George Eastman Circle Newsletter

George Eastman Circle Newsletter


Groundbreaking photo

The George Eastman Circle—A Decisive Factor in the 2010 Annual Fund Triumph

“We, the undersigned, recognize that the University of Rochester has reached an extraordinary moment in its history…”

These first words of the George Eastman Circle Charter have new meaning in light of the tremendous success of the University of Rochester’s 2010 Annual Fund. We offer our deepest thanks to all of you who did so much to raise $10.5 million and double annual giving in just five years. Without the George Eastman Circle, gaining this level of achievement and pride would not have been possible.

We see terrific energy and enthusiasm in Rochester, and a growing foundation of support is accelerating the University’s progress. At the same time, the George Eastman Circle has had a year of exciting activities, leaving us with wonderful memories. We enjoyed increased connections to campus life, more involvement opportunities, and the deep satisfaction of seeing how we are making a difference in so many lives.

The George Eastman Circle can look forward to the arrival of another academic year that promises to be unparalleled, and we urge all of you to take full advantage of opportunities to engage further with the University. In this issue, you will find news about Meliora Weekend 2010, including special events and Reunion Challenge updates. Also included is an article about how George Eastman Circle gifts for current use within the University can benefit the City of Rochester and surrounding region.

Raising membership to 2,000 by the end of 2011 is a top priority. As of June 30, membership stood at 1,407. Your involvement is more important than ever before, and you will find information in this issue to help you identify and invite new members to join us. We look forward to continuing to work with you.


   Larry Bloch ’75
   National Co-Chair, George Eastman Circle
Tom Sloan ’65, ’67 (MS)        
National Co-Chair, George Eastman Circle        



Reunion Class Challenges Focus on Raising George Eastman Circle Membership

Reunion challengers

Thanks to key George Eastman Circle leaders celebrating Reunion years, members of the classes of 1960, 1965, and 1975 can multiply the power of their philanthropy.

The Robert B. Goergen Challenge
A Leadership Opportunity for the 50th
Class of 1960

Robert B. Goergen ’60 has offered to match his classmates’ gifts up to $2 million. Several options for maximizing contributions can triple the impact of giving by class members. The Goergen Challenge increases the power of giving to any area of the University and includes bequest intentions and life income gifts.

Two anonymous donors have provided funding for the Class of 1960 Reunion Dinner, which enables class members and spouses to attend free of charge.

Click here to read more about the Robert B. Goergen Challenge

The Greene-Sloan Challenge
20 for the 45th
Class of 1965

Challenge sponsors Gwen Greene ’65 and Tom Sloan ’65, ’67 (MS) will each provide up to $125,000 (for a total of $250,000) to match new George Eastman Circle memberships and increased giving by current members. Their goal is to add at least 20 new George Eastman Circle members in honor of their Reunion celebration.

Click here to read more about the Greene-Sloan Challenge

The Bloch-Moser Challenge
35 for the 35th
Class of 1975

Larry Bloch ’75 and Nathan Moser ’75 will each provide up to $350,000 (for a total of $700,000) to match new George Eastman Circle memberships as well as giving level upgrades for current members. Their ultimate goal is to add 35 new names to the George Eastman Circle roster.

Click here to read more about the Bloch-Moser Challenge

Thanks to our generous challenge sponsors, Reunion classes can have an extraordinary, collective impact on the George Eastman Circle and the University of Rochester’s future.

We deeply appreciate our Reunion volunteers. They are working hard with tremendous enthusiasm to make the 2010 celebration an unforgettable experience for all who attend. If you are not already involved and would like to volunteer, or make a special gift in honor of your reunion, please contact:

Matt Siegel
Director of Reunion Giving
(585) 276-5352

Meliora Weekend, October 14-17, 2010 – A Guide for the George Eastman Circle  

Eastman statue

George Eastman Circle members are invited to be special guests of the University of Rochester community for Meliora Weekend 2010. This annual gathering, unique in higher education, combines homecoming, parent weekend, and reunions. To date, more than 250 programs and events are planned. The following are events of special interest to the George Eastman Circle members:

David SedarisFriday, October 15
An Evening with David Sedaris
This special event for George Eastman Circle members and guests includes a reception, reading and book signing. Sedaris is widely acclaimed for his books, National Public Radio commentary, and live appearances. Among his best-sellers are Barrel Fever and Holidays on Ice. His personal essay collections include Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, and When You Are Engulfed in Flames.
Saturday, October 16
Meliora Keynote Speaker Dr. Sanjay Gupta
Dr. Gupta is the chief correspondent for health and medicine at CNN as well as a practicing neurosurgeon. He has been on assignment for some of the biggest news stories of recent years including Hurricane Katrina, the war in Iraq, and the Haitian earthquake. In his address, Dr. Gupta will discuss media coverage of health-related stories. George Eastman Circle Founders, Patrons, Benefactors, and Fellows will receive invitations to a special luncheon with Dr. Gupta following the keynote address.

