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The Quest for Meliora

SEPTEMBER 26, 2011


On October 21, on behalf of the University of Rochester, I will have the honor to launch the public phase of the largest capital campaign in our history and to announce how much we have raised to that date and the themes and goals of our campaign.  This will be a signal moment in our history.  We publicly will begin what has already become a transformative campaign.

In the few months since I last addressed the University community our momentum has accelerated.

On July 14, Tom Golisano pledged $20 million to help the Medical Center launch a $134 million stand-alone Golisano Children’s Hospital.  This is the largest construction project in absolute dollars in University history.  Brad Berk was the quarterback of this project.  His unrelenting efforts helped to design and finance the new Golisano Children’s Hospital and were decisive in the new hospital’s being started.  SLIDE 2
Pending state approval, the Medical Center will construct a six-story, 200,000 square foot facility on Crittenden Boulevard adjacent to the Strong Memorial Hospital Lobby and SLIDE 3
facing the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, which itself is now well into construction of its own three story, $59 million vertical expansion.

Nearly simultaneous with the public announcement of the new Golisano Children’s Hospital, U.S. News & WorldReport’s 2011-2012 Best Hospitals in America  ranked four Medical Center programs in its Top 50 – gynecology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, and urology.  Three pediatric specialties – orthopaedics, neurology and neurosurgery, and neonatology earlier this year also earned Top 50 status.  This is the largest number of URMC programs recognized in a single year, a noteworthy achievement in a nation with over 5,000 hospitals.

In August, the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering welcomed the Class of 2015.  The new class of 1,152 freshmen was record breaking – with the largest number of applicants, the highest GPAs, the highest two-score SATs, the largest fraction of minority students, and the largest number of international students in our history. 

The College also had its largest year-to-year increase in the size of its faculty, growing this year from 339 to 350.

Significantly, the College welcomed 20 new professors in a broad array of intellectual domains, SLIDE 8
including Economics, Music, English, Philosophy, Biomedical Engineering, Religion and Classics, Computer Science, and Optics. 

Next January the Institute of Optics will welcome a new Director of the Institute of Optics, Xi-Cheng Zhang.  Zhang currently serves as Director of the Center for Terahertz Research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he is also acting head of the Department of Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy. Zhang holds 26 United States patents, has authored or co-authored 19 books and written more than 350 scientific papers.

For the University the academic year began with the ribbon cutting for the stunningly renovated Danforth Dining Hall and the new Hillside Market.  Danforth sparkles—it is a state-of-the art facility that marks a major step forward in food choices for our students and SLIDE 11
continues the striking revitalization that Cam Schauf, director of Campus Dining Services and Auxiliary Operations, began last academic year with the renovated Wilson Commons. 

On August 31, the University broke ground for the first new residence hall in 40 years on our River Campus.  The new dorm will provide College undergraduates with 148 beds in a five-story building located near Founders Court and will be open in time for the 2012-2013 school year.

Several significant laboratories were opened this year in the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering.  In Robert B. Goergen Hall for Biomedical Engineering and Optics, the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Science opened the Integrated Nanosystems Center or URnano.

The Center is directed by Physics Chair Nick Bigelow and will provide 2,000 square feet of clean room and 1,000 square feet for high resolution microscopy capable of meeting exacting standards for nanofabrication. 

Separately the College opened the first of what will be a series of laboratory renovations in Hutchison Hall with its revitalized chemistry laboratory.  The lab is outfitted with modern multimedia capabilities, including two 70-inch LCD screens, a high resolution LCD projector, and a 10-foot drop-down screen, which will allow students to view instructional videos and to display real-time experimental data. 

In June, the Mariner Skills Simulator classroom was opened in Harkness Hall. This installation is "by far the most integrated collaboration between the NROTC unit and its host University" and enables the Navy-provided hardware to be fully utilized by UR students for other coursework.

