George Eastman Circle Newsletter
Greetings from the Chair of the George Eastman Circle
Dear Fellow Members,
I am thrilled to welcome our 400 new members this past fiscal year! Now over 1,800 memberships strong, the George Eastman Circle continues to be an extraordinary group of growing leaders, providing much-needed unrestricted support to all areas of the University every year. I look forward to thanking many of you in person during Meliora Weekend, October 20-23 this Fall. With President Bill Clinton as the keynote speaker, a special community-wide event, A Celebration of Meliora, and more than 200 additional events planned, we look forward to the most extraordinary Meliora Weekend ever! More information about special opportunities for George Eastman Circle members during Meliora Weekend is available on the Web site and follows below.
Among the many opportunities Meliora Weekend provides is the chance for classmates to re-connect through class reunions. They offer a chance to meet old friends and reaffirm those special feelings we share for our great University. In this issue of the newsletter, you can read how one member, Stephen Givant ’81 recently upgraded his GEC membership to celebrate his reunion and why being a part of the University matters to him. Like so many of us, Dr. Ronald Ablow ’62M (MD) credits his days at the University of Rochester for creating values that have shaped his entire professional career. This realization was what we call his “Meliora Moment,” and we have provided all alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the University the opportunity to share those similar moments in their association with the University. Have you shared your Meliora Moment? If not, please do so, I would personally love to hear about your connection to the University. Click here to visit the Meliora Moments Web site.
Please take this opportunity to update your membership by fulfilling your annual pledge payment or renewing/upgrading your membership for another five years. We want to make giving to the University of Rochester through the George Eastman Circle as easy as possible. If you like, you can ask the GEC office to charge your credit card automatically monthly, or once every year.
You can also help by continuing to assist us in expanding the Eastman Circle. Ask others to join us in your city, class-year, profession or other groups of which you are a part. It is a great time to join and take part in Meliora Weekend as a George Eastman Circle member. I am honored to be leading this important charge with all of you. Thank you. Together we are making a significant and lasting difference, enabling an institution we all love to move into an even more brilliant future.
John Davidson ’88S (MBA) not only wants to give back to the school he says accelerated his career, he also has a practical reason for supporting the Simon Graduate School of Business through the George Eastman Circle. The School provides him with an excellent pool of well-qualified job candidates. John, a Charter Member of the Eastman Circle and a Simon Executive Advisory Committee Member, is also the senior vice president, controller, and chief accounting officer of Tyco International Ltd., where numerous Simon students and graduates have landed internships and employment.
“I continue to return to the Simon School to find prospective employees. It’s a natural place to go to get talented, well-trained, high-caliber finance professionals.”
Grateful for how he personally benefited from the education he received, John is dedicated to helping the Simon School.
Heather Amalaha ’11S (MBA), John’s daughter, followed in her father’s academic footsteps partly because of his passionate attachment to the School. “I talked with her about the outstanding faculty at Simon. Professors Cliff Smith and Ron Schmidt made a huge impression on me with their world-class knowledge of the finance field combined with the interest they took in their students. They challenged us to think. I feel so fortunate to be associated with the School and to be able to give back. It’s an excellent investment and a significant benefit to our communities and to our future.”
”The University of Rochester played a significant role in forging my identity and preparing me for life’s challenges. My undergraduate experience there served as a critical stepping stone in my journey through an enriching graduate program and fulfilling careers in law and in business. I am eternally indebted to the University of Rochester and view membership in the George Eastman Circle as one way to express my gratitude. Motivated in part by the generosity of my classmates in the form of the Class of 1981 Gift Match, I recently increased my level of support to the George Eastman Circle.”
Upgrades to the George Eastman Circle like those made by the Givants have a major impact on unrestricted support for the University.
The University would like to thank and celebrate the generosity of the following George Eastman Circle members for their recent gifts. These significant contributions will continue to advance the University mission to learn, discover, heal, create—and make the world ever better.
We hope you will join us for Meliora Weekend 2011.
“In October 1956, following my graduation from the Harvard Business School the previous June, I was both married and drafted into the Army. It was during my Army stint that I decided to apply to medical school. I had been a physics major in college and decided I really wanted a career in science. Although not uncommon today, it was unusual at the time for a medical school candidate to have changed directions this way. The interviewer for another medical school to which I applied summed up my story impressively, I thought. He said either I was very mature or very immature and he would have to decide which one it was. Fortunately, for my self-esteem, if nothing else, his school admitted me.
In the 1960s, The University of Rochester School of Medicine had a very attractive approach to medical education. Though exams were given, students were not privy to the grades. The test might be given back with corrections or comments but no letter or number grade was shown to the student. This was liberating! As an undergraduate, I had observed premedical students engaged in a rat race over grades. Now, to be a student again after the Business School, where the average age was several years greater than mine, and almost two years in the Army, moving back into that atmosphere was not appealing. At Rochester, we were told instead that a student would get an “invitation” to meet with the dean to discuss his/her performance if the student was failing or not doing as well as expected. Exams had always helped me to pull a course together. The preparation was valuable for the students while the compilation of grades was important for the school to have in the evaluation of a student’s performance. The Medical School had both of these advantages but diminished the race for grades and did not even publish periodic ranking of students that many schools included in the process. I was always grateful to have avoided such an atmosphere during that period of my life.
Another unique medical school experience was the role of the Medical-Psychiatry Liaison Team’s influence on our patient interviews. This team was made up of faculty with boards in both internal medicine and psychiatry. During our time on the medical service, one day a week a student would choose, at random, a patient to interview. Three other students in our group and the Liaison Team attending watched through a one way window. Through this interview and the discussion that followed, the emotional impact on the patient, caused by his/her illness, was revealed. The value of this to both the patient and the doctor was always apparent. When interviewing for an internship at a prestigious Midwest hospital, my interviewer asked me, with an incredulous tone, “Is it true that at the University of Rochester, a psychiatrist teaches medical interviewing?” Obviously, his medical school education had a gap that did not exist at Rochester.
This special approach to our medical education illustrated by these two examples, I believe, was greatly influential in my Class of 1962 becoming so very accomplished.”
To share your Meliora Moment, click here.
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.