Saturday, October 16
Comedian Jim Gaffigan
Jim Gaffigan is one of the most successful touring comedians in the nation and is also responsible for some of the funniest moments on recent television and film. A star of the TBS hit show My Boys, he has appeared regularly on the Late Show with David Letterman and Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

George Eastman Circle Hospitality Suite: This year’s location is the Welles-Brown Room of Rush Rhees Library. The suite will be available for Circle members on Saturday, October 16 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Stop by for light refreshments, computer access, and to check your baggage.

Your registration packet, which includes George Eastman Circle invitations, will arrive soon. Early online registration for members will be available starting on August 26 at noon, Eastern Time.
For more information, please contact the Office of Donor Relations at:
(585) 275-7498

Click here for more information about Meliora Weekend 2010

Expanding the Circle – Together We Can Do It

UofR membership books

The involvement of current George Eastman Circle members is essential in the effort to expand our ranks to 2,000 by the end of 2011. The following is important information to assist you in recruiting Sustaining Members:

  1. Members are the best advocates we have for the Circle. You are uniquely positioned to identify potential members in your region, community, and networks. Your example inspires others to act.

  2. Please commit yourself to identifying and recruiting at least one new Sustaining Member. If each one of us recruits a new member, we can spectacularly exceed our goal. Together, we can do it.

  3. Volunteer for the recruitment effort. Host and attend events, reach out to potential members, introduce them to the Advancement staff, and share personal stories about the impact the University of Rochester has had on your life.

  4. The George Eastman Circle is the University’s premier annual giving society. Let others know they can designate their Circle gifts to any school or unit (including multiple areas) that match their passions and philanthropic interests. The best way to communicate information about the George Eastman Circle is through conversations that enable you to explain responsibilities, benefits, and answer questions.

  5. Speaking on behalf of the University of Rochester community, please thank new members and extend your deep appreciation.

Founders of the George Eastman Circle understood that the University’s second great transformation would require the involvement of many individuals with the vision, talents, and generosity of Rush Rhees and George Eastman. The George Eastman Circle’s growth is essential to our future.

To become more involved, please contact:
Justin Croteau
Director of the George Eastman Circle
University of Rochester
Alumni and Advancement Center
300 East River Road
Rochester, NY 14627
Tel. (585) 276-3597 or (800) 598-1330
Main Advancement Tel. (585) 273-2700

George Eastman Circle Giving Improves the Quality of Life in Rochester

Rochester cityscape

Benefiting the Community

Janet Felosky

“When I give, I want to know where my money is going and that it benefits the community. The George Eastman Circle is a unique way to be part of the intergenerational legacy of support that has done so much for Rochester.”
—Janet Felosky
President, Monroe Tractor & Implement Co.
Board Member, James P. Wilmot Cancer Center
George Eastman Circle, Sustaining Member

George Eastman’s philanthropic vision encompassed building a great University that would improve the quality of life in Rochester. Today, George Eastman Circle members continue this legacy by contributing to excellence in culture, healthcare, and technology, among other areas that benefit from their giving. They help to increase prosperity for all through many different forms of economic partnership. This support from the Circle comes at a time when the University of Rochester has more impact on the local community than ever before.

In his 2010 Garden Party Address, President Joel Seligman shared the following facts to illustrate the institution’s impact on the local economy:

• The presence of a world-class research institution is key to the region’s competitiveness in an information and technology based economy.

• Factored together, the University and its affiliates are responsible for 47,000 direct and spill-over jobs.

• The University added $2.3 billion in wages for the region and generated $141 million in sales tax, personal income tax, and local property tax.

• Today the University of Rochester is the sixth largest employer in New York State. 

In addition to an expansive vision, George Eastman's focused interests resulted in the creation of the Medical Center, Eastman School of Music, Eastman Theatre, and the Eastman Institute for Oral Health. Circle members' philanthropy helps to support these institutions and many other life-changing initiatives, including academic programs, faculty recruitment and retention, translational research, and scholarships.

Recent Events

Rembrandt exhibitMay 4 – Rochester area – Rembrandt: Master Etchings from the Collection of Tobia and Dr. Morton Mower. Memorial Art Gallery. George Eastman Circle members were among a small group of guests invited to attend a private viewing of the exhibit that ran February 26 to May 23.

May 18 – Rochester area – 43rd Annual Garden Party. Memorial Art Gallery. Circle members heard President Joel Seligman’s annual address and were invited to take a docent-led tour of the Albert Paley in the 21st Century exhibition.

July 24 – Chicago area – Renee Fleming with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Ravinia Festival, Highland Park, Illinois.

August 12 – Rochester area – The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma at the Constellation Brands – Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center, Canandaigua.

Upcoming Events

Please be sure to reserve October 14-17 on your calendar for Meliora Weekend 2010. Honoring and celebrating the George Eastman Circle is an integral part of Meliora Weekend.

Meliora Weekend photo

Contact Us

We are deeply grateful for your support and commitment to the University of Rochester. Please contact us with comments and suggestions for future issues of the George Eastman Circle newsletter. You can bookmark our Web site to learn how to become more involved.

Justin Croteau
Director of the 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
Main Advancement Tel. (585) 273-2700
Web site: