University of Rochester

University of Rochester 149th Commencement Highlights

April 27, 1999

Edgar M. Bronfman, The Seagram Company Ltd. chairman who convinced Swiss banks to release funds belonging to Holocaust survivors and families of its victims, will deliver the address at the University of Rochester's 149th commencement on Sunday, May 16. He also will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

President of the World Jewish Congress since 1981, Bronfman campaigns worldwide for Jewish issues. He has advocated for Soviet Jews and exposed the wartime Nazi connections of Kurt Waldheim, former secretary-general of the United Nations. He is involved in numerous philanthropic and civic organizations, including the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life (Hillel).

Commencement ceremonies for bachelor's and master's degree candidates will start at 9 a.m. on the Eastman Quadrangle of the River Campus and will proceed even in the event of showers.

Commencement ceremonies for doctoral candidates from the College, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Eastman School of Music, Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development, School of Medicine and Dentistry, and School of Nursing will be held Saturday, May 15, at 10 a.m. in Eastman Theatre.

The commencement ceremony for M.D. graduates of the School of Medicine and Dentistry will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 23, in Eastman Theatre. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health, will deliver the commencement address and will receive an Honorary Doctor of Science degree.

The William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration commencement will take place on Sunday, June 13, at 10 a.m. in Eastman Theatre.

Background information on speakers and award winners:.

Degrees to be awarded in all schools: 2,433 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees

Bachelor's and Master's Degree Commencement Ceremony, 9 a.m. Sunday, May 16, on Eastman Quadrangle:

Edgar M. Bronfman, Commencement Address and Doctor of Humane Letters

In 1951, Edgar M. Bronfman joined Distillers Corporation-Seagrams Limited (renamed The Seagram Company Ltd. in 1971). He became president of Distillers Corporation-Seagram Ltd. in 1971 and chairman in 1975. In 1994, he relinquished the position of chief executive officer to his son, Edgar Bronfman Jr.

Bronfman is president of the World Jewish Congress and of the World Jewish Restitution Organization, which is devoted to ensuring the return of communal Jewish property taken by both the Nazis and communists in Eastern Europe. He first met with Swiss banking officials about the issue of Holocaust assets in September 1995. His efforts led to an agreement by the two largest Swiss banks in August 1998 to pay $1.25 billion to settle suits arising out of the blocked assets.

Bronfman is chairman of the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life (Hillel), a worldwide organization uniting Jewish students on college and university campuses, and of the Samuel Bronfman Foundation Inc. He also has served as honorary chairman of the United Jewish Appeal/Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York; as a director of the American Committee of the Weizmann Institute of Science; and as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the finance committee of the National Urban League. Born on June 20, 1929, in Montreal, Canada, Bronfman became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1959.

Jay T. Last, Hutchison Medal

The effect of technology on our lives today can be traced to Jay T. Last and the "Fairchild Eight." In 1957, he and seven colleagues founded the Fairchild Semiconductor Corp. in Palo Alto, Calif., and developed a key process to efficiently make the silicon chips used in computers, robots, missiles and other electronic gear.

Last went on to become vice president for research and development of Teledyne Inc., at the same time making contributions outside the realm of science and technology. He has served as president of Hillcrest Press, an art publisher, and has conducted research on African art and on the history of 19th-century American color printing. Additionally, he is working to preserve American archaeological sites and was instrumental in founding the Archaeological Conservancy, which has established more than 160 archaeological preserves in 29 states over the past two decades.

Last received his bachelor of science degree in optics from the University of Rochester in 1951, and earned his doctorate in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Hutchison Medal, first awarded in 1977, is the highest honor the University gives its alumni; it recognizes outstanding achievements and notable service to community, state, or nation.

John C. Lambropoulos, Edward Peck Curtis Award for Undergraduate Teaching

Luckily for students, the demands of being a department chair have not kept John Lambropoulos out of the classroom. The professor's enthusiasm, energy, and ability to demystify the concepts of mechanical engineering are coupled with a sincere concern for his students' success. Whether it's staying late with exam-takers or designing internship and independent study opportunities, Lambropoulos is generous with his time.

