Fast Forward: The University of Rochester Advancement E-Newsletter

June 10, 2009

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Values and Action

Jim Thompson

“History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are.”
—David McCullough

Throughout history, the great leaders of countries and institutions have had the ability and responsibility to inspire those they have led. By articulating a vision of the future, they have made their convictions contagious and motivated others to join them in their cause. Today, at the University of Rochester, leaders from all parts of our community have begun to emerge and demonstrate their commitment to the University. They are trustees, academic leaders, volunteers, National Council members, George Eastman Circle members, and many committed donors, faculty and staff, friends, and community leaders. Their enthusiasm is growing, and they are inspiring many others to help build an ever better University.

At the George Eastman Circle dinner in April, noted author and historian David McCullough talked about some the greatest leaders in our history, people such as George Washington and Winston Churchill, who were tested by times even more challenging than those in which we live. He encouraged us to place our current situation in the context of history. We must ask ourselves how the contributions we make today will be measured in 50 or 100 years. Will future generations view our actions as noble, worthy of emulation, and historically significant?

Given the extraordinary economic challenges that our nation has experienced over the past 10 months, we have much to celebrate at the University of Rochester. Board Chair Ed Hajim’s historic commitment to the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in October 2008 has been a beacon of hope. His leadership and generosity have helped to inspire other friends of the University like Ernie and Thelma Del Monte, Simon School Dean Mark Zupan, and many more to make significant new gift commitments to the University. They are the heroes of our time and our generation. I encourage you to read their stories below. They are inspirational leaders for us today.

Our nation will continue to face a challenging environment for the foreseeable future. But your generous support affects people’s lives in a direct and immediate way and is honestly more important today than ever before. Whether providing financial aid to needy students and families, health care for uninsured patients, or funds that enable research to develop new treatments and cures, your gifts are especially important to the work of a great University.

Make a Gift by June 30Also, let me take this opportunity to remind you to make a gift or pay your pledge before June 30, the end of the University’s fiscal year. With your help, we'll improve the lives of many people — including our fellow alumni, family members, friends, students, and parents — who live in our community and across the world.


James D. Thompson
Senior Vice President
Chief Advancement Officer



Engineering School Named for Edmund A. Hajim ’58

Joel Seligman, Ed Hajim, Robert Clark

Recognizing Board Chair Ed Hajim’s transformational leadership and support, the University of Rochester announced on May 15 that it will officially name the engineering school the Edmund A. Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, effective July 1, 2009. Celebrations for the naming are planned for Meliora Weekend 2009, October 9-11, including a formal dedication ceremony and an engineering symposium on campus.

The naming recognizes Hajim’s many decades of outstanding service and contributions to the University, including his $30 million gift commitment last fall to the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. President Joel Seligman said, “Ed’s conviction, that education is the answer to nearly every social problem, and his devotion to the University of Rochester are an inspiration to all of us.”

Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Robert L. Clark is thrilled the school will be named at a time when strategic planning has set the stage for program growth and ever-increasing standards of excellence. “Ed’s contributions will make all of this possible, as well as provide increased financial support for students with need,” said Clark. “This is a truly historic occasion for engineering at Rochester.” Read more.

Ernest J. and Thelma Del Monte Commit $10 Million to Neuromedicine

Ernest J. and Thelma Del Monte

Ernest J. Del Monte, chairman of E.J. Del Monte Corporation, and his wife, Thelma, have made a $10 million gift commitment to the University of Rochester Medical Center. The Ernest J. Del Monte Neuromedicine Institute will serve as an umbrella for a host of vibrant research centers and growing clinical care programs throughout the Medical Center and River Campus. The Del Monte Institute will be a comprehensive center for investigating and treating neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, stroke, and trauma to the brain and spinal cord.

The gift was announced at a Medical Center news conference held on May 13. Del Monte said that his family’s $10 million commitment is the first installment toward what he hopes will be a gift totaling $20 million. University of Rochester leaders at the event who thanked the Del Montes and spoke about the significance of the gift commitment included President Joel Seligman; Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center; David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry; Edmund A. Hajim, chairman of the University of Rochester Board of Trustees; Webster H. Pilcher, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine and Dentistry; and Ronald L. Zarrella, chair of the Medical Center Board.

Ernest Del Monte expressed his aspiration to make a difference. “Neuromedicine is one of the most promising endeavors that the University has undertaken. We have all the necessary ingredients to be successful internationally. My hope is that this gift will be the force to help scientists and clinicians collaborate seamlessly so that one day, from this Institute, the cure for Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and other neurological disorders will emerge. I truly believe we can do it.” Read more

To see photos from the gift announcement, click here
Ernest J. Del Monte Neuromedicine Institute.