In August the University Facilities Committee approved the design phase of a new Digital Media and Innovation Center to be located immediately adjacent to Wilson Commons.  The new 17,000 square foot facility is on track to open in August 2013, combining a new Digital Media Lab, replete with a media show room, sound and video production, and a fabrication laboratory, or “fab lab,” for the Hajim School.   We have launched a competition for architectural design.

Work also has begun on the Memorial Art Gallery’s Centennial Sculpture Park, which will celebrate the Gallery’s 100th anniversary in 2013.  The Sculpture Park will be home to four new site-specific sculptures and serve as an accessible cultural “gateway” for the community.

This past summer the University received the final approvals to acquire the not quite euphoniously named Block F, a 1.5 acre lot adjacent to the Eastman Theatre.  Formal closing is scheduled for October.   

In Brooks Landing, developer Ron Christenson announced plans for a new 144-bed facility that will be used by our students beginning in approximately two years.  The new facility is planned for the space adjacent to the Staybridge Hotel and will include a new restaurant.

In late August, Duncan Moore, the Rudolph and Hilda Kingslake Professor of Optical Engineering and Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship, was elected President of the International Commission for Optics.  The Commission has members from 52 countries.  Duncan is only the fourth president from the United States since the organization was founded in 1947. 

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Robert Ward, who received his bachelor’s degree at the Eastman School of Music in 1939, has been named a recipient of a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honor, the nation’s highest award in opera.     

This summer our students continued to shine.  It was a particularly memorable summer for the YellowJackets.   From May 20th to June 13th, the Jackets visited Maseno in rural Kenya to share their music with a town that has been devastated by AIDS, hunger, and poverty. The story of the YellowJackets’ visit and the Maseno school choir will soon be presented in a feature-length documentary, United We Sing.

The Yellow Jackets also were chosen to be one of 16 groups to compete on the NBC a cappella talent show The Sing-Off.     

Darcey Riley ’12 received a $10,000 merit-based scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, which was personally presented by University of Rochester alumnus and astronaut Ed Gibson in a ceremony on September 15th at Hoyt Auditorium. 

Michael Krestos ’12 recently was awarded the Legion of Valor, one of the Navy’s highest honors for excellence in military service.  Krestos was one of only six students out of one thousand nominated to receive the Legion of Valor.

Thanks to the leadership of Ralph Kuncl, who led a nearly one-year process, our new mission statement was adopted and expressed our mission in ten crisp words: “Learn, Discover, Heal, Create – and Make the World Ever Better.”

Building on the momentum of its May 2011 New York Conference in New York City, which featured New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Secretary of Commerce Pete Peterson and generated an astonishing 30 million media hits, the Simon School is now planning next year’s Conference with Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, and Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric, confirmed as speakers.

And in less than one month, we will host what will be one of the best attended Meliora Weekends in our history, featuring former President Bill Clinton as keynote speaker and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as part of a presidential symposium.


0 Among the senior leadership team in my Cabinet, there have been some changes in the last few months.  In September Kathy Parker, Dean of the School of Nursing, announced that she wished to retire as Dean and continue her career at the University of Rochester Medical Center in a new position as Director of the Sleep Research Program.  Before beginning her career as Dean, Kathy had established a national reputation in sleep research, an area of burgeoning significance in the Medical Center.  Dean Parker served the School of Nursing ably and well, presiding over a period of striking expansion of enrollment, outstanding hires, and consistently impressive results in research funding.

The School of Nursing has a strong leadership team, led by Senior Associate Dean Kathy Rideout, who now is serving as Interim Dean.  Kathy Rideout has been a member of the School of Nursing faculty for 25 years, in recent years as Associate Dean, where she has been integral to the success of the School’s enrollment and clinical partnerships.    

Raffaella Borasi was reappointed to a third term as Dean of the Warner School, following ten highly productive years as Dean capped by the recent initiation of Raymond F. LeChase Hall.

