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President’s Page

Welcome, Danny By Joel Seligman
presidentINSPIRING LEADERSHIP: As the new chair of the Board of Trustees, Danny Wegman, the CEO of Wegmans Food Markets, builds on a distinguished record of inspiring leadership says President and CEO Joel Seligman. (Photo: Adam Fenster)

Our May board meeting marked a significant transition—the passing of the gavel from Ed Hajim ’58, after a remarkable eight years as chairman of the Board of Trustees—to Danny Wegman. I am delighted that Danny Wegman will now be taking the reins to lead us to the Next Level.

Danny Wegman has served as a University trustee for more than 15 years. For decades, he has helped lead one of the most extraordinary private businesses in the country, one regularly ranked as one of the best companies for which to work and regularly ranked as among the most admired in its industry. He and his company have been honored many times as a model employer and retailer, as well as for excellence in community service. Danny frequently has been recognized as the most respected business leader in the Greater Rochester community. But more than that, he is a special friend, and I look forward to continuing the partnership we developed as cochairs of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, where together we led an effort to galvanize more than $800 million of commitments and support for the region during the last five years.

Danny is a community builder who provides inspiring leadership. He has been passionate in his commitment to our University and to other key endeavors such as United Way. Increasingly he has focused on revitalizing and strengthening our K-12 education system—through the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection—and health care systems. Although not a graduate, he is devoted to the University. He will be instrumental in helping us achieve the Next Level in our University’s progress.

Danny joined Wegmans Food Markets after he graduated from high school, and was named a store manager in 1969, the same year he graduated with honors from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He became president of Wegmans in 1976, and was named CEO in 2005. Today, Wegmans operates 88 stores in six states and is consistently recognized in Fortune magazine’s “100 Best companies to Work For,” earning the number four spot in 2016.

In April 2014, the University announced two major contributions from the Wegman Family Charitable Foundation—a $10 million lead gift to the new Goergen Institute for Data Science and a $7 million gift to support the Golisano Children’s Hospital. Together with previous gifts to several programs across the University campuses, the foundation has provided more than $20 million to The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester.

Danny has also served as honorary chair of the Medical Center’s campaign in support of The Meliora Challenge. A former member of the Medical Center Board, he and his wife, Stency, long supported the Toast to Your Health Wine Auction, which supports initiatives at the Medical Center. In 2010, Danny received the University’s Eastman Medal, which honors outstanding professional achievement and dedicated service.

Danny will build on Ed’s eight-year chairmanship. Ed was a driving force on the Board of Trustees for nearly three decades, and his leadership and commitment have been truly inspirational. In 2008, his $30 million commitment to the University was the largest single gift commitment in the institution’s history and catalyzed the $1.2 billion Meliora Challenge campaign. As a sign of our enduring gratitude, the board voted that the new Science and Engineering Quadrangle on the River Campus will be named for Ed. The Edmund A. Hajim Science and Engineering Quadrangle, currently being constructed in the area bounded by Robert B. Goergen Hall, Hylan Hall, Hutchison Hall, the Computer Studies Building, and the future Wegmans Hall, will be transformed for the fall with new walkways, trees, seating, and a botanical rain garden.

I am delighted to welcome Danny to the helm of our extraordinary Board of Trustees. Like Ed and also predecessors Bob Witmer ’59 and Bob Goergen ’60, Danny embodies the spirit of Meliora. I look forward to working with him to make the University ever better.