OUR Rochester


We're very excited to share with you OUR Rochester, featuring multicultural news and updates from the University of Rochester, in a more dynamic and engaging format. This brings you the same great content you've come to expect from the e-newsletter edition, but with multimedia capability, social media sharing functionality, and 24/7 access. We look forward to continuing to support the University's commitment to diversity and inclusion, and are thrilled to have a new forum to help keep you connected with your fellow alumni. Meliora!

Comments? Questions? Contact us at 585.273.5888 or alumni@rochester.edu.

10th Annual Diversity Conference: 'Finding the Courage to Lead'

Feb 16, 2019

The University’s 10th annual diversity conference, “Finding the Courage to Lead,” on Monday, April 8, features award-winning author, activist, and cultural commentator Samina Ali. Ali’s keynote address weaves her own personal story with a passionate appeal for women’s equality and justice, followed by workshops throughout the day.…  read more 

Symone Sanders: Highlights from the 2019 MLK Address

Feb 12, 2019

On January 23, 2019, the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Address was delivered by Symone Sanders, a CNN political commentator and National Press Secretary for Senator Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign. Prior to the address, Sanders met with students at the Douglass Leadership House for a discussion on her career, activism, and…  read more 

Celebrating Black History Month

Feb 11, 2019

Sponsors and host organizations across the University are planning events to celebrate black history. Check the calendar for events throughout the month of February. Originally posted on February 1, 2019 in Newscenter.  read more 

Introducing Lauren McKenna

Feb 8, 2019

The Office of Alumni Relations is pleased to welcome Rochester-native Lauren McKenna as associate director of alumni relations, working with alumni on diversity, inclusion, and identity-based affinity programming. Lauren earned her bachelor’s in sociology from Nazareth College and continued her education at The College at Brockport, where she…  read more 

Meliora Weekend 2018

Oct 19, 2018

University alumni, community members, and friends celebrated the 18th annual Meliora Weekend traditions of reunions, thought-provoking conversations, performances, and family fun. Headlining performers included Soledad O’Brien, award-winning journalist, speaker, and author; Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow; innovative multi-genre…  read more 

The Staggering Cost of Being Black in America

Aug 13, 2018

Armed with the tools of modern finance, engineer and businessman Shawn Rochester ’97 offers an accounting. Interview by Karen McCally ’02 (PhD) The premise isn’t new: engineer and business executive Shawn Rochester ’97, in a recent book, The Black Tax: The Cost of Being Black in America (Good Steward Publishing), shows myriad ways in which…  read more 

University hosting national College Horizons program June 22, 2018

Jul 16, 2018

About 70 Native American high school students will be working with national admissions representatives and counselors on the River Campus this week as part of College Horizons, a college access and success program hosted by the Office of Admissions. Students from South Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Washington and other states will work…  read more 

Alumna Featured on NPR’s Radio Diaries

Jun 18, 2018

Olivia Hooker '62 (PhD) was recently featured on NPR's Radio Diaries. Now 103 years old (and one of our oldest living alumni!), Dr. Hooker became the first African-American woman to join the U.S. Coast Guard in 1945. She went on to earn a doctorate degree in psychology and helped form the Tulsa Race Riot Commission in 1997 to investigate the…  read more 

Rochester’s first Posse Foundation cohort set to graduate

May 21, 2018

Four years after arriving on campus, the “posse” is ready to ride off as graduates of the University of Rochester. Nine students who came to Rochester from Washington, D.C., in 2014 as members of the University’s first Posse Foundation cohort celebrated their impending graduation with a ceremony at Rush Rhees Library on May 12. Richard…  read more 

An improbable route to Rochester, then Harvard

May 15, 2018

Making their mark: This is one in a series of profiles celebrating members of Rochester’s graduating class of 2018. Growing up in Los Angeles, Matthew Lyskawa ’18 saw no purpose in school. “I hated it,” he says. Bored and frustrated, he was dismissed from two high schools for disciplinary reasons, finally graduating with a 1.8 grade-point…  read more 