School of Arts and Sciences Dean Joanna Olmsted is now leading the search for a new Dean of our River Campus Libraries. SLIDE 34
Katie Clark and Mike Bell today serve as Interim Co‐Deans of the River Campus Libraries.   


While there is much good news at the University, the national and global economies continue to stutter in what has been the longest recession in post-World War II history with no clear end in sight.  Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke characterized our painfully slow recovery in an August 26th address:  “It is clear that the recovery from the crisis has been much less robust than we had hoped….[T]he recession, besides being extraordinarily severe as well as global in scope, was also unusual in being associated with a very deep recession in the housing market and a historic financial crisis.” 

The worst of the 2008-2009 financial crisis appears to be behind us, with credit markets reopened and stock prices significantly higher, although the extraordinary stock market volatility in August and September of this year is deeply concerning.  The national economy today faces multiple fundamental challenges:

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    We continue to experience painfully high  levels of unemployment.    
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    The national federal debt now stands at over $14 trillion, with a $1.3 trillion deficit projected for the current fiscal year.
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    A deeply divided Congress and White House on August 1 enacted the Budget Control Act, which permits debt limit increases of $2.1 trillion, but simultaneously caps specified federal discretionary spending through FY 21—reducing spending by $1 trillion over the same period, and provides a “trigger” for $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts should a 12-member bipartisan committee charged with finding an additional $1.5 trillion in cuts fail to do so by Thanksgiving.
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    Key areas of federally sponsored research continue to experience flat or reduced funding, including the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy.  Pell Grants, which aid students of limited means, however, continue at the prior $5,500 annual maximum grant.

Since the 2008 crisis began, the University has exhibited considerable resilience in responding to the ongoing recession while simultaneously advancing modified strategic plans.  We have stressed protecting our core and focused, above all else, on the interests of our students, our faculty, and our staff.  We have made significant cuts to discretionary spending and significantly reduced our endowment payout.  We have minimized employment loss. 

We have been particularly sensitive to tuition increases.  In the College, for example, the rate of tuition increase was reduced from 8.1 percent in 2006 to 4 percent this year.  This level of increase allows us to continue to provide outstanding programs for our students, but reflects the belt tightening that has occurred across the campus.     

We have brought our endowment payout closer to our 5.5 percent target.  Last year’s endowment payout of 5.8 percent on a five year rolling average is significantly less than the 6.7 percent in 2006.

Our endowment, which declined to $1.28 billion in March 2009, recovered to $1.62 billion as of June 30, 2011.  In the last fiscal year, our endowment generated a net investment return of 17.7 percent, within the range of our peers and consistent with the overarching philosophy SLIDE 45
of our Investment Committee and Doug Phillips, our Senior Vice President for Institutional Resources, which is to focus on diversified asset allocation, exercise extraordinary care in the selection of portfolio managers, and actively manage risk to protect the endowment during periods of market decline. 

The uncertainties associated with future federal and state budget cuts, with implications for student support, sponsored research programs, and health care alike, will require us to continue belt tightening.  

We are running a tight ship.  In August, despite highly volatile securities markets, the University sold $162 million in bonds, at a favorable interest rate of 4.17 percent.  This rate will aid our operating budgets, since we had planned this debt issuance when rates were higher. Notably, each of our bond ratings was reaffirmed, with Moody’s stating that its Aa3 rating “reflects the University’s role as a large private research university in upstate to the region.  Strong management is highlighted by the University’s consistently positive operating performance…” 


 In 2008 the University Board of Trustees approved strategic plans for each of our divisions.  Our objectives are and remain clear.  By the conclusion of our comprehensive capital campaign in June 2016, we seek:

