Fast Forward: The University of Rochester Advancement E-Newsletter

July 28, 2008

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Values and Action

portrait of Jim Thompson

“Aspire, break bounds. Endeavor to be good, and better still, best.”

— Robert Browning

I am thrilled to report that the University of Rochester again made history in fiscal year 2008, breaking all the records for philanthropic achievement that we set in fiscal year 2007.

Let me express my deepest gratitude to our generous donors, energetic president, Board of Trustees, Board development committee, volunteers, deans, faculty, advancement staff, and partners across the entire University community. They have worked tirelessly all year to make this record performance possible. People aligned with clear, shared goals are the key to great advancement work. We all should be proud that our teamwork, perseverance, and commitment exemplify the University’s motto, Meliora, ever better.

Our historic achievements include:

  • $109.1 million in total cash compared to $84.7 million in the previous year, representing 28.7% growth year over year. Since we began Operation Advance, we are posting a 25% average annual growth rate.
  • $140.3 million in total commitments compared to $91.9 million, representing 52.7% growth. Our average annual growth rate during Operation Advance is approximately 47%.
  • Approximately $43 million in net new pledges added to our book of business.
  • More than 860 Charter Members of the George Eastman Circle who made five-year commitments totaling $18 million, far exceeding our original goals of 250 Charter Members and $10.5 million in pledges.

In recent years, much of our effort has been necessarily focused on building a state-of-the-art advancement operation for the University. We have worked hard to develop a new way of doing business and build stronger connections among supporters, including alumni, donors, friends, parents, and new prospects. A more robust volunteer network is emerging, which we will continue to expand and organize in the coming year. Two additional important highlights from the past year include:

  • OASIS Phase III (Gift, Biographic, Membership, and Stewardship modules) was deployed successfully within budget and on schedule on July 1.
  • Five National Councils have been formed thanks to the wonderful partnership among the Deans and school development officers. National Councils for the College, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Eastman, Simon, and Warner are scheduled to meet by the end of 2008.

We have made great strides in reaching out to our external community members. These relationships will be a foundation for future success. We are also beginning to establish a sustainable culture of advancement. The most visible examples of this movement are the extraordinary involvement and dedication of the trustees and the spectacular success of the George Eastman Circle, led by National Co-chairs Larry Bloch and Tom Sloan with the tremendous help of Gwen Greene, chair of annual giving programs, and their fellow volunteers. Our success is due to their leadership and a tremendous collaboration with the entire Advancement staff.

Our early successes, far exceeding projections, position us well for the challenges ahead. While we celebrate this year’s financial performance, we must not lose sight of the fact that our real work — our true mission — is to build a great and enduring research university that offers the finest education, produces research and makes discoveries of the most profound importance, and ultimately serves humanity. As a reminder, Advancement numbers at all universities are by their nature variable and spiky, so each year’s results will vary. The key is to focus on sustainable growth over time. Let us all stay inspired, disciplined, focused, and energized. We are just getting started.

I want to congratulate the Advancement staff and our growing volunteer network for working so hard to surpass our goals. It has been wonderful working with you this year. I look forward to celebrating more triumphs with you as the University of Rochester continues its evolution.


James D. Thompson
Senior Vice President
Chief Advancement Officer



Davenport-Hatch Foundation Commits $2.5 Million to Eastman Theatre Project

In photo, from left to right: Douglas F. Taylor, William L. Ely,, Christopher Seaman, A. Thomas Hildebrandt, Charles H. Owens, Jamal J. Rossi, James M. Boucher

On May 22, at a press conference on the Eastman Theatre stage, the Davenport-Hatch Foundation announced the largest gift in its 56-year history, a $2.5 million commitment for the renovation and expansion of Eastman Theatre. In attendance were: A. Thomas Hildebrandt, chair of the Davenport-Hatch Foundation’s grants committee, Douglas F. Taylor, Davenport-Hatch Foundation board director, William L. Ely, Davenport-Hatch Foundation board director, Christopher Seaman, music director, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles H. Owens, president and CEO of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Jamal J. Rossi, executive associate dean, Eastman School of Music, and James M. Boucher, chairman of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Board of Directors.

Hatch Recital Hall

Recital space in the new building will be named Hatch Recital Hall in recognition of the Foundation’s ongoing support

The gift will go toward a recital hall as part of the expansion and renovation efforts to the Eastman Theatre. The hall will be named the Hatch Recital Hall in honor of Augustus T. Hatch. The new 230-seat Hatch Recital Hall will be a world-class facility for solo recitals and chamber music.

