University of Rochester

Colin Powell Headlines This Fall's Meliora Weekend Oct. 20

April 5, 2007

A keynote address by General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) will top the list of exceptional programs, entertainment, and reunion events for the University of Rochester's Meliora Weekend 2007.

The combined homecoming, alumni reunion, and family weekend attracts nearly 6,000 attendees each year. Special guests at this year's Oct. 19 to 21 celebration include Andrew Thomas, president and CEO of Heineken USA and a Simon alumnus, as part of the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration's first-ever reunion during Meliora Weekend. The Presidential Symposium on Great Issues of the 21st Century will return with Hugo F. Sonnenschein, alumnus and president emeritus of the University of Chicago, as its host.

"What's special about Meliora Weekend is the intellectual substance of the programs and the fun of reconnecting with classmates and discovering the latest initiatives at the University," said Joel Seligman, president of the University of Rochester.

Peter Lennie, the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering, said the weekend provides a unique experience for undergraduates as well. "Our students and faculty value the opportunity to get involved in planning programs and in engaging our alumni in the rich variety of things we do as a research university," he said.

The former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 to 1993 and then Secretary of State from 2001 to 2004, Powell will be the latest among national leaders in government, the arts, business, and others fields to participate in Meliora Weekend. His theme of "Leadership: Taking Charge" will be based on his experiences as a military leader as well as an eyewitness to leadership in action on the world stage.

Powell served 35 years in the Army, rising to the rank of four-star general. He oversaw many international crises, including the Panama intervention of 1989 and Operation Desert Storm in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. He also was a key aide to the Secretary of Defense and National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan.

He earned his bachelor's degree in geology from the City College of New York and an MBA from George Washington University. Powell is the recipient of numerous military and civilian awards from the United States and abroad.

Meliora, meaning "ever better," is the University's motto, at the center of its seal, and emblazoned on many campus landmarks. The complete weekend program will be announced this summer. For details and to register, check Meliora Weekend Web pages at