Fast Forward: The University of Rochester Advancement E-Newsletter

December 2, 2010

Make a Gift

Values and Action

Jim Thompson

“Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day.”
- Robert Caspar Lintner

After a busy and rewarding fall in the University of Rochester community, Thanksgiving was a time to fully appreciate the blessings that have been bestowed upon us and all the good fortune that has touched our lives. It was a time to enjoy family and friends and to think of all the people who have made a difference in our lives and to consider the difference we can make in the lives of others.

During the holiday I reflected on my past five years in Rochester. I am privileged to have come to know many of you well through our important work together. I have learned best and been most deeply touched by individual stories you have shared that express the distinctive qualities of the University of Rochester and its impact on people’s lives. I remembered many of those stories during Thanksgiving. We are a distinctive community whether on campus or around the globe.

I believe members of our community have a constancy of purpose that they apply to any endeavor they seek to pursue. They share the experience of having thoroughly mastered skills that have enabled them to succeed and motivate others to follow their example. In the stories of alumni and friends, I consistently hear how rigor, hard work, and uncompromising standards yield extraordinary results. Our ties to the University give us access to an ever-evolving culture of innovation which we apply in many different settings to find answers to challenging problems. We persevere until we have found and perfected comprehensive solutions to often complex problems. 

Alumni frequently speak of decisive moments they had at the University when a professor encouraged them to stretch their limits. It might have happened when exploring a new and unfamiliar subject, conducting research, or performing. These experiences allowed them to unlock their potential and find resources in themselves they did not know they possessed. They overcame challenges, reached a new level of achievement, and received positive feedback for their efforts. These moments were life-changing events. The memory remains with them, along with a deep respect for the University.

Another characteristic of those who are a part of the University of Rochester community is their dedication to serving others. Our community is deeply compassionate and caring. We strive with constancy of purpose for our families and for the places where we live. We increasingly are serving and supporting this great University so that it may better serve all who benefit from what we offer and those who depend upon us. We are looking ahead and considering our role in the lives of generations ahead of us.  

We have reached a crucial moment in our history. The world needs the University of Rochester and all that it does more than ever before. The institution is positioned to move forward in exciting new directions. Moving to the next level requires all of us to be involved, working together in service to humanity. In this season, as we consider all we have to be thankful for and all we have received, let us consider what we can give others and our individual goals for the months and years ahead. I invite you to join me in pursuing your interests and passions through our broad University community in ways that will strengthen it and expand its service. This is our moment to make a true difference in the world.


James D. Thompson
Senior Vice President
Chief Advancement Officer



Golisano Children's Hospital Gala Was Simply Spectacular


The Rochester community has a long and proud history of supporting medical research and care for children. Over 800 generous supporters proved that by joining together for the 23rd Annual Golisano Children's Hospital Gala. Proceeds from the gala this year went to the Pediatric Surgery Division. A record-breaking $874,000 was raised by this effort!

Three year-old Mason Mitchell and his surgeon Dr. Walter Pegoli, Chair of the Pediatric Surgery Division, attended the gala. Mason was born with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia, a hole in his diaphragm that allowed his organs to drift up into his chest. Children born with this have a 50 percent survival rate. He has endured 10 surgeries since birth. “Each year, more than 30,000 children come to Golisano Children’s Hospital for surgical procedures,” Dr. Pegoli said. “We want to treat them with the best care possible. We have the talent to make it happen; now we’re working on upgrading the equipment.” Guests’ generosity provides funding for new anesthesia machines in the operating rooms, which will be a great help to new pediatric surgical teams. The state-of-the-art machines have a special ventilator that does a better, gentler job assisting children, like Mason, with breathing during procedures.

Honorary chairs of the gala were Wayne and Beverly LeChase, and The Cabot Group was the presenting sponsor. This year's event honored Peter Formicola – the 2009 honorary chair and a generous hospital supporter – who sadly lost his battle to cancer last year. University leaders and honored guests who spoke at the gala included B. Thomas Golisano, the hospital’s namesake; President Joel Seligman; Bradford Berk ’81M (MD), ’81M (PhD), CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center; and Nina Schor, MD, PhD, William H. Eilinger Chair of the Department of Pediatrics.

The gala is the Golisano Children’s Hospital’s biggest annual fundraiser. Last year's gala raised nearly $700,000 for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Click here for a photo gallery of the Golisano Children's Hospital Gala.

Wine Auction Benefits Alzheimer's Research and Patient Care

Wine Auction

"We will lead instead of follow."
–Anton Porsteinsson, MD
William B. and Sheila Konar Professor of Psychiatry

Alzheimer's Disease will soon be the number one cause of death – surpassing heart disease and cancer. Right now, there are 5.3 million people in the United States with Alzheimer's Disease and 10.9 million unpaid caregivers. "Like polio in the 1930s, Alzheimer's is a disease where science and clinical care needs to come together in order to solve this problem," said Webster H. Pilcher, MD, PhD, Frank P. Smith Professor and Chair, Department of Neurosurgery.

