors and has chaired the Trustees’ Alumni Council of the College and the University Alumni Council.

—Susan Hagen