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Meliora Weekend 2016 ‘Better Than Ever’

October 5, 2016
MELIORA in large letters in front of Rush Rhees LibraryThe Eastman Quadrangle was ‘ever better’ during Meliora Weekend, with many alumni, students, and families stopping to pose for photos with the larger-than-life letters. (University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

Thousands of alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, community members, and friends celebrated their connections to the University during Meliora Weekend, October 6-9. This year’s festivities featured a gala event to celebrate the success of The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester. The Campaign, which formally concluded June 30, raised more than $1.3 billion in support of University research, endowed faculty professorships and leadership positions, student scholarships and fellowships, new buildings as well as renovations to existing facilities, and new academic and curricular programs.

Combining reunions, homecoming, family activities, performances, lectures, and community celebrations, the weekend offers something for everyone.

Headlining performers included Tony Bennett, in concert at Kodak Hall; Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show; and a free outdoor concert from multiplatinum singer-songwriter Ben Folds.


Meliora moments

Large letters on quad spell MELIORA

EVER BETTER: Meliora Weekend 2016 dawns over the Eastman Quadrangle. (University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

students pose inside giant letter O

O WHAT A WEEKEND: 2020 classmates Kelly Fam, Ke Xin Jiang, Miles Perry, Helen Shung, and Mawada (Mo) Elmahgoub pose for a photo in the “O” of Meliora. (University photo / J. Adam Fenster)



students posing with giant letters on the quad

ALL TOGETHER NOW: A group of Simon School MBA students pose with the Meliora letters. (University photo / Keith Walters)

meliora moment-wegmans-hall-dedication

CUTTING THE RIBBON:  As Meliora Weekend ceremonies kicked off, the University celebrated the dedication of the new Wegmans Hall, the future home for the Goergen Institute for Data Science. From left: Senior Vice President and James D. Thompson Chief Advancement Officer Tom Farrell, trustee Ed Hajim ’58, Medical Center CEO Mark Taubman, Dean of the Hajim School Wendi Heinzelman, Senior Vice President and Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences & Engineering Peter Lennie, Wegmans CEO and Board of Trustee chairman Danny Wegman and wife Stency Wegman, President Joel Seligman, Pamela Goergen and Robert Goergen ’60, Goergen Institute for Data Science director Henry Kautz, trustees Tim Wentworth and Nomi Bergman, Vice Provost and Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of River Campus Libraries Mary Ann Mavrinac, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Gloria Culver, and Provost and Senior Vice President for Research Robert Clark. (University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

family poses in front of statue

MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU: University Trustee and Board Chairman Emeritus Ed Hajim ’58 and his family pose with the new statue dedicated Friday on the Edmund A. Hajim Science & Engineering Quadrangle. (University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

crowd holds signs that read THANKS ED

THANKS ED: Members of the crowd express their gratitude to University Trustee Ed Hajim ’58 at the dedication of the Edmund A. Hajim Science & Engineering Quadrangle on Friday. (University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

Rob Clark playing the guitar and singing

OUR PROVOST IS COOLER THAN YOUR PROVOST: Provost and Senior Vice President for Research Rob Clark plays with his band, Don’t Know Jack, at the dedication of the Edmund A. Hajim Science & Engineering Quadrangle. The band entertained University faculty, staff, and students during an outdoor celebration of the success of The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester. (University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

two speakers behind a table.

YOUTH HOMELESSNESS AND THE HUMAN SPIRIT: Filmmaker Matthew Spaull (left) and writer D. Watkins lead a Q&A session following the screening of Spaull’s film If These Walls Could Talk at the Stanton-Anthony Conversations, sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony Center and several University organizations and offices. (University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

NIH director Francis Collins talks with U.S. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter.

