University of Rochester

Rochester Review
May–June 2013
Vol. 75, No. 5

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lettersTHAT PLAY THING: Larry Fishkin ’75 writes that he (right) and Willy Bradford ’75 (left) were the previously anonymous actors in the opening photo of Class Notes (March-April). (Photo: University Libraries/Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation)
‘Towne’ & College

The articles on the new College Town development (“Launching College Town” and “Welcome to College Town,” March-April) brought me back 55 years. The old Towne House hotel that is being demolished to make way for this new village center was my first “home” in Rochester, temporary though it was. I had not visited Rochester prior to beginning graduate study in psychology in 1958 (my admission interview with the late Emory Cowen of the Department of Psychology had taken place at a conference in New York City), so prior to moving to Rochester from Baltimore, I booked a room at the Towne House (then a privately run motor inn) to serve as my base of operation while searching for more permanent digs. Within a week of arriving at the Towne House, I found a room in a private home on Elmwood Avenue, and within a few more weeks, after becoming acquainted with some of my fellow graduate students, I moved to a second-floor apartment in a house on Merriman Street along with two other beginning graduate students in psychology, Dave Pomeranz ’63 (PhD) and Karl Corley Jr. ’55M (Flw), ’64 (PhD). The Merriman Street apartment remained our home for most of our graduate careers.

This year, marking as it does the 50th anniversary of receiving my doctorate in clinical psychology, I hope to attend Meliora Weekend in the fall. While there, I will make a point of visiting the site of my first “home” in Rochester, the Towne House hotel, before it is transformed into College Town.

Larry Kerpelman ’63 (PhD)

Acton, Mass.

Composers & Commissions

The January-February issue of Review was full of good information, and I enjoyed it tremendously. I wanted to add something to an item in class notes about Kevin Puts ’99E (DMA), who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for his first opera, Silent Night, and whose new work, To Touch the Sky: Nine Songs for Unaccompanied Chorus on Texts by Women, was premiered in Austin, Texas, last September by the Grammy-nominated choir Conspirare.

A fund, which was established in my name (the Thelma Hunter Fund) and is administered by the American Composer Forum, commissioned the piece To Touch the Sky and chose Conspirare to premiere it. This was a couple of years in the planning, so it was pre-Pulitzer. I went to Austin to hear three performances by Conspirare and was thrilled with Kevin’s work, as was the audience.

It’s because I am an Eastman grad that I’m writing you: MA in 1947, artist diploma, student of Cecile Genhardt; from 1947 to the present, a resident of Minnesota. In addition to the commission from my own fund, I’m a member of the Minnesota Commissioning Club, a group of six like-minded friends who now have a 20-year history of commissioning, an interesting history but the group does not include any other Eastman people. There are many Eastman grads in Minnesota, however, and we’re always pleased when a representative from the U of R brings us together.

Thelma Hunter ’47E (MA)

Saint Paul, Minn.

Legislators & Legislation

In the January–February issue, it was great to read about one of our young alums, Mark Ferrandino ’99, ’00 (MS), stepping up to the plate to lead the Colorado state legislature as its new House speaker. Considering today’s failure of federal legislators to get the job done, on first blush I was proud to see that one of our own would do in Colorado what’s not getting done in Washington, D.C. Yet I found Karen McCally’s story to be mostly unremarkable. The major emphasis of her two-page report was Speaker Ferrandino’s sexual orientation. To be elevated from representative to house speaker, surely a U of R alumnus must have contributed more to Colorado than gay rights advocacy.

David Skonieczki ’71

Hampton, N.H.

Theater & History

Regarding the historical photo on page 52 (March-April), the fellow on the left is Willy Bradford ’75. The fellow on the right is me, Larry Fishkin ’75. I still have the cap. I think the play was called Operetta. If it was, it offered two distinctions from other plays at the U of R at the time. The actors and the audience moved from location to location several times during the course of the performance (Todd Union and the Drama House among them) and toward the end of the evening one of the actresses appeared naked.

I hope this is helpful. I’d be interested if you learn any additional information about the photo.

Larry Fishkin ’75

San Francisco

Art & Art History

Your article about the Memorial Art Gallery (“ ‘A Great Gift to the City’ ”) in the September-October 2012 issue brought to mind the following: As a student at the University’s Prince Street Campus in the 50s, I was fortunate to take an art history course with Dr. Carl K. Hersey, professor of fine arts. His class, held at the gallery, was a comprehensive survey of the history of art through the ages. I still consider his lectures one of the highlights of my college days at U of R. In fact, it was only recently that I finally gave away my art history notes, having held on to them for over 50 years.

Arlene Eichen Stolnitz ’56

Venice, Fla.

Strong & Making a Recovery

In mid-July my daughter, Catherine, was mountain biking near Canandaigua, N.Y., when her bike hit a rock. Unable to release her foot from the pedal, she was thrown into the handlebar and sustained serious damage. She was rushed to the Kessler Burn and Trauma Center at Strong where Dr. [Ayodele] Sangosanya and his team performed a four-hour surgery to remove her appendix, spleen, and one-third of her pancreas. Being a Rochester alumnus, I knew she would receive excellent care. The shock trauma doctors, nurses, and hospital personnel helped us get through this difficult time. Because the pancreas was involved, Catherine wasn’t released until the beginning of August. She is gradually recovering, thanks to the dedicated care she received.

I was amazed at how much the Strong Memorial complex has grown in the past 50 years. Keep up the good work!

Robert Kirk ’59

Severna Park, Md. Farewell to


Flounder, a California sea lion featured in a photograph with the story on the work of Rochester zookeeper Jeff Wyatt ’95M (MPH) (“One Medicine”), died shortly after the March-April issue was published. The Seneca Park Zoo announced the 21-year-old sea lion died in his sleep in late February.

One of three sea lions at the zoo, Flounder was being treated for age-related joint pain. The life expectancy of a California sea lion is 19 years.

—Scott Hauser

Review welcomes letters 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;