University of Rochester

Statement by Joel Seligman on Eastman Kodak's Announcement Earlier Today

January 19, 2012

The news that Eastman Kodak is filing for bankruptcy reorganization is deeply saddening for Rochester. Kodak has been a vital part of our community for 130 years.

This does not mean that Kodak will be liquidated or that all of Kodak's current employees will lose their jobs. In the best outcome, Kodak will emerge from reorganization a smaller company with less overwhelming debt and a sustainable future.

Everyone in Rochester will reflect on this sobering news with a sense of gratitude for what Eastman Kodak has meant to our city; for George Eastman's visionary technology; for Eastman's generosity to our city and wider community; and for the tens of thousands of former Kodak employees who still reside here and enrich this community.

Rochester will very likely never know another Eastman Kodak, but it benefits from the economic, scientific, and cultural contributions of several institutions of higher education—including the University of Rochester and RIT—as well as an increasing number of vibrant start-up firms that directly or indirectly have been aided by Kodak. Rochester has embraced the transition to a knowledge economy, and, because of that, it has a bright future.

At the University of Rochester we will never forget Kodak or George Eastman. Kodak and George Eastman will forever be a part of our University because of our Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, the Eastman School of Music, and the Eastman Institute for Oral Health.