  • SLIDE 47
    A University whose quality places it among the leading 20 research universities in the United States.
  • SLIDE 48
    A student body that has grown from approximately 8,300 students in Fall 2004 to approximately 10,000 students.
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    A concomitant growth in our tenured and tenure track faculty, made possible in part by a substantial increase in endowed professorships.
  • SLIDE 50
    Dramatic improvements in student residential life with new dining and residential facilities, expanded athletic facilities and a substantial start on expanded College performing arts programs and facilities.
  • SLIDE 51
    Breakthrough programs such as neuromedicine at the Medical Center; Technical Entrepreneurship and Management that links the College and Simon; and Eastman School’s potential Music and Media Center.
  • SLIDE 52
    Greater ability to provide high quality patient care in an efficient manner with, among many other facilities and programs, fully integrated Electronic Medical Records.
  • SLIDE 53
    Approximately $1 billion in new facilities.
  • SLIDE 54
    A sustainable, and significantly higher, level of annual giving to provide enduring resources to support the vitality of University programs.
  • A University-wide budget at or near our target 5.5 percent endowment draw rate.

Throughout the last and current academic year, I have worked with our senior leadership team on implementing five key strategic projects of University-wide significance:  (1) Our capital campaign; (2) the Golisano Children’s Hospital; (3) the Mt. Hope College Town; (4) the I-390 solution to our road network; and (5) the UR-IBM-New York State proposed Health Sciences Center for Computational Innovation.  To date, we have achieved or made substantial progress on four of these projects:

  • In less than one month we will begin the public phase of the largest comprehensive capital campaign in our history. 
  • The new, stand-alone Golisano Children’s Hospital will be built.
  • We have made considerable progress on the I-390 interchange and College Town projects, but have not yet reached a definitive point at which we can announce the launch of either of these projects.  I anticipate that we will have an update on I-390 soon and will resolve whether we will go forward on the College Town project during this academic year. 
  • The Health Sciences Center for Computational Innovation partnership will continue as a University priority.  The project would provide tremendous leverage for the proposed state investment and would generate meaningful economic growth for our region. 

 At the beginning of this academic year, I asked the Medical Center and each academic division to review their 2008 strategic plans in light of current economic and other evolving conditions and to propose what changes should be made to these plans over the next five years. 

The largest part of our University is our Medical Center. The University’s preliminary consolidated operating revenues in FY 11 were $2.75 billion, of which $1.81 billion, approximately 66 percent, was generated by hospital and other clinical care.  When you add the academic programs at the Medical Center, approximately 81 percent of our University is involved in academic medicine.  Clinical care, the School of Medicine and Dentistry, the School of Nursing and the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group today face somewhat different strategic challenges. 

During the past few years,  URMC, our hospital system led by Steve Goldstein, has experienced notable growth with new facilities such as the Ambulatory Surgery Center, which opened on Sawgrass Drive in August 2009, while pursuing ambitious strategic goals that involve improving patient quality and safety, providing more patient-family centered care, maintaining financial viability, managing growth, and pursuing a regional strategy that has focused on affiliation agreements with several hospitals and care providers in our multi-county area. Pivotal to the strong recent performance of URMC has been a cost cutting program that has reduced medical center expenditures by approximately $45 million over the last three years.  URMC also has stepped up its role as a regional health care safety net, providing $52.7 million in uncompensated care in FY 11, an increase of 65 percent since FY 06.  The fundamental challenge for the Medical Center involves uncertainty.  It is not clear how payment rates in Medicaid, Medicare, and from third party payors will evolve during the next few years and which innovations in health care delivery will be mandated by the federal or state government or when.  Despite this level of uncertainty, based on the URMC’s consistently strong track record and the conservative assumptions in its strategic plans, the Medical Center is well positioned to meet the challenges of health care reform. 

Dean Mark Taubman is building on the momentum of the last 15 years of growth in the School of Medicine and Dentistry.

The School’s research program is a notable area of strength.  While seeking to address a structural deficit that long has been cushioned by internal transfers from URMC, SMD has achieved the sixth largest rate of growth in NIH funding of any national medical school during the last five years.  Last year, despite a flat NIH budget, the School saw a remarkable 40 percent growth over the prior year, including American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding.

During the 2005-2009 period, the School was ranked among the top 20 in high quality publications. 