SPECIAL GUESTS: New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter talks with Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, after Collins’s presentation at the School of Medicine and Dentistry. Collins also met with University researchers and students to talk about medical research, advances in clinical treatment, and professional opportunities in the sciences during his visit. (School of Medicine and Dentistry photo / John Schlia )

Paul Burgett and Ken Burns seated on stage

RACE IN AMERICA: The annual Presidential Symposium featured a conversation between Dean Paul Burgett ’68E, ’76E (PhD) and acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns. Burns’s grandfather was a member of the University faculty from 1928 to 1939. (University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

large group portrait

50 YEARS: Members of the Class of 1966—both from the College and the School of Nursing—were honored at the annual Medallion Ceremony marking their 50th reunion. (University photo / Deron Berkhof)

Cynthia Connolly '87N (MS) presents the Claire Dennison Lecture

EVER BETTER NURSING: Pediatric nurse practitioner Cynthia Connolly ’87N (MS), associate professor of nursing and co-faculty director of the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research at the University of Pennsylvania, presented the annual Clare Dennison Lecture at the School of Nursing. Connolly also received the school’s Distinguished Alumna Award.

Joel Seligman on stage at dinner

MELIORA CHALLENGE: President and CEO Joel Seligman delivers remarks at the dinner celebrating the success of The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester. (University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

saxophonists walk through audience

MUSICAL MEMORIES: The Eastman Saxophone Project performs during Friday’s celebration dinner. (University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

large group of University leaders on stage

AN EVER BETTER TOMORROW: As confetti flies, guests at the celebration dinner sing “The Genesee”: Ed Hajim ’58, University trustee and board chairman emeritus; Cathy Minehan ’68, cochair of The Meliora Challenge; Joel Seligman, University president and CEO; Delores Conway, professor at the Simon Business School; Brenda Tremblay, WXXI-FM radio host and emcee for the event; Bob Witmer ’59, University trustee and board chair emeritus; Tom Farrell ’88, ’90W, senior vice president and chief advancement officer; Danny Wegman, chairman of the Board of Trustees; and Crystal Colon ’17. (University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

Singer Tony Bennett with Jamal Rossi, the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music.

LIVING LEGEND: Legendary singer and performer Tony Bennett poses with Jamal Rossi, the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music, during Bennett’s visit for a sold-out performance, “An Evening with Tony Bennett.” (Photo by Michael Lutch)

large group of singers perform on stage

A CAPPELLA JAM: YellowJackets alumni join current student members of the group on stage at the Palestra. (University photo / Keith Walters)

juggling fire in front of Rush Rhees Library

FIRE IN THE SKY: Dan Rubery ’17 (left) and Jeff Leavitt ’17 of the Strong Jugglers cap off Friday night’s festivities with their annual outdoor show. (University photo / Keith Walters)

Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on stage holding University of Rochester coffee mugs

MORNING JOE: MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski delivered a morning keynote address, a lively discussion about electoral politics, the rise in political vitriol, and the decline of bipartisanship. (University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

Ben Folds behind the piano

PIANO MAN: Ben Folds, multiplatinum singer and songwriter whose past collaborations include work with the University’s own Midnight Ramblers and the YellowJackets, performed a free outdoor concert for the Meliora Weekend crowd. (University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

people sitting on the quad listening to a concert

ROCKIN’ THE QUADRANGLES: Bennett Nidenberg ’16 and Becca Levy watch Ben Folds perform on the field next to the Goergen Athletic Center. (University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