Events like the 2010 Toast to Your Health Wine Auction are helping the University's vision to become the nationally-known comprehensive center for Alzheimer's disease. With a firm commitment to excellence in finding treatments and cures for memory loss and dementia, the Medical Center is positioned to take an increasing health care leadership role in Alzheimer's research and care regionally, nationally, and internationally. The black-tie gala held in November at the Robert B. Wegman Conference Center in Rochester raised almost $700,000 towards this effort.

This year's auction was sponsored by Wegmans. Ernest J. and Thelma Del Monte served as Auction Chairs; Elaine Del Monte was the Fundraising Committee Chair. Live Auction Sponsors were The Del Monte Family, pictured above, and Constellation Brands, Inc.

Click here for a photo gallery of the Toast To Your Health Wine Auction.

Click here to view a special video on Alzheimer's Research at the University.

Regional Cabinet Dinners Held in Chicago and Boston

chicago cabinet dinner This past fall, Chicago and Boston Regional Cabinets for the University held their annual dinners. Essential to engaging alumni, parents, and friends across the nation, Regional Cabinets consist of key volunteer leaders who hold prominent positions in their communities and for the University. Cabinet members help to increase the visibility and profile of the University in their regions and provide valuable feedback on the institution’s strategic direction. Cabinets also will play a key role in helping launch and successfully complete the University’s impending capital campaign.

President Joel Seligman, traveling with the Eastman School's Katie Ernest Quartet, attended both cabinet dinners. Regional Cabinets are also active in Los Angeles and San Francisco where annual dinners will be held in the spring. Cabinets will be launched in New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and San Diego in the months ahead.

The Chicago area is home to more than 1,500 alumni and 150 current parents; 37 of whom are George Eastman Circle members. Chaired by Trustee Hugo Sonnenschein ’61, the members of the cabinet are: G. Marshall Abbey '54, David Anderson '74, '77S (MBA), P'09; Edward Biemer P'11; Stephen Down '88, '95S (MBA); Mary T. Go '91; Philip Greenland '74M (MD), '78M (Res); Sharon Hauselt '74, P'09; John Levi '69; Gail Lione '71; Christopher Noon P'07; and Suzanne Sawada '73.

chicago cabinet dinnerThe Boston Regional Cabinet is chaired by Trustee Cathy Minehan ’68. She is one of more than 5,000 in the Boston area with ties to the University. Other members on the regional cabinet: Mark Ain '67S (MBA); Stephen Fantone '79 (PhD); Paul Griner '59M (MD); Frank LoGerfo '66M (MD); Joseph Martin '71M (PhD), '96M (HNR); Theophano Mitsa '88 (MS), '91 (PhD); Drew Mittelman '68; Stephen Mortimer '94, '97S (MBA); Shannon O'Mara '93; Thomas Schmidt '91, '98S (MBA); Craig Scheiner P'11; Jeffrey Teschke '93; Cynthia Crofts-Wisch P'09; and Jeffrey Wisch '74, P'09.

Three New Trustees Named to University Board


Robert Keegan ’72S (MBA), Laurence Kessler, and Kathleen McMorran Murray ’74 have been elected to five-year terms on the University of Rochester Board of Trustees. President Joel Seligman said: “Our newest trustees share a deep commitment to strengthening the University and bringing their exceptional talents to the workings of our board.”

Robert Keegan, the recently retired chairman of the board of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, has long associations with the University community. Since earning his M.B.A. from the Simon School, he has been a valued advisor to the school – offering a global perspective and providing tremendous financial support for students. Keegan served in Goodyear’s top leadership ranks as president and chief operating officer as well as CEO and chairman. Before joining Goodyear, he was an executive vice president of Eastman Kodak Company and president of the consumer imaging business at the height of his 26-year career there. Keegan received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Simon in 2007 and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University in 2010.

Laurence Kessler, a Rochester entrepreneur and owner of restaurant development companies, is the founder and co-owner of The Kessler Group Inc. & Kessler Family LLC. He and his brother, Dennis, who is the Edward J. and Agnes V. Ackley Executive Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Simon School, are longtime supporters of the University and have established the Kessler Family Burn/Trauma ICU at the University of Rochester Medical Center. In the early years of his business career, Laurence Kessler was a broker and vice president for investment firms in New York and Florida.

Kathleen McMorran Murray is owner and founder of McMorran Strategists LLC, a consulting firm that specializes in driving complex business improvement initiatives. Among her many contributions to the University of Rochester, she has established the Kathleen McMorran Murray Endowed Scholarship Fund. McMorran has held leadership positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers as managing director of operations, Aetna Inc. as senior vice president of Aetna Retirement Services, and chief operating officer of Aetna Business Resources, among other roles. Currently, she is a board member of Verity Wines LLC, a fellow of the Foreign Policy Association, and a board member of Harvard Business School Women’s NYC Association.

Edmund A. Hajim ’58, chair of the Board of Trustees, applauded recent appointments: “They bring their considerable personal and professional strengths to an already outstanding board that is fully committed to taking the University to the next level.”  

Fast Forward Archive

November 8, 2010
September 29, 2010
August 31, 2010
July 30, 2010

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