University of Rochester

Rochester Review
November–December 2013
Vol. 76, No. 2

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Masters of Rochester
briefsDRS. MASTERS & JOHNSON: William Masters ’43M (MD) and Virginia Johnson received honorary degrees from Rochester in 1987. (Photo: University Libraries/Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation)

The late William Masters ’43M (MD) is the subject of a new drama series on the cable television channel Showtime. Masters of Sex, which premiered in September, offers a dramatization of the life of one of the School of Medicine and Dentistry’s most famous graduates. Masters was an ambitious gynecologist whose mentor at Rochester, George Washington Corner, studied reproductive difficulties in humans and animals. Corner convinced Masters that the next frontier in understanding human sexuality lay in anatomy and physiology, rather than psychiatry.

The pioneering sex researcher, played by Michael Sheen, and his research partner and later wife, Virginia Johnson, played by Lizzy Caplan, entered the popular lexicon in the 1960s as “Masters and Johnson.” Their first book, Human Sexual Response (1966), became a best-seller and was translated into several languages.

In an interview last July, Masters’s biographer Thomas Maier told National Public Radio’s Terry Gross, “Their empirical studies showed that women had a much greater capacity for sex” than men. “This came along right with the advent of the pill and helped spark the feminist view of sexuality of the late ’60s and ’70s.” Maier’s 2009 book, Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love (Basic Books), formed the basis of the Showtime drama.

—Karen McCally

briefsKenneth Megan ’73E (Photo: Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley)

Director Bids Farewell

On September 1, the U.S. Coast Guard Band delivered its final performance under the direction of Kenneth Megan ’73E. The event, held in Leamy Hall at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., was part of a weekend celebration commemorating not only Megan’s tenure as director, but his 38 years with the band.

Nearly three dozen former band members, including retired fellow clarinetist and Megan classmate Dan Lukens ’73E, and Megan’s immediate predecessor, conductor laureate Lewis Buckley ’69E, who led the band from 1975 until 2004, performed with the band during the concert.

In a written tribute, Buckley cited some of Megan’s accomplishments before he became director, including creating a series of concert broadcasts on National Public Radio in the mid-1980s that made the Coast Guard band not only “the undisputed king of band music on NPR,” but gained it additional national, as well as international, exposure and renown.

As assistant director of the band in 1989, Megan organized the first tour of an American military band in the then Soviet Union. In 2008, Megan led the band on a tour of Japan to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Japan Coast Guard and 20th anniversary of the Japan Coast Guard band.

Harpist Recognized for Service

briefsMegan Sesma ’02, ’02E (Photo: Petty Officer 3rd Class Cory J. Mendenhall )

Also this fall, Megan Sesma ’02, ’02E, who in 2003 became the first harpist ever to become part of the U.S. Coast Guard Band, was recognized with the Latina Style Meritorious Service Award. Presented during Latino Heritage Month at the National Latina Symposium in Washington, D.C., the award, sponsored by Latina Style magazine, honors Latinas in the armed forces.

A dual degree student at Rochester who earned a degree in economics in the College in addition to her Eastman degree, Sesma serves as the band’s education chief as well as harpist. She oversees the Coast Guard Academy school concert series and contributes to music education for Spanish-speaking students. She’s also part of the Guatemala Harp Project, in which she’s instructed students and teachers in harp and donated instruments, strings, and other supplies.