University of Rochester

EVENT: University of Rochester Hosts Cultural, Intellectual Weekend Celebration

September 29, 2005

Notable thinkers in the arts, law, business, and other specialties will gather on the University of Rochester's River Campus to share knowledge, provoke discussion, and stimulate intellectual curiosity on Oct. 21 to 23 for Meliora Weekend 2005. Registration is required for alumni, parents, students, and the public for an array of events.

The weekend concludes on Sunday, Oct. 23, with the ceremony inaugurating the 10th University president, Joel Seligman, which is free and open to the public. It will be held at 3 p.m. at the Eastman Theatre. Guests are asked to register at

This year's Meliora Weekend focus is celebrating diversity with a first-ever reunion for the University's nearly 5,000 multicultural alumni. A reception and dinner on Friday, Oct. 21, will honor the University's oldest living African-American graduate, Olivia Hooker, who lived through the 1921 Tulsa race riots.

Cultures and traditions that give each person a unique story to tell will be evident in many events for the fifth annual weekend. Chinese novelist and poet Ha Jin will talk about his writing success since self-imposed exile from his homeland while alumni experts give personal perspectives on peace in the Middle East, Asia's influence on the global economy, and models of leadership and entrepreneurship in multicultural communities. (A full schedule can be found at

Other programs include:

  • Descendents of some of the most notable civil rights leaders in America (Ralph Abernathy and Adam Clayton Powell, among them) assessing race and civil rights progress in the U.S. today.
  • Political commentator Chris Matthews prognosticating on the latest capital news.
  • Leaders, including U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter, analyzing how women's lives have changed since Susan B. Anthony's death nearly 100 years ago.
  • Debate on the threats to privacy during a time of war yet with complete access to the world via the Web with Harvard law professor and alumnus Arthur R. Miller.

The weekend carries the special opportunity to celebrate the inauguration of Joel Seligman. The ceremony is open to all and tickets are not required. Before the ceremony, five of the nation's most prominent names in higher education will convene a symposium on "Directions in Higher Education for the 21st Century" at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 23 in Strong Auditorium on the River Campus. That event is also free and open to the public. For both events, guests are encouraged to register at

After a break for lunch, the inauguration ceremony convenes at 3 p.m. at Eastman Theatre with honorary presentations, musical fanfare, and an inaugural address.

Meliora, meaning "always better," is the University's motto, at the center of its seal, and emblazoned on many campus landmarks. Since 2000, class reunions, homecoming, and family weekend have been combined as Meliora Weekend to bring about 6,000 alumni, parents, and friends together to celebrate the University and renew relationships.

Registration is required for all who attend Meliora Weekend. Alumni, parents, and the public can register online for $15 each at (The registration fee is waived for University of Rochester students, faculty, and staff.) Early registration is encouraged because seating is limited.

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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