George Eastman Circle Newsletter


On behalf of the George Eastman Circle and its volunteer leaders, I am pleased to share with you this preview copy of our newsletter for members and special friends. Throughout the year, this publication will keep you connected to the people, events, and information that will enrich your relationship with the University of Rochester.


George Eastman Circle Logo
Please join us for our George Eastman Circle Dinner with internationally acclaimed historian David McCullough. April 1, 2009, at Gotham Hall, New York City. To RSVP and learn more, click here.

As we celebrate the completion of our historic Charter campaign, we are deeply grateful for the phenomenal outpouring of support from alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends. Our efforts to build this wonderful community have been led by an outstanding team of dedicated volunteers including National Co-Chairs Larry Bloch ’75 and Tom Sloan ’65, ’67 (Mas), Chair of Annual Giving Programs Gwen Meltzer Greene ’65, and George Eastman Circle Vice Chairs Robert H. Hurlbut, Sr., R. Wayne LeChase, Nathan F. Moser ’75, Peter D. Standish ’64, Janice M. Willett ’78S (MBA), and Nathaniel Wisch, M.D. ’55. I extend my deepest gratitude to all for your generosity, dedication, and enthusiasm.

As you read this premiere issue, I hope you share our pride in what we are accomplishing together. Membership in the George Eastman Circle has many benefits, and I hope you’ve had a wonderful experience so far. Please forward this newsletter to others who you think might like to join us.

I encourage your continuing involvement, and look forward to seeing you at future events.


James D. Thompson
Senior Vice President
Chief Advancement Officer



Spectacular Success of the George Eastman Circle Charter Phase

Thank You

The Charter Phase of the George Eastman Circle concluded December 31, 2008 with 1,085 members, more than four times our original goal of 250. Five-year commitments exceed $21.5 million, with support being designated to all of the University’s schools and units, including many areas in the Medical Center. The vanguard of a new generation of leaders for the University, George Eastman Circle members are helping to strengthen the University and expand its service to and impact on the world.

The formation of the George Eastman Circle is a fundamental step in strengthening the University of Rochester. Through your inspirational and visible leadership, you are laying the foundation for Annual Fund support and helping to advance the University as it enters the next transformational period in its history. The George Eastman Circle effort is now focused on recruiting Sustaining Members, who will make five-year commitments. By Meliora Weekend 2011, the goal is to have 2,000 Charter and Sustaining Members.

Enjoy a look back on some George Eastman Circle highlights:
George Eastman Circle Photo Gallery

Don’t Miss Our New York City Dinner with David McCullough

David McCulloughIt’s not too late to make your reservation to see internationally acclaimed historian and bestselling author David McCullough, the featured speaker at the George Eastman Circle Dinner in New York City on April 1, 2009. McCullough’s talk is titled “Leadership, Ambition, and the History You Don’t Know.” Please join your fellow George Eastman Circle members as we honor you and pay tribute to your support of the University of Rochester.

McCullough has authored numerous books, including the number one New York Times bestsellers 1776 and John Adams, which is one of the most critically acclaimed and widely read American biographies of all time. An essayist, author, editor, teacher, lecturer, and familiar face on public television, McCullough has twice won the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize. In 2006, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.

The dinner will be held Wednesday, April 1 at Gotham Hall, 1356 Broadway at 36th Street, New York City. The event is $85 per person. A cocktail reception will be held at 6:30 p.m., and dinner will be served at 7:15 p.m.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact the Office of Donor Relations at:
(800) 281-2055

George Eastman Circle Web Site Launched

George Eastman Circle Web site

We are pleased to announce that the George Eastman Circle has a new home on the University of Rochester Web site. Features include the latest information on upcoming events, photo galleries, a video, and information on how your Annual Fund support makes a difference every day at the University of Rochester. We encourage you to visit the site today, and forward the link to a friend to help us build upon our success.

For more information, visit the
George Eastman Circle Web site.

Steven Chu ’70 Named Energy Secretary

Steven ChuNobel Laureate Steven Chu ’70, a University of Rochester alumnus, former University Trustee, and a George Eastman Circle Charter Member, has been appointed the 12th Secretary of Energy by President Barack Obama. He was sworn into office on January 21, 2009.

Secretary Chu earned an A.B. degree in mathematics and a B.S. in physics from the University of Rochester, and his doctorate in physics from the University of California, Berkeley. He also holds honorary degrees from 10 universities. Prior to his appointment, he was the director of the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, and professor of Physics and Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley.

A highly regarded researcher, Secretary Chu has devoted his recent scientific career to the search for new solutions to our energy challenges and stopping global climate change. In announcing Dr. Chu’s selection as energy secretary, President Obama said, “The future of our economy and national security is inextricably linked to one challenge: energy.... He is uniquely suited to be our next Secretary of Energy as we make this pursuit a guiding purpose of the Department of Energy, as well as a national mission.”

Making Dreams Possible

Linda Clough ’11Linda Clough ’11 is like many University of Rochester students who, particularly in these challenging economic times, struggle to pay for a college education. But through gifts to the College Annual Fund from people like you, students’ lives are being changed every day.

A statistics major with minors in political science and film and media studies, Clough worked through high school, balancing advanced classes with extracurricular activities, and worrying about test scores. But behind it all, “I was even more concerned about how I could afford college at all,” said Clough. Her exceptional University of Rochester experience has been made possible in part by the generosity of alumni, parents, and friends.

With the help of unrestricted gifts, students like Linda Clough receive the financial support they need to achieve and excel. A student worker at the Annual Fund call center, Clough appreciates the value of each and every gift. “I will always remember that my journey to the University of Rochester was made possible by the College Annual Fund and the people who support it.”

Today, Linda still balances classes with extracurricular interests and worries about her grades. But now, she also dreams about her future and considers the paths at Rochester that can help make those dreams a reality — the 3-2 MBA Program at the Simon School, the extensive network of Study Abroad programs, and the hundreds of different internships and research opportunities across the University.

As a George Eastman Circle member, your gifts to the Annual Fund are already helping students like Linda, as well as patients in the Medical Center, researchers discovering new cures, and so much more. In the current economic environment, your support is even more critical to ensure funding for scholarships and other important initiatives will remain strong, helping students and patients when they need it most.

To learn more about those who benefit from your support, please visit the
University of Rochester Annual Funds Web site.

The George Eastman Circle Charter

George Eastman Circle Charter Unveiled

   Larry Bloch ’75
   National Co-Chair, George Eastman Circle
Tom Sloan ’65, ’67 (Mas)        
National Co-Chair, George Eastman Circle        
Gwen M. Greene ’65
Chair of Annual Giving Programs

At the George Eastman Circle inaugural dinner on April 2, 2008, a Charter statement was unveiled that articulates our shared values and commitment to building a greater University for future generations. That historic event also launched a new tradition of signing the Charter.

The Charter signing ceremony was led by George Eastman Circle National Co-Chairs Larry Bloch ’75 and Tom Sloan ’65, ’67 (Mas), Chair of Annual Giving Programs Gwen Greene ’65, George Eastman Circle Vice Chairs Nathan Moser ’75, Peter Standish ’64, Janice Willett ’78S (MBA), Nathaniel Wisch, M.D. ’55, Board Chair Ed Hajim ’58, Chairmen Emeriti Bob Goergen ’60 and Bob Witmer ’59, President Joel Seligman, and Senior Vice President Jim Thompson.


George Eastman Circle Logo(Click image to enlarge)

All Charter Members are invited to sign the George Eastman Circle Charter, which will be bound in a beautiful final volume that will be kept in the University Archives. This initiative is a modern adaptation of the Greater University Campaign Book of Remembrance that was created to recognize the more than 13,500 volunteers and donors to the 1924 campaign to build the River Campus. The new commemorative book will be a living document, and more signatures will be added as the George Eastman Circle grows in the years ahead.

If you have not signed the Charter, you will have the opportunity at the George Eastman Circle Dinner at Gotham Hall on April 1, 2009. If you are unable to make this important event, you will receive further communications in the coming months about how to include your signature on this historic document.

Extending the Power of Philanthropy

Meliora Seal on FlagpoleWanting to go the extra mile is a common characteristic shared by members of the George Eastman Circle. Many of you have asked what more you can do to support the University of Rochester. And the answer is — your volunteer involvement at this critical time will have a tremendous impact on the future.

The remarkable success of the Charter Phase is a testament to your dedication to the University. As we seek to make history again and recruit 1,000 new Sustaining Members, your participation in any of the activities below will further contribute to the growth and continued excellence of the George Eastman Circle: 

  • Identify potential members — your recommendations are a vital source for strong candidates. You can also help advancement representatives arrange meetings with potential members.
  • Invite others to join — extend a personal invitation to individuals who have a strong likelihood of joining.
  • Host events — create an occasion in your area to celebrate the University and tell guests about our premier annual giving society.
  • Be an ambassador — share information about the George Eastman Circle at University events.
  • Thank new members — share the community’s deep appreciation with those who provide generous support.

To become more involved, please contact:
Stephanie Katz
Senior Director, George Eastman Circle
Tel. (585) 276-3597 or (800) 598-1330

George Eastman’s Legacy

George EastmanGeorge Eastman changed the world through his entrepreneurial spirit, bold leadership, and extraordinary vision. He expressed his strong humanitarian beliefs through generous support of education, music, and health care. Eastman’s munificence has touched the lives of many around the globe, but perhaps his greatest and most enduring legacy is the University of Rochester.

Eastman’s commitment to higher education was strengthened through a visionary partnership with Rush Rhees. This involvement sparked Eastman’s realization that colleges and universities rank among the world’s most beneficial and enduring institutions. He understood that the welfare and economic health of the Rochester community and nation depended upon the collaboration of industry and education.

In 1924, an ambitious effort was made to fund the construction of the River Campus. Eastman’s leadership gifts ultimately inspired and motivated more than 13,500 campaign supporters. Their collective effort was instrumental to transform the University into one of the world’s finest research institutions.

Today, George Eastman’s tradition of leadership continues as a new generation of leaders assumes its responsibility for shaping the future of our University. Thanks to members like you, the George Eastman Circle extends the power of Eastman’s philanthropy far into the future.

Upcoming Events

  • George Eastman Circle LogoApril 1: New York City — George Eastman Circle Dinner to be held at Gotham Hall. The featured speaker will be noted historian and bestselling author David McCullough. Invitations were mailed to members in February. For more information or to RSVP, please contact the Office of Donor Relations, at (800) 281-2055 or e-mail
  • October 8-11: Rochester — Save the dates now for Meliora Weekend 2009. Plans are under way for exciting events of special importance, including a ceremony to dedicate a new statue honoring our great benefactor and to commemorate the launch of the George Eastman Circle.

Contact Us

We are deeply grateful for your support and commitment to the University of Rochester. Please contact us with your comments and suggestions for what you would like to see in future issues of the George Eastman Circle newsletter.

Stephanie Katz
Senior Director, George Eastman Circle
University of Rochester
Alumni and Advancement Center
300 East River Road
P.O. Box 270441
Rochester, NY 14627
Tel. (585) 276-3597 or (800) 598-1330