“We believe this project adds to the legacy of excellence of two of our community’s jewels — the Eastman School of Music and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra — and also will have a significant impact on downtown development,” said A. Thomas Hildebrandt.

The Davenport-Hatch Foundation is a private organization whose purpose is to make gifts and grants to aid and support in the Rochester, N.Y., area. In 2000, the Foundation received the Business Foundation Award from the Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester for its support of the arts.

In addition to Hatch Recital Hall, the new building will hold a rehearsal hall large enough to accommodate large Eastman ensembles and the RPO, teaching studios for Eastman faculty, and a new recording control room. The façade of Eastman Theatre will be extended along East Main Street to include the new building, which will be constructed at the corner of East Main and Swan Streets. A new entrance on East Main Street will draw patrons into a soaring atrium lobby; the existing entrance doors to the theater will remain.

Sportswriter Frank Deford Speaks at George Eastman Circle Event

Frank Deford

As part of this year’s 69th Senior PGA Championship at Rochester’s Oak Hill Country Club, Charter Members of the George Eastman Circle were invited to a special dinner in their honor featuring remarks by nationally celebrated sportswriter and commentator Frank Deford. The dinner was attended by 130 Eastman Circle members and numerous University leaders, representing a wide spectrum of affiliations with the University.

Deford provides commentary on NPR’s Morning Edition and appears regularly on the HBO show RealSports With Bryant Gumbel. He is a senior contributing writer for Sports Illustrated and has penned 15 books, two of which have been made into movies. His most recent novel, The Entitled, was published in 2007 and discusses celebrity, sex, and baseball. Among numerous honors, he has won an Emmy and a George Foster Peabody Award. Reflecting on his vast contributions to print alone, GQ magazine pronounced him simply “the world’s greatest sportswriter.”

Garden Party Highlights Ideas that Transform the World

Garden Party at the MAG

President Joel Seligman’s address at the 41st Annual Garden Party on June 10 was entitled “The Power of Transforming Ideas.” Speaking to a well-attended audience at the Memorial Art Gallery, he focused on the important role of research universities in the world today.

He said, "I want to stress the role of the University of Rochester as one of this nation's leading research universities and why this matters to all of us. I do not want to emphasize statistics, which are abstractions, but talk about the human beings who are the teachers, scholars, and researchers who have been pivotal to the progress of this University.”

The address highlighted a selection of faculty members from across the University and their accomplishments, underscoring the fact that University researchers and scholars are doing world-class work. Through the stories of talented and committed individuals, the address presented an overview of a University that offers excellence across a full range of academic disciplines and emerging fields.

President Seligman also re-confirmed his commitment to building partnerships between the University and city of Rochester.

“In Rochester we are building a knowledge-based economy led by universities and colleges,” he said. “We are proud of the role the University of Rochester is playing in our community’s evolution.”

Susan Gibbons Installed as Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of River Campus Libraries

Susan Gibbons

Susan Gibbons was installed June 20 as the Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of River Campus Libraries.

In 2004, Gibbons was appointed associate dean for public service and collections development and since then has worked on a number of projects that renewed the relevance of the campus’ libraries in the face of the Internet and digital research resources.

"Susan is the right person to lead the University of Rochester’s River Campus libraries into the 21st century," said President Joel Seligman upon her appointment. "She is a national leader in assessing and improving the way students use libraries and research materials and she enhanced that reputation through the design process that led to the creation of the Gleason Library."

Gibbons earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Delaware in 1992 and a Master of Arts in history and Master of Library Science from Indiana University in 1995. She also received her Master of Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2002. She joined the River Campus Libraries in 2000 and became director of digital library initiatives in 2002.

Kathy P. Parker is Named School of Nursing Dean

Nursing Dean Kathy P. Parker

Kathy P. Parker, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., a nationally recognized sleep disorders expert, has been named the fourth dean of the School of Nursing. She will assume her new position in August.

Parker comes to Rochester from Emory University and has over 20 years of experience in her field. She has maintained an active clinical practice in the Emory Sleep Center as well as a secondary appointment as professor in the Department of Neurology at Emory’s Medical Center. Aided by funding from NIH’s National Institute of Nursing Research, she has more than 100 journal articles, abstracts, and proceedings to her credit.

