A Meliora Message
Let me begin my inaugural Fast Forward address by saying, I am thrilled to be at Rochester. Many of the reasons I am excited to be back here are likely reasons why you are a proud graduate, parent, or friend of the University.
We are representatives of one of the leading private research and teaching universities in the world. We have a world-class medical center that, through research and care, has an impact on thousands of lives every day. We have a mission that has given us an integral and growing role in securing the future of the region, country, and the world. This has been true of Rochester for a long time, and I am deeply impressed with our current momentum, as well as the enthusiasm and commitment to excellence I have seen throughout the University community.
My job is to ensure we continue to succeed in our mission and continue to be “ever better.” In this first month, I have made it a priority to meet with as many leaders—volunteer and academic—and stakeholders as possible to begin a dialogue that maintains our momentum and positions us to build upon it.
Personally, I am also making a commitment to several principles that I consider to be fundamental to our success. These include, but are not limited to, high expectations and standards; communication and participation; and enjoyment. I say “enjoyment” because for many of us, our connection to the University and our passion for seeing and helping it succeed is why it does. A lot of time and effort goes into what we do; let’s take the time to remember why we do it. And being a time of year when we traditionally give thanks, I want to thank all of you for everything you have done in Fiscal Year ’15 thus far.
We are nearing the fiscal year’s halfway point, and it is clear that we have much to do. It is also clear that we are making great progress on multiple fronts. But in the true Rochester spirit, we will move forward with the highest aspirations.
Thomas J. Farrell '88, '90W (MS)
Senior Vice President
Chief Advancement Officer
Minehan and Corrigan Add to Scholarship Fund
Ani Okeke Ewo '16, Trustee Cathy Minehan '68, and Ugwu Okeke Ewo '16
First generation Nigerian-Americans Ani Okeke Ewo ’16 and Ugwu Okeke Ewo ’16 are ambitious students and talented football players. Ani is looking forward to a career in marketing or finance; Ugwu aspires to work in physical therapy. Both have the opportunity to achieve their goals—professionally and athletically—at the University because of the Cathy E. Minehan and E. Gerald Corrigan Endowed Scholarship.
The fund that is helping the twin brothers pursue their aspirations will be able to help even more students now that it has received an additional $1 million in support from its creators, Trustee Cathy Minehan ’68, P’04 and her husband, Jerry Corrigan.
“This is a wonderful way for Cathy and Jerry to build on their legacy of student support,” said Peter Lennie, provost and the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences & Engineering. “Their generous commitment to the Minehan-Corrigan Scholarship fund advances a crucial part of our mission: to provide opportunities for talented students with financial need.”
Established in 2004, the scholarship provides assistance for students in the School of Arts & Sciences. Recipients must have significant financial need, with preference given to underrepresented minorities and/or athletes in good academic standing, and to those pursuing faculty-directed research in the social sciences.
On November 6, Ani and Ugwu shared their stories, and gratitude, at the annual Boston Regional Cabinet event, hosted by Cathy and Jerry at the Harvard Club in Boston. The brothers are two of three Minehan-Corrigan Scholarship recipients this year. There have been 11 since the scholarship’s inception.
“They’ve been amazing,” said Minehan, co-chair of The Meliora Challenge, of the scholarship recipients. “The quality of the students who have benefited from this scholarship over the years has been impressive, and Jerry and I have benefited from getting to know them.”
In addition to their endowed scholarship fund, Cathy and Jerry established the Corrigan-Minehan Professorship in Political Science in the College of Arts, Sciences & Engineering in 2007. They are also Charter Members of the George Eastman Circle, the University’s leadership annual giving society.
You can read more about Cathy and Jerry and their gift in the official press release.
The Meliora Challenge: Texas
In regions across the country, University alumni, parents, and friends have gathered to celebrate The Meliora Challenge’s progress, reconnect with Rochester, and learn about the University’s future. This month, the regional celebration took place in Texas.
On November 13, Houston-area supporters of the University shared an uplifting evening at Hotel Zaza. Philip Fraher ’93S (MBA), Houston’s vice-chair for the Texas Regional Cabinet, opened a night that served to strengthen bonds and incite pride among those in attendance. Helping to achieve this was the presentation of four inspiring videos featuring students and faculty members as well as a live performance from soprano Danika Felty ’15E and Serena Lee ’15E (MM). An event with similar aspirations was held the following afternoon at the Park City Club in Dallas.
Through the power of philanthropy, the University community in Texas is putting Rochester in a position to pioneer the future—through new educational techniques, new kinds of technology, new treatments for disease, and new methods of artistic expression. Chair of the Texas Regional Cabinet, Karen H. Brown ’61, ’72 (PhD), P’92 highlighted this point in both cities by announcing that together they have raised more than $6 million of a $7.5 million goal for the region.
“But there is still more work to be done,” said Karen in her remarks. “We will build upon the great foundation our efforts have already created and use the momentum to drive initiatives that will engage surrounding areas in the region.”
Take a look at some of the photos from the Houston event.