George Eastman Circle Members Honored at New York Dinner

David McCulloughThe 2009 George Eastman Circle dinner was held on April 1 in New York City. Nearly 250 members and guests gathered in Gotham Hall to celebrate the unprecedented success of the Charter Campaign and the innumerable strides the Circle has made during the last year. The night’s featured speaker was acclaimed author and historian David McCullough, who spoke about the lessons of leadership.

Board Chair Edmund A. Hajim ’58 opened the evening. His inspirational remarks focused on the importance of philanthropic leadership at the University. “We’re going to make the best even better, strengthening the University of Rochester and expanding its service to the world for generations to come,” said Hajim. He thanked George Eastman Circle members for their generous support, and acknowledged volunteers for their exceptional leadership: National Co-chairs Larry Bloch ’75 and Tom Sloan ’65, ’67 (Mas), Chair of Annual Giving Programs Gwen Greene ’65, and George Eastman Circle Vice Chairs Robert Hurlbut, Sr., R. Wayne LeChase, Nathan F. Moser ’75, Peter D. Standish ’64, Janice M. Willett ’78S (MBA), and Nathaniel Wisch, M.D. ’55.

President Joel Seligman also praised George Eastman Circle volunteers and members for their leadership, and encouraged them to rededicate themselves to the University and the vital services it provides to the community and across the globe. Gwen Greene ’65 spoke about the need to support current students and introduced Asher Perzigian ’09, who talked about the impact of George Eastman Circle support on the lives of students, some of whose families are struggling due to the nation’s economic crisis.

To see photos from the event, click here:
George Eastman Circle at Gotham Hall.


Discovery Ball Receives Outpouring of Support

Greg Miller, Jennifer Miller, and Dr. Richard Fisher

More than 800 people and local corporations demonstrated their support for the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center at the 10th Annual Discovery Ball held on April 18 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. Co-chaired by Steve and Kim McCluski, this year’s event raised $1.4 million for patient care programs, cancer research, and other important needs. Jennifer Miller (pictured above), a Fairport elementary speech language pathologist, received the Inspiration Award, which was presented by Richard I. Fisher, M.D., the Wilmot Cancer Center’s director. Miller was diagnosed with leukemia when pregnant with her first son, and delivered a healthy baby while undergoing treatment. Jennifer’s heroic story moved audience members deeply and was a poignant example of the hope the center brings to hundreds of people every day.

To see photos from the event, click here:
Discovery Ball 2009

To view the Inspiration Award video, click here:
Inspiration Award Video

Professorship Installations Help Promote Faculty Excellence Forever

During the spring academic semester, the University celebrated the installation of several new endowed faculty positions. These events showcased faculty excellence across the University and also highlighted the vital importance of endowed positions, which are critical for attracting, retaining, and supporting the critical work of top faculty. Click on the links below to view photo galleries from the events.

  • Michael and Diane Jones Professorship: On February 24, Michael ’76 and Diane Jones welcomed and celebrated the work of Toni M. Whited, the first Michael and Diane Jones Professor of Business Administration in the Simon School. Whited, a scholar of finance, macroeconomics, and econometrics, was honored in an installation ceremony held in Schlegel Hall. View photos.
  • Janice M. and Joseph T. Willett Professorship: In a ceremony on March 12, Professor Ronald M. Schmidt was installed as the first Janice M. and Joseph T. Willett Professor of Business Administration for Teaching and Service in the Simon School. The event, which celebrated Professor Schmidt’s outstanding contributions to the University and his academic fields, was held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. View photos.
  • Brian J. Thompson Professorship: Jannick P. Rolland, professor of optics and biomedical engineering at the University of Rochester, was installed as the first Brian J. Thompson Professor of Optical Engineering in a ceremony held on April 22 in the Robert B. Goergen Hall for Biomedical Engineering and Optics. Rolland is also the associate director of the recently completed Robert E. Hopkins Center for Optical Design and Engineering. John H. Bruning, former CEO of Corning Tropel Corp., endowed the Thompson Professorship and also helped fund the Hopkins Center. View photos.
  • Arthur R. Miller Professorship: In a ceremony on May 4, Thomas Slaughter was installed as the first Arthur R. Miller Professor of History in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering. The event highlighted Professor Slaughter’s prominent contributions to the field of history and was held in Rush Rhees Library. View photos.
  • Dr. Laurie Sands Distinguished Professorship: On May 7, in the Class of 1962 Auditorium in the Medical Center, Susan H. McDaniel was installed as the first Dr. Laurie Sands Distinguished Professor of Families and Health in the University of Rochester Medical Center. The event highlighted Dr. McDaniel’s service as director of the Institute for the Family in the Department of Psychiatry and associate chair of the Department of Family Medicine. View photos.

