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Return to Rochester! Meliora Weekend 2022 returns to campus.

The University’s signature celebration returned to form this fall as more than 6,000 alumni, students, family members, and friends reconnected on campus for the first fully in-person Meliora Weekend since 2019.

In addition to a full weekend of reunion events, keynote speakers, and performances, the weekend featured the 100th anniversary celebration of the Eastman School of Music.

photo of University of Rochester alumni and student musicians receiving applause after a performance on a concert stageSONGS OF CELEBRATION: Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Kevin Puts ’94E, ’99E (DMA) (left) congratulates soprano Nicole Cabell ’01E, an assistant professor of voice, baritone Rod Gilfry, and the members of the Eastman Philharmonia, under the direction of Neil Varon, after the Rochester premiere of Puts’s The Brightness of Light. With text drawn from the letters of Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz, the performance of the song cycle was one of Eastman’s capstone events marking the success of the school’s Centennial Celebration. (Photograph: J. Adam Fenster)
photo of University of Rochester students taking photos in the letter O of Meliora in set of letters set up on a campus quadO, WHAT A WEEKEND! Maysoon Harumani ’23 and Phuong Le ’23 take photos at the Meliora letters set up on Eastman Quadrangle (opposite), a spot that has become an Instagram-worthy landmark for the weekend. (Photograph: J. Adam Fenster)
photo University of Rochester dean having a conversation with Michele Norris of the Race Card Project on a stage with a campus background behind themSTRENGTH IN STORY: “We bring to the surface things that people don’t often say out loud,” noted Peabody Award–winning journalist and author Michele Norris (at right, on the right) in a keynote discussion about race and identity in America. “There’s power in sharing a story, even if it’s a difficult one.” The founder of the Race Card Project, which invites people to share candid six-word stories about race, Norris was joined for the Palestra discussion by Joan Saab, interim dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences & Engineering. (Photograph: J. Adam Fenster)
photo of University of Rochester nursing students talking with a nursing professor at an open house session on research at the school of nursingMEET-AND-GREET: Jane Tuttle ’79N, ’84N (MS), a professor of clinical nursing, talks with Lindsay Batek ’98, ’22N (MS) and nurse and PhD student Sunita Pokhrel Bhattarai (at left, left to right) during a lunch and poster session, where attendees heard from Lisa Kitko, the new dean of the School of Nursing, and learned about current research projects at the school. (Photograph: J. Adam Fenster)
photo of University of Rochester alumnus and trustee Evans Lam preparing to put on a virtual reality headsetNEW REALITY: University Trustee Evans Lam ’83, ’84S (MBA) tries out a virtual reality headset during the grand opening of the Mary Ann Mavrinac Studio X in Carlson Library (near right). On hand for technical support was Liam O’Leary ’23 and other students and staff of the new space, where faculty, students, and staff can try out the latest in virtual and augmented reality technology. (Photograph: J. Adam Fenster)
photo of University of Rochester class of 1977 standing on the steps of the quad holding signs that spell out 1-9-7-7REUNION NUMBERS: A hallmark of each year’s celebration, class reunions take center stage during the weekend with activities and programs to recognize alumni and for classmates to reconnect with the University and with one another. One of the annual events is to have a “class photo” taken for alumni celebrating reunions in intervals of 5, 10, and other milestone years (far right). (Photograph: J. Adam Fenster)
photo University of Rochester students and parents listening to Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Tony Kushner in a campus theaterPLAY SPACE: Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Tony Kushner joined students for a Q&A session in Sloan Auditorium as part of Kushner’s keynote visit during the weekend. The conversation was moderated by Missy Pfohl Smith, director of the Program of Dance and Movement. (Photograph: J. Adam Fenster)
photo University of Rochester alumnus and Nobel laureate Steven Chu gesturing in front of chart on climate change during a campus lectureCALL TO ACTION: “This is our home. We have to preserve it,” Nobel laureate Steven Chu ’70, ’98 (Honorary) told the audience during his keynote address at the Palestra. A former US Secretary of Energy, Chu reflected on the obstacles to achieving a sustainable future—from a pervasive “use once, throw away” consumption mindset to a need for cutting-edge energy storage technologies. (Photograph: J. Adam Fenster)
photo of University of Rochester alumna pausing during a singing performance on a campus stage with an a cappella ensemble behind herBE VOCAL: Allison Williams ’15 joined the a cappella group Vocal Point (top) during the ensemble’s annual joint alumni concert in the Interfaith Chapel. (Photograph: J. Adam Fenster)
photo of University of Rochester medical school alumni looking through memoribilia set up on a table in a campus libraryMINER MEMORIES: Lawrence Feinberg ’72M (MD), ’75M (Res), Arthur Geltzer ’62M (MD), Dennis Clements ’72M (MD), and Ruby Belton ’72M (MD), ’74M (Res) (middle, left to right) viewed memorabilia at Edward G. Miner Library, one of several activities at the Medical Center. (Photograph: J. Adam Fenster)
photo of University of Rochester student juggler making a circle with a lit torch during an on-campus performanceFIERY PERFORMANCE: Phoenix Zhang ’23 and other current and former members of the Strong Jugglers (bottom), the University’s student juggling club, put on a display during the 10th annual fire juggling show. (Photograph: J. Adam Fenster)
photo of University of Rochester faculty member and Frederick Douglass Institute director Jeffrey McCue at an open house to announce the creation of a Black studies majorLEADING LEGACY: Frederick Douglass Institute Director Jeffrey McCune Jr. announced the creation of a Department of Black Studies at Rochester during an event marking the institute’s 35-year legacy. (Photograph: Greg Francis for the University of Rochester)