Current members of football team shaking hands with alumni from Class of 1966

FOOTBALL REUNION: Peter Prowda ’66 (front) shakes hands with senior captain Trevor Robinson-Gray ’17 as the members of the football team celebrated their 50th reunion. (University photo / Keith Walters)

large crowd cheers at the football stadium

SCORE! Rochester scored the first and last touchdowns of the afternoon but couldn’t stay with nationally ranked St. Lawrence, losing 48-13. (University photo / Keith Walters)

speaker in a wheelchair and sigh language interpreter on stage

MEL TALKS: Benjamin Meyerhoff ’96, celebrating his 20th reunion, presented “Please Forgive Me If I Don’t Stand Up,” his perspectives on trauma recovery, perseverance, and augmented life with paralysis during the annual MEL Talks, a series of presentations that explore research, ideas, and culture. (University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

panel of speakers seated on stage

HOW MUCH DOES THE SUPREME COURT MATTER? Celebrating his 60th reunion, Arthur Miller ’56 moderated the annual Miller’s Court panel, this year focusing on “The Next President, the Supreme Court, and You.” Panelists included (from left) Jason Altabet ’17, the first student to ever participate in a Miller’s Court panel and the current president of the Rochester chapter of Mock Trial; Lew Kaplan ’66, U.S. district judge for the Southern District of New York; David Primo, the Ani and Mark Gabrellian Professor and an associate professor of political science and business administration; Robert McNamara, senior attorney with the Institute for Justice; Jennifer Farmer ’99, managing director of communications for the PICO National Network; and University President and CEO Joel Seligman. (University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

Trevor Noah on stage in front of a University of Rochester logo.

TREVOR NOAH: Today’s headlines provide fertile ground for comedian and Daily Show host Trevor Noah as he entertained a packed Palestra on Saturday night. (University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

giant MELIORA letters lit up against Rush Rhees Library at night

BETTER THAN EVER: Meliora Weekend comes to a close. (University photo / J. Adam Fenster)


#URMW16 on social


Celebrating a campus transformed

Meliora Weekend follows one of the most active construction periods of all time on the River Campus. Many new buildings and spaces have been opened and dedicated over the course of the The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester.

Meliora milestonesanimated gif of campus map showing new buildings popping up on campus
An animated timeline shows the transformation of the University’s campuses, highlighting new buildings and projects from 2006 to the present day.

large group of people cutting a ribbon

PHOTO GALLERY: Dedicating Wegmans Hall, Goergen Institute for Data Science
As Meliora Weekend ceremonies kicked off, the University dedicated the new Wegmans Hall, the future home for the Goergen Institute for Data Science.

students in dining hall; sign reads DOUGLASS DINING

‘Reinvented Douglass’ new hub of student life
The Frederick Douglass Building officially reopened in September after a complete renovation of the iconic 79,000-square-foot space. “I feel like I’m in a different building,” says Laura Ballou ’97, director of the Campus Center.

Paul Burgett speaks behind podium

Burgett Intercultural Center dedicated at refurbished Douglass Building
Established in 2013 and named for the vice president and senior advisor to the president and Eastman School of Music alumnus, the Paul J. Burgett Intercultural Center promotes cultural awareness and engagement, and educates on issues of identity, culture, and diversity.

Student feedback was gathered throughout the design process for Lam Square. (University Photo/J. Adam Fenster)

Evans Lam Square offers new approach to library design
A new state-of-the-art learning and research space in Rush Rhees Library, named for University Trustee Evans Lam ’83, ’84S (MBA) and dedicated on October 5, “will function much like a town square,” says Mary Ann Mavrinac, vice provost and the Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of the River Campus Libraries.

50th reunion for ‘U of R, U of R — ’66!’

Celebrating its 50th reunion at Meliora Weekend this October, the Class of 1966 ushered in “the ’60s” between freshman and senior years, as policies relaxed and a commitment to protest grew. “We wanted to the heard and seen and to show that we knew things were going on in the world and we didn’t like it,” says reunion cochair Larry Cohen ’66.

historic images of students on campus from 1966

Class on the cusp
From ‘professionalism to protest,’ members of the Class of 1966 ushered in the ’60s.

Jocelyn Trueblood

Recalling a ‘Golden Past’
Jocelyn Trueblood ’66 shares the musical bent of her great-grandfather, Herve Dwight Wilkins, Class of 1866. He arranged the tune for “The Genesee,” Rochester’s alma mater.

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Category: Featured, University News