Wine Auction Benefits Stroke Research, Care
Event hosts Stency and Danny Wegman
Every year, more than 795,000 Americans have a stroke, resulting in nearly 130,000 deaths. Thanks to the expertise of University doctors like Babak Jahromi, M.D., and Curtis Benesch, M.D., at the Strong Memorial Hospital, Keith Nickoloff and Luz Holland are survivors. On November 8, their story helped inspire more than $1 million of support for stroke research and care at the 2014 Toast to Your Health Fine Wine Auction.
For the last 14 years, the auction has brought together wine connoisseurs and friends of UR Medicine for an elegant and fun-filled evening that helps support critical initiatives at the Medical Center.
Hosted by Wegmans and attended by auction chair Sherwood Deutsch, distinguished guest Michael Misch, and 325 other supporters of the Medical Center, the money raised from this year’s event will help educate the next generation of clinical neuroscientists, attract and retain leaders in brain injury research, and turn new ideas into effective treatments for patients. Last year’s event raised more than $1 million for groundbreaking research and approaches to cardiac care.
In the U.S., stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and a leading cause of serious long-term disability. Fortunately for the Rochester community, and the western New York region, UR Medicine’s multi-system approach, collaborative initiatives, the region's only neuromedicine intensive care unit, and cutting-edge research provide patients with some of the most advanced and cost effective stroke care available.
Photos from the event and a video that tells the stories of Keith Nickoloff and Luz Holland are available on the Toast to Your Health Fine Wine Auction web site.
Rossi Formally Celebrated as Messinger Dean
Jamal Rossi '87E (DMA)
For only the sixth time in its history of nearly 100 years, the Eastman School of Music celebrated the beginning of a new era in leadership. On October 26, an investiture ceremony was held at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre for Jamal Rossi ’87E (DMA), the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music.
“Music is at the core of every culture, and its appreciation is fundamental to the human experience,” said President Joel Seligman. “Jamal brings to us the virtues of someone with extensive Eastman experience and a fresh outlook. He is extraordinarily well prepared to balance what is most enduring in music with a commitment to its ongoing evolution.”
For Rossi, the ceremony was an opportunity to celebrate the School’s past influence and look to the years ahead. He emphasized the need to constantly evaluate the curriculum and environment to ensure students are receiving the best preparation for the highly competitive field of music.
“We have seen great changes in the musical world in recent years, and Eastman has been a leader in adapting to those changes,” said Rossi. “But even as we continue to innovate in the best Eastman tradition, I am convinced that the core values on which this school was built will remain the keys for educating future generations of musicians.”
The ceremony also featured the presentation of the School's Luminary Award to Life Trustee Martin Messinger ’49 for his extraordinary service to music and the arts at the local and national levels. Martin and his late wife, Joan, established the Eastman deanship in 2011 to provide the dean with support for programming and areas of critical need.
You can read Dean Jamal Rossi’s complete remarks and more about Martin Messinger in the official press release.
Morrow Installed as Inaugural Benefactor Distinguished Professor
Mark Taubman, Gary Morrow '77M (Flw), '88 (MS), Brad Berk, and Joel Seligman
For the last 40 years, Gary R. Morrow ’77M (Flw), ’88 (MS) has been an authority in cancer control and survivorship, broadly published on topics related to the physical and physiological effects of cancer treatment. On November 17, Morrow was recognized for his leadership as well as his outstanding service as a physician, scientist, and mentor at a formal installation ceremony as the inaugural Benefactor Distinguished Professor.
“It is easy to focus on the physical effects of cancer, but there are deep, enduring psychological effects that are sometimes not easily seen,” said President Joel Seligman. “Gary Morrow’s work in this sense is profoundly important, and he stands among the best in his field. We are proud to have his leadership and delighted to recognize him with this prestigious honor.”
The first endowed professorship at the School of Medicine and Dentistry was the Charles A. Dewey Professorship in Medicine, established in 1929 by Charles Dewey, M.D., a graduate in the Class of 1861. Since then, 86 more have been added. The exceptional faculty members holding these positions are exploring new ways to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease, enhancing the clinical work and research related to geriatric fracture, strengthening efforts in cardiovascular care, research, and education, and working in cancer genomics, a relatively new discipline dedicated to identifying the mechanisms that drive cancer growth.
Morrow, a tenured professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Surgery at the School of Medicine and Dentistry, built the Cancer Control Program at the Medical Center. At the time, his efforts made the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center one of only two cancer centers in the country to be chosen by the NIH as a hub for the National Community Oncology Research Program, a national network of investigators, cancer care providers, academic institutions, and other organizations. He has also been a leader in attracting more than $40 million in federal grants for cancer control research.
“Gary has often said the two most important words to mentoring are ‘follow me.’ In many respects, we have been following him for decades,” said Mark Taubman, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry and university vice president for health sciences. “It is our good fortune to have Gary at the University, as well as the philanthropy that enables us to compete for other faculty members of his caliber.”
A Dean’s Professor of Oncology and an original member of the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, Morrow currently directs the Wilmot Cancer Institute’s Cancer Control and Survivorship research program. He received his undergraduate degrees in English and mechanical-industrial engineering at the University of Notre Dame and his master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology at the University of Rhode Island. He also served in the U.S. Navy for four years aboard a nuclear submarine. Many facets of his career have been recognized by awards, including the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s Distinguished Research Mentor Award in 2012.