University of Rochester

EVENT: Ideas, Experts, Discovery: Meliora Weekend Draws Big Names for Talks, Feedback, Entertainment at University of Rochester

September 13, 2004

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — National headliners from the worlds of politics, business, the arts, and human rights will top the list of speakers for this year’s Meliora Weekend on Oct. 8 to 10.

Political consultants James Carville and Mary Matalin, humanitarian and medical anthropologist Dr. Paul Farmer, and award-winning writers Edward P. Jones and Rita Dove will join more than a dozen others when the University of Rochester homecoming, alumni reunion, and family weekend converge.

“We consider this fall celebration a truly unique educational and entertainment experience, both for the University and Greater Rochester communities,” says Thomas J. LeBlanc, Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the College Faculty. “People take away new ideas from the programs and connect with one another on many levels. It engages you.”

The range of people and issues includes:

  • Corporate leaders Anne Mulcahy of Xerox and David Neeleman of JetBlue Airways on their industries and successes
  • Economist and television commentator Larry Kudlow (Class of 1969) on how the economy may fare with a George W. Bush re-election or a John Kerry win
  • Talent agent to TV’s news stars Richard Leibner (Class of 1959) on the rise of reality shows and where electronic journalism is headed
  • Political scientist Manning Marable on the future of black politics
  • Comedian Dennis Miller, winner of five Emmy Awards, and his stinging humor
  • Panels on solutions to the pressing crisis in nursing; why relatively few women want to seek elected political office; and noted authorities on probability raising questions about judgments made in everyday life.

Meliora Weekend, which is open to the public, also encompasses performances by student groups, sporting events, museum exhibits and historic materials on display, and an array of social activities. Meliora, meaning “always better,” is the University’s motto, at the center of its seal, and emblazoned on many campus landmarks.

Final events on Sunday, Oct. 10, include the groundbreaking for the new biomedical engineering and optics facility, which will bring together the Institute of Optics and the Department of Biomedical Engineering in a state-of-the-art complex, and the Stonehurst Capital Invitational Regatta in Genesee Valley Park.

Registration is required for all who attend Meliora Weekend. Alumni, parents, and the general public can register online for $15 a person at (The registration fee is waived for University of Rochester students, faculty, and staff.)

Now in its fourth year, the weekend program is organized by the Office of College Advancement. For more information, contact (585) 273-5888 or (800) 333-0175.

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