Staying Connected to Rochester
When you live more than 2,000 miles from your alma mater, connecting with fellow alumni is a rare treat. Jeff Leonard ’67 and Mickey Bortnick Leonard ’67 have lived in Arizona for more than 40 years, and they were excited and appreciative when the University of Rochester began holding regular alumni events in the Phoenix area.
“We want to maintain a connection with Rochester, and we enjoy meeting people at the Phoenix events, like the professor salons,” explained Jeff. “We get to expand our knowledge and keep in touch.” The couple has even hosted University functions in their home.
Jeff, an attorney who specializes in business and commercial litigation, and Mickey, a former teacher turned C.P.A., met at the University of Rochester during the final semester of their senior year. Just 10 months later, they were married — in the middle of a Rochester blizzard.
The couple has fond memories of their experiences as undergraduates. A member of Theta Eta sorority, Mickey lived in Irondequoit but would occasionally stay in a dorm room reserved for those living at home. She earned a bachelor’s in general science and taught math and science before making a career change to accounting 30 years ago.
A Brooklyn native, Jeff originally majored in physics, but soon discovered a love of history. He was challenged by a wonderfully strong American history faculty, including Professors Hayden White, Loren Baritz, Christopher Lindley, John Waters, and Bernard Weisberger. After earning his bachelor’s in history, he pursued his J.D. at the University of Arizona College of Law, the same law school where President Joel Seligman was once dean.
Jeff says he admires President Seligman and appreciates how he is reconnecting Rochester alumni across the country. The Leonards joined the George Eastman Circle because they felt compelled to give something back.
“We’re fortunate to be here and to be able to help,” said Jeff. “We appreciate that the cost of education is high, but so is its value, and we want to help. The more we do, the more we want to do.”
School of Arts & Sciences