Simon School Dean Mark Zupan Makes $1 Million Gift Commitment

Simon School Dean Mark Zupan with StudentMark A. Zupan, who has served as dean of the Simon Graduate School of Business since 2004, has made a $1 million commitment to the School. During his tenure as dean, Zupan’s gift will provide scholarship support for Simon students. The gift will then be available to his successors as an endowed fund to support innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit at Simon. It is believed that Zupan’s gift is unmatched by any current or previous business school dean.

In announcing his gift, Zupan explained that he was motivated by the generosity of the University’s alumni and friends, including the example of leadership giving set by Board Chair Edmund Hajim. Zupan mentioned another motivation for his gift. His mother, Maria, was the first woman to earn a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Rochester in 1964. The support she received from scholarships made it possible for her to attend the University and earn her degree. Read more.

Highland Hospital Gala Supports Priority Projects

Highland Hospital GalaTwo-hundred forty people attended the third annual Highland Hospital Gala on Saturday, March 28. Thanks to the generosity of attendees, more than $115,000 was raised for the Highland Foundation, which supports priority hospital projects.

Speakers for the event, which was held at the Locust Hill Country Club in Rochester, included Amy Kates, board chair of the Highland Hospital Foundation, Mark Eidlin, Highland Gala co-chair, and Bob McCann, chair of the Highland Board of Directors. Bradford Berk, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for health sciences and CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center, spoke about Highland’s important role in the Medical Center’s strategic plan and thanked guests for their dedicated support. This year’s co-chairs, in addition to Eidlin, were Jennifer Ralph, Coral Surgeon, M.D., and Thomas McNanley, M.D.

To see photos from the event, click here:
Highland Hospital Gala 2009

Upcoming Events

  • June 17: Atlanta — Join alumni, parents, and friends for an evening at the new World of Coca-Cola headquarters. 6:00 p.m. registration and tour. 6:30 p.m. reception. 7:30 p.m. remarks by University Trustee and Chair of the Alumni National Council Kathy Waller ’80, ’83S (MBA). 121 Baker St. NW, Atlanta. Admission fee; reservations required. 
  • June 18: New York City — George Eastman Circle members are invited to “Dealmakers: Getting Deals Done in our Current Economy,” a panel discussion featuring University of Rochester faculty and alumni. 6:00 p.m. pre-reception with panelists and George Eastman Circle members. 7:00 p.m. panel discussion. 8:00 p.m. reception. Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Citigroup Center, 153 E. 53rd St., New York City. Registration fee. Contact the Office of Donor Relations at (800) 821-2055 or register online.
  • June 22: Rochester — Dennis Kessler, a faculty member in the Simon Graduate School of Business, will be formally installed as the first Edward J. and Agnes V. Ackley Executive Professor in Entrepreneurship. Guests will receive invitations.
  • June 26: Rochester — The Rochester Forum: Lifelong Learning for University of Rochester Alumni and Friends. Drawing upon the success of the former Slater College, this daylong event will provide intellectual enrichment and strengthen attendees’ ties to the University community. 10:15 a.m. welcome. 10:30 a.m. forum begins. Meliora Restaurant, third floor, River Campus. Advance reservations requested.
  • Through June 28: Rochester — GlassWear displays intriguing and sophisticated work by 60 acclaimed artists at the Memorial Art Gallery. Local sponsors include Linda and Robert Fox, the Gallery Council of the Memorial Art Gallery, and the Thomas and Marion Hawks Memorial Fund. A Unity of Opposites: Recent Work by Michael Taylor showcases a dozen glass sculptures by an artist with an international reputation who was formerly the head of the glass program at the Rochester Institute of Technology. This exhibition was underwritten by Lynne Lovejoy, with additional support from Mr. and Mrs. Robert D. Hursh, Aaron Klein and Maria Lauriello-Klein, the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass, and the Thomas and Marion Hawks Memorial Fund.
  • July 24: Chicago — A Rochester night at the Ravinia Summer Festival with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. 6:00 p.m. private reception and dinner with remarks by Eastman School of Music Dean Douglas Lowry. 8:00 p.m. Chicago Symphony Orchestra performance. 200 Ravinia Park Rd., Highland Park, Illinois. Admission fee; advance registration required.
  • October 8-11: Rochester — Save the date for a spectacular Meliora Weekend 2009, featuring a keynote address by Nobel laureate and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu ’70, the dedication of the Edmund A. Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, entertainment by Bill Maher, special events for members of the George Eastman Circle, and much more.

Event Registration: To register for events by phone, call (877) 635-4672 unless otherwise indicated. To register for events online, check for updates, view attendee lists, and explore alumni programs, click here.

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.

Fast Forward Archive

February 17, 2009
December 22, 2008
December 4, 2008
October 21, 2008
October 1, 2008
July 28, 2008
June 20, 2008