One of only five nurses in the country certified in clinical sleep disorders by the American Board of Sleep Medicine, Parker was recently elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. Currently, she is overseeing the development and implementation of an insomnia education program for the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

“Her expertise in NIH-funded research, especially translational research on hypersomnia, will synergize with the programs in our Clinical and Translational Science Institute,” said University of Rochester Medical Center CEO Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D. He also said she will take leadership in creating a comprehensive strategic plan for the School of Nursing that will be integrated with the Medical Center’s strategic plan.

Parker, who earned all her degrees in nursing, received her undergraduate degree from Columbia University, her master’s degree from Emory University, and her doctorate from Georgia State University.

Robert L. Clark is Named Dean of School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Robert L. Clark

On July 15, Robert L. Clark, former dean of Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering, was named Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He succeeds Kevin Parker, who has served as dean of the school since 1998. Clark’s appointment is effective September 1.

Clark comes to Rochester with expertise in the science of acoustics and in bionanomanufacturing. His work in these areas has lead to 100 journal publications.

During six years as senior associate dean at Duke, Clark oversaw hiring for the implementation of the Pratt School’s strategic plan, helped to double the number of women on the faculty and triple the research expenditures. In the recent year while serving as dean, he initiated curricular innovations for non-engineering students and presided over fundraising.

He has earned many awards, including the Lindsey award of the Acoustical Society of America, the National Science Foundation Career Program Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and the NASA Group Achievement Award. He is a fellow of both the Acoustical Society of America and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Upcoming Events

  • July 30: Rochester — Black Students’ Union 40th Anniversary Kick off-ROC. Special guests include Frederick Jefferson, University intercessor and emeritus professor of education, and Norman Burnett, assistant dean of the College and director of the Office of Minority Student Affairs. Jazz musician and former BSU member Herb Smith ’91E will perform with his trio. 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Baobab Cultural Center, 728 University Avenue, Rochester. Advance registration required.
  • July 30: Washington, DC — Summer happy hour hosted by Tom Kraus ’05, ’07 (Mas.), Paul Lanzone ’03 and the Young Alumni Council (YAC). 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Panache Restaurant,1725 DeSales Street N.W., Washington, DC. Reservations are required; space is limited.
  • August 1: Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada — Shaw Festival ROC. 11:30 a.m. — Lunch and Discussion at Queen’s Landing Inn, 155 Byron Street; 2 p.m. — Performance of Wonderful Town at the Festival Theatre, 10 Queen’s Parade. Musical direction by Paul Sportelli ‘83E. Invitation and ticket sale information to follow.
  • August 1: Pawtucket, RI — Pawtucket Red Sox vs. Rochester Red Wings. 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.: private barbeque; 7:05 p.m.: game. McCoy Stadium, 1 Columbus Ave., Pawtucket. Invitations will be mailed with further details.
  • August 6: New York City area — Happy Hour at Barna Restaurant hosted by the Young Alumni Council. 6:00 p.m. 365 Park Avenue South (at 26th Street and Park Avenue), Reservations required; space limited.
  • August 13: Rochester — Summer Happy Hour at Matthew’s East End Grill hosted by the Young Alumni Council. 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 200 East Avenue, Rochester. Reservations required; space limited.
  • August 16: San Diego — Save the date for an Alumni Family Barbeque. 4:00 p.m. (PT). More information forthcoming.
  • Registration and Updates: To register for events online, check for updates, view attendee lists, and explore alumni programs, click here.
  • Meliora Weekend, October 16-19, 2008: Planning is well under way for our highest profile campus event of the year. To learn more, click here.

Advancement Updates

Alumni Travel and Learn Program: Alumni Association tours, open to all members of the University community, offer many opportunities to visit exciting locations while learning from noted staff and faculty experts. For more information, click here.

Young Alumni Council (YAC): The council was formed in 2004 by the Trustees’ Alumni Council of the College to cultivate alumni connectivity during the first 10 years after graduation, a critical period for establishing a strong College-alumni relationship. Council leaders want to increase young alumni attendance at regional events, improve class reunion turnout, create a young alumni travel program, and increase young alumni annual giving.

Every year the Young Alumni Council accepts nominations for membership from graduating students and eligible alumni. If you are interested in participating or know someone who would be an asset to the organization, please contact Lisa Szczerba Eardman ’00 in the Office of Alumni Relations. For more information about the Young Alumni Council, click here.


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Fast Forward Archive

June 20, 2008