University of Rochester

Rochester Review
January-February 2009
Vol. 71, No. 3

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Letters to the Editor

Cheers for Public Health

I am pleased to see that the University is hard at work developing an undergraduate major in public health (“What Does the Future Hold?”; January-February 2008). The lack of a concentration in this area has, in my opinion, been a significant hole in the academic offerings of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering. At the crux of the Rochester curriculum stand both freedom of choice and flexibility, which provide students the opportunity to incorporate all areas of learning into their academic pursuits. There are few fields that rely more heavily upon collaboration across disciplines than public health. The introduction of this major will not only give students an academic edge, but will demonstrate that the University is, in fact, committed to the values it sets forth through its undergraduate curriculum.

Jamie Sokol ’05
New York City

Richard Feldman, dean of the College, writes: Since plans for the majors were announced last year, the College has moved ahead with three new majors—epidemiology, health policy, and bioethics—as well as a revamped health & society major. Designed in cooperation with the School of Medicine and Dentistry, the majors are expected to be available in the fall.

Jeers for Cooper and Frist

It seems passing strange that two of the people invited to participate in Meliora Weekend (“Two Times the Fun!”; November-December 2008) have distinguished themselves in some unusual actions. [CNN anchor and reporter] Anderson Cooper memorably interviewed the egregious Dr. Phil about whether the nation needed grief counseling after Ronald Reagan tottered off to his reward. When he was a senator, [former U.S. Senator] Bill Frist famously diagnosed Terri Schiavo, contradicting four neurologists, as healthy and capable of returning to normal life, all based on a videotape of the poor woman in her hospital bed. He should really have been invited to teach such diagnostic skills to medical students.

George Grella
Professor of English
University of Rochester

Tears for ‘Flower’ City?

I was born and raised in Rochester and graduated from the University in 1962. One of the early remembrances I have of trivia presented to me by my grandfather (who immigrated there in the early 1900s) was that people do not properly use the nickname for the City of Rochester. It turns out, this sage of mine was correct. In the September-October issue, the article about the Patrick Barry House (“Tradition Building”) refers to Rochester as the “Flower City.” Most people recognize the overwhelming beauty of the plantings in Rochester’s many parks and look affectionately each year to the Lilac Festival. However, those in the know (like good old Grandpa), understand that Rochester is the “Flour City.” This was in honor of the many flour mills that once existed along the banks of the mighty Genesee. I just felt clarification was required even though many of us remember the lyrics “Oh, the dandelion yellow, it is so fair and mellow. . . .”

Thomas Tiffany ’62
Golden, Colo.

While we can’t claim to be able to untangle the history of the city’s nicknames, the horticultural version has been recognized by Rochesterians for some time. For example, the 1922 debut issue of Rochester Review refers to Rochester as the “Flower City.” By the turn of the 21st century, “Flower City” has become a common usage in Rochester, adopted by the city, businesses, and community programs throughout the area—Editor.


Our apologies to Mark Mozeson ’83, whose first name we got wrong in a caption for a photo on page 33 in the November-December issue.

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. Send letters to Rochester Review, 22 Wallis Hall, P.O. Box 270044, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0044;