Points of Pride
The Institute of Optics was founded in 1929 as the nation's first educational program devoted exclusively to optics. It is widely considered one of the nation's premier optics schools and is a leader in basic optical research and theory.
The Omega Laser Facility is home to two of the world's most powerful high-energy and high-intensity lasers.
When the University pioneered the Take Five Scholars Program two decades ago, it was heralded by the New York Times as "one of the most innovative liberal arts programs in the country." Since then, the program has allowed more than 900 students to study, tuition free, for an additional semester or year in areas outside their formal majors.
More people in Rochester have been immunized against bird flu than in any other community in the world, thanks to the University’s role testing bird-flu vaccines. In 2007, a $26 million NIH grant established the University of Rochester Medical Center as one of three national research centers for bird flu and pandemic flu.
The Eastman School of Music is home to more than 20 student ensembles, including the Eastman Wind Ensemble, the first of its kind in the country and pioneering force in the symphonic wind band movement.
The Memorial Art Gallery has one of the most balanced collections of American art outside of New York City, ranging from the Colonial period to works from living artists. In 2006, the Galley unveiled its reinstalled American Collection. The new installation reflects the major changes that occurred in American art as the young country began to loosen its European ties and expand its notions of the role of art as a reflector and creator of a developing culture.
One of only seven carillons in New York State, the 50-bell Hopeman Memorial Carillon hangs in the Rush Rhees tower. The carillon sounds every quarter-hour; carillonists play the bells on Wednesdays and during special events.
Faculty and alumni of the University make up nearly one-quarter of the scientists on the board advising NASA in the development of the James Webb Space Telescope, which will replace the Hubble Space Telescope in 2011.
The University's a cappella ensembles are among the best in the nation. The Yellowjackets celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2006, and appeared on NBC's The Sing-Off in 2011. The Midnight Ramblers finished third in the 2005 International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA). And Vocal Point, the University’s all-female a cappella group, won Best Soloist and Best Vocal Percussion at the 2008 ICCAs.
The 18th century Italian Baroque organ, housed in the Memorial Art Gallery and owned by the Eastman School of Music, is the only full-size antique Italian organ in North America. Weekly organ concerts fill the Gallery’s Herdle Fountain Court with music of the past.
The Yellowjackets play in the University Athletic Association. The women's basketball team has played in three of the last four NCAA Division III tournaments, finishing in the Final Four in 2004. The men's basketball team has played in the last three NCAA championship tournaments, making it to the championship game in 2005. Steven Goodridge became Rochester's first NCAA champion in golf in 2006. The softball team won its first bid to the NCAA playoffs in 2007.
In 2007, the city of Rochester was named one of the top ten most livable cities in America by the Places Rated Almanac in their 25th anniversary edition. Rochester placed sixth on the list, which evaluates several criteria in making its selections: local economy, recreation, housing, education, health care, transportation, ambiance, crime, and climate.
- 2002: Masatoshi Koshiba ’55 (PhD), Nobel Prize in Physics.
- 1997: Steven Chu ’70, Nobel Prize in Physics.
- 1993: Robert Fogel, member of the economics faculty in the 1960s and ’70s, Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.
- 1976: Carleton Gajdusek, ’43, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
- 1959: Arthur Kornberg, ’41M (MD), Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
- 1955: Vincent du Vigneaud, ’27 (PhD), biochemist; Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
- 1943: Henrick Dam, senior research associate at Strong Memorial Hospital, 1942-45; Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
- 1934: George Whipple, founding dean of School of Medicine and Dentistry, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
- 2004: Steven Hahn ’73 in history, for his book: A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration
- 1996: George Walker, ’56E (DMA) in music, for his composition, "Lilacs for Voice and Orchestra"
- 1993: Christopher Rouse, Eastman professor of composition, in music for his "Trombone Concerto"
- 1983: Galway Kinnell, ’49 (MA) in poetry
- 1979: Joseph Schwantner, Eastman faculty, in music
- 1975: Dominick Argento, ’58E (DMA), in music
- 1968: Anthony Hecht, English faculty, in poetry
- 1962: Robert Ward, ’39E (BM), in music
- 1960: George Abbott, ’11, in drama
- 1959: John La Montaine, ’39E (BA), in music
- 1952: Gail Kubik, ’34E (BM), in music
- 1944: Howard Hanson, Eastman faculty and director from 1924 to 1964, in music
"Guggenheim Fellowships are intended for men and women who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts."
- 2006: John Tarduno, professor of physics and astronomy and chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
- 2002: John P. Huelsenbeck, associate professor of biology
- 2001: Hugo Hopenhayn, associate professor of economics
- 2000: Alice L. Conklin, associate professor of history
- 2000: H. Allen Orr, associate professor of biology
- 1999: Janet Catherine Berlo, Susan B. Anthony Professor of Gender and Women's Studies and professor of art history
- 1997: Joan Shelley Rubin, professor of history
- 1997: David R. Williams, professor of brain and cognitive sciences, optics, and the Center for Visual Science
- 1996: Morris Eaves, professor of English
- 1996: Shaul Mukamel, professor of Chemistry
- 1995: James Longenbach, Joseph H. Gilmore Professor of English
- 1994: Linda Levy Peck, professor of history
- 1993: John H. Thomas, professor of mechanical and aerospace sciences and of astronomy
- 1993: Janet Wolff, professor of art history and of visual and cultural studies
- 1992: R. J. Dwayne Miller, professor of chemistry and optics
- 1992: Paul F. Slattery, professor of physics
- 1992: Douglas H. Turner, professor of chemistry
- 1991: Kenneth Gross, professor of English
- 1990: Christopher C. Rouse, professor of composition, Eastman School of Music
- 1988: Joanna Scott, Roswell Smith Burrows Professor of English
- 1992: Joanna Scott, Roswell Smith Burrows Professor of English
- Francis Bellamy, wrote the original Pledge of Allegiance, published in 1892
- Myles Brand, president of the NCAA
- Steven Chu, Nobel laureate in physics, former trustee of the university, and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy
- Renee Fleming, Grammy Award-winning operatic soprano
- Robert Forster, Academy Award-nominated actor known for his roles in movies such as Jackie Brown
- Jeremy Glick, 1993 alumnus and member of Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, who died aboard United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001, after he and others attempted to overtake the hijackers
- Michael Kanfer, Academy Award visual effects artists whose work appears in Titanic, Apollo 13, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and Superman Returns
- David Kearns, former CEO of Xerox and former
U.S. deputy secretary of education
- Robert Keegan, CEO of Goodyear
- Mitch Miller, conductor, record producer, and TV producer best known from "Sing Along with Mitch" programs in the 1950s
- James Pawelczyk, NASA astronaut and mission
specialist aboard the Columbia space shuttle
- Debra Jo Rupp, actress best known for her role in TV’s "That '70s Show"
- David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General
- Andy Thomas, CEO of Heineken USA
- William Warfield, internationally acclaimed bass-baritone known for his work in Show Boat and Porgy and Bess
Fulbright Scholars (2011-12)
- Nathaniel Lindsey '11: United Kingdom
- Hannah Watkins '11 United Kingdom
- David Liebers '09: United Kingdom
- Jenna Miller '11: Kazakhstan
- Rachel Sitts '11: Spain
- Kelli Summers '11: Ghana
Goldwater Scholars (2011)
- 2008: Rachel Kincaid ’08E
- 1988: Thuy Phung ’88, ’99M (MD/PhD)