Still Going Strong . . .

Several University organizations, departments, and programs marked milestones during Meliora Weekend. Here’s a quick look:

10 Years The Douglass Leadership House hosted a gala to celebrate its first decade as an intellectual community for students of all cultural backgrounds to raise awareness of the Black experience.

35 Years—and Year One As part of a celebration of the legacy of the Frederick Douglass Institute, the University announced the establishment of a Department of Black Studies.

50-plus Years Founding members of the Rochester chapter of the Gay Liberation Front and LGBTQ+ community members marked five decades of organizing. Todd Union, the site of early meetings, has been nominated for status as a national landmark.

60 Years Named in recognition of award-winning Rochester poet Hyam Plutzik, the Plutzik Reading Series kicked off its 60th anniversary with a reading by invited poet Jericho Brown.

75 Years Campus radio station WRUR celebrated 75 years with a panel discussion, tours of the station, and other activities.

100 Years The Eastman School of Music capped off its centennial this fall with a series of concerts, commissioned works, and other activities.

photo of performing artist Thomas Warfield at a gala dinner for the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music's 100th anniversaryCENTURY OF EXCELLENCE: Performing artist Thomas Warfield was among the members of the Eastman community who were celebrated as the school marked the success of its 100th anniversary campaign. (Photograph: Matt Wittmeyer for the University of Rochester)

Eastman Honors 100 Artists and Leaders

To help mark the 100th anniversary of the Eastman School of Music, the school established a recognition program designed to celebrate some of the people who have made Eastman such a prominent touchstone in the world of music.

Named Centennial Awards in recognition of Eastman’s Centennial Celebration, the honors were presented throughout the 18-month celebration, including during Meliora Weekend, to select individuals who exemplify the school’s mission and legacy through their artistry, scholarship, leadership, community engagement, and philanthropy.

The roster of recipients reads like a wide-ranging “Who’s Who” of Eastman’s imprint on the nation’s musical and artistic culture.

Among those recognized were Julia Bullock ’09E, Kristian Bezuidenhout ’01E, ’04E (MM), Ron Carter ’59E, ’10 (Honorary), RenĂ©e Fleming ’83E (MM), ’11 (Honorary), and other internationally recognized musicians; prize-winning composers Kevin Puts ’94E, ’99E (DMA), Charles Strouse ’47E, and Jeff Beal ’85E.

The list also includes recording artists and orchestral leaders Maria Schneider ’85E (MM), Donald Hunsberger ’54E, ’59E (MM), ’63E (DMA), Jeff Tyzik ’73E, ’77E (MM), and Lee Koonce ’96E (MM); educators Ray Ricker ’73E (DMA) and Roy Ernst; and prominent supporters and advisors Joan Beal ’84E, Liz Asaro-Biggar ’92, Martin E. Messinger ’49, Nat Wisch ’55, and many others.

For a full list of recipients, visit the Eastman Centennial site.