In addition to his administrative and teaching duties, Lambropoulos has helped design a course to introduce engineering and its principles to non-engineering students. He also was instrumental in creating an academic exchange program for engineering students with the ORT-Braude School in Israel.

It's this dedication to all aspects of teaching and his ability to inspire both faculty and students that led a colleague to comment, "If I had one wish for a freshman son or daughter in engineering, it would be that my child could take a course from John Lambropoulos."

A faculty member since 1984, Lambropoulos was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year in Engineering in 1986.

Lynne H. Orr, G. Graydon and Jane W. Curtis Award for Teaching, Nontenured

Since joining the Department of Physics and Astronomy as an assistant professor in 1993, Lynne Orr has impressed her colleagues with both her teaching and research. Students praise her talent for making subjects understandable and accessible.

Beyond the classroom, her contributions have positively affected the entire department. Orr was one of the developers of a pioneering teaching internship program for undergraduates aimed at increasing the participation and retention of women in science. She also directed the restructuring of the undergraduate physics curriculum.

Orr's skills are recognized in the national physics community as well. She was invited to lecture at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) outside of Chicago, and has been awarded prestigious grants: the Department of Energy's Outstanding Junior Investigator Award and the Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation.

Doctoral Degree Commencement Ceremony, 10 a.m., Saturday, May 15, in Eastman Theatre:

G. Bingham Powell Jr., University Graduate Teaching Award

G. Bingham Powell Jr. is widely respected in the field of comparative politics and by political scientists generally. His books have been influential in the United States and a number have been translated into several foreign languages.

Students cite the professor's compassion, respect, and ability to instill self-confidence. Powell extends co-authorship opportunities to bolster career possibilities and often adds to his normal teaching load with supervised reading courses. A former student, now on the faculty of Columbia University, noted, "Bing has shaped how I do my job more than anyone else I've encountered in the 13 years since I began graduate school."

A member of the political science faculty since 1970, Powell was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1991. He received the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award in 1983 for the best book on government, politics, or international affairs, and was presented a Special Recognition Award for outstanding contributions to the profession by Stanford University's political science department in 1996.

Morris P. Fiorina, Rochester Distinguished Scholar

Morris P. Fiorina's study of electoral, legislative, and policymaking processes has made him one of the most respected and influential members of the political science profession. His writings have provided Washington decision-makers and analysts with new ways of looking at world politics.

Among his books, Congress: Keystone of the Washington Establishment was a co-winner of the Washington Monthly Political Book Award in 1977, and The Personal Vote: Constituency Service and Electoral Independence received the 1988 Richard F. Fenno Prize for the best book in legislative studies. In 1988, Fiorina was appointed a Hoover Institution Senior Fellow and was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

After receiving his doctorate in political science from the University in 1972, Fiorina joined the faculty at California Institute of Technology. In 1984, he moved to Harvard University, where he was appointed Frank G. Thompson Professor of Government. He currently is professor of political science at Stanford University.

Lewis E. Rowell, Rochester Distinguished Scholar

Lewis E. Rowell received his bachelor's in 1955 and his doctorate in 1958 from the University's Eastman School of Music, and his early work focused on the canon of traditional Western music. But he grew intrigued by other repertoires, studying Attic Greek, Sanskrit, and South Indian singing to pursue his study of time in various musics. In the late 1970s he became a founding member of the Society for Music Theory.

Today he is considered one of the West's pre-eminent scholars on the history of Indian music. His 1983 book, Thinking About Music: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Music, was considered a landmark for its breadth and expertise. His most recent book, Music and Musical Thought in Early India, won the Otto Kinkeldey Award from the American Musicological Society in 1993.

Rowell has been a faculty member at the universities of Oklahoma, Cincinnati, and Hawaii, and has held fellowships from the American Institute of Indian Studies and the Rockefeller Foundation. He is professor of music theory at Indiana University, where he was designated Distinguished Faculty Research Lecturer for 1993-94.