Two pairs of University students to receive Davis Projects for Peace grants

May 7, 2018

For the first time, two pairs of University of Rochester students have been selected to receive $10,000 grants from Davis Projects for Peace, a highly competitive national program that promotes peace and intercultural understanding. Bienfait Mugenza ’21 and Philemon Rono ’21 will run “Peace through Entrepreneurship,” a one-week workshop to…  read more 

Descendant of Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington hopes to create ‘one million abolitionists’

Apr 12, 2018

Kenneth B. Morris Jr., co-founder and president of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI), spoke to a University gathering Thursday about his goal of creating one million abolitionists to help end human trafficking, a modern form of slavery. Morris is a great-great-great-grandson of the 19th-century abolitionist Frederick Douglass as well as…  read more 

CNN’s Ana Navarro to speak at University’s Diversity Conference

Apr 12, 2018

CNN political analyst Ana Navarro will be the keynote speaker for the University’s annual Diversity Conference this Friday, April 13. The keynote address begins at 8:30 a.m. at Strong Auditorium and is free and open to the public. You can also watch the keynote address live online. Parking is available in the Larry and Cindy Bloch Alumni and…  read more 

Kevin Beckford is a man on a mission to increase staff diversity

Apr 3, 2018

Kevin Beckford is the University of Rochester’s first senior director of staff diversity, equity, and inclusion, a newly created position. Born in Jamaica, Beckford lived in Nassau, Bahamas, before immigrating to the United States at age 18. Prior to joining the University, the Pittsford resident (newly elected to the town board) worked for…  read more 

Eastman School of Music Celebrates the 95th Birthday Year of Composer and Pianist George Walker

Mar 30, 2018

Eastman School of Music is proud to celebrate the 95th birthday year of composer and pianist George Theophilus Walker '56E (DMA) in a special alumnus recital on Monday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Hatch Recital Hall at Eastman, followed by a champagne toast and reception in Wolk Atrium for the audience. The recital, comprised of the complete…  read more 

John Barker named to new leadership position in Arts, Sciences & Engineering

Mar 20, 2018

John Barker ‘09W (PhD) says his goals for higher education have always included three tenets: “access, equity, and social justice for all.” As of March 1, he is fulfilling those missions at Rochester in the newly created role as senior associate dean of the faculty for Arts, Sciences & Engineering. Barker, who most recently was dean of…  read more 

Thinking about ‘visual privilege’ and the 2018 Oscars

Mar 8, 2018

When the Academy Awards offered a second straight year of all-white nominees in 2016, Twitter users seized the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag to highlight the narrowness of the honors being distributed. It was a move that contributed to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ recent efforts to overhaul its voting membership. Sharon Willis, a…  read more 

‘Inclusive habits of the mind and heart’: Diversity, justice, and higher education

Feb 26, 2018

Sasha Eloi-Evans ’05, ’17W (EdD) is an academic programming coordinator for the Office of Minority Students Affairs and a lecturer in the Department of Linguistics. She’s also a student advisor for the Douglass Leadership House, Minority Students Advisory Board, and Women’s Leadership Alliance, and the coordinator of the Women of…  read more 

Black History Month 2018

Feb 5, 2018

Sponsors and host organizations across the University are planning events to celebrate black history. This year also marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Douglass. The Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African American Studies and Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation are joining with other Rochester…  read more 

Patria Frias-Colon '90 sworn in as Brooklyn’s first elected Dominican judge

Jan 24, 2018

Brooklyn’s judiciary has seen a lot of firsts recently—the first Iranian-born and the first Hasidic judges were sworn in last year. The first Russian-born and Cuban-born judges were already sworn in earlier this year. On Thursday night there was another first—the first ever Dominican-born judge, Patria Frias-Colon, was officially inducted as…  read more