 Dean Taubman today is leading a five-pronged strategy:

  • SLIDE 61
    First, maintain the overall goals of the revised School of Medicine and Dentistry’s strategic plan. The School’s strategic plan seeks to combine strengths in basic research with the Clinical and Translational Science Institute which is leading efforts to build internationally recognized programs in translational research in select areas of excellence. 
  • Second, better coordinate the infrastructure of the Medical Center’s strategic plan core integrated disease programs in cancer, cardiovascular disease, neuromedicine, musculoskeletal disease and immunology and infection.  Each integrated disease program has been asked to update its strategic plan to identify recruitment priorities and extramural funding strategies.
  • SLIDE 62
    Third, focus on faculty development as the highest priority, while slowing, but continuing, recruitment of targeted faculty.
  • SLIDE 63
    Fourth, reduce the School of Medicine and Dentistry deficit through a combination of revenue generation, notably including emphasis on the creation of new endowed professorships as a key focus of the School’s advancement programs and expense reduction.
  • SLIDE 64
    Fifth, restructure the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group to better position it for health care reform by more efficiently integrating faculty practice with our hospitals, nursing homes, and home care services.  A more integrated group practice will facilitate a stronger partnership both with Strong Memorial Hospital and private practice, while increasing the ability of the Medical Faculty Group to obtain funds under the Accountable Care Act for pilot or demonstration health care delivery projects.

The School of Nursing also has made solid progress in incremental faculty and enrollment growth, student enrollment, and NIH funding.  In 2007, the School of Nursing had a student body of 321 matriculants.  By 2012, enrollment had grown to 466 students.  Last year, the School also initiated the Center for Research Implementation and Translation as part of its collaboration with the Clinical and Translational Science Institute.  SLIDE 66
Notably this year the School of Nursing added five new Senior and Associate Deans and five new full-time faculty members as well as SLIDE 67
Annabelle, an expert in pet therapy.

The Eastman Institute for Oral Health builds on a strong performance last year, ranking third in federal research funding, while continuing to see a growth in applications, match results for its programs, and hiring four new faculty.

The College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering led by the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences and Engineering, Peter Lennie; Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, Joanna Olmsted; Dean of the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Rob Clark; and Dean of the undergraduate College, Rich Feldman, is committed to strengthening the faculty as its highest priority. 

This year the College reached a key revised strategic goal with a total of 350 tenured and tenure track faculty, but will continue to grow as gifts for endowed professorships provide resources for additional new faculty, in areas targeted by the strategic plan such as “big data” and area studies as well as to strengthen core disciplines.  The long-term enhanced strength of the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering will require increased revenues.  In addition to emphasis on the capital campaign, the College will seek to:

  • SLIDE 71
    Strengthen support for faculty seeking grants to increase the College grant success rate.  David Williams, the new Dean for Research, has made this a major priority.
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    Enlarge the College’s enrollment appeal.  There will be an ongoing expansion of undergraduate programs, including those in which the College has the opportunity to develop distinctive programs such as those under discussion in Digital Media.
  • SLIDE 73
    Seek new sources of revenue.  Tom DiPiero, in his expanded role as Dean for Humanities and Interdisciplinary Research, will spearhead efforts to enlarge the scale and scope of summer programs, with a greater focus on research programs.

Simultaneously the College’s retention of undergraduates continues to strengthen.  Notably this year 92 percent of the class of 2013 returned as juniors.  The College’s undergraduates are studying abroad in record numbers.  This fall the College will send abroad 130 students, more than twice as many as it sent abroad in 2007.  This growth results in part from increased participation by science and engineering students as well as new programs in Denmark and Thailand with programs in China, Botswana, Ghana, Turkey, and Israel now being explored.

Full-time MBA enrollment has not been as robust as the Simon School anticipated in its 2008 plan.  The target for new MBA students has been reduced from 250 students to 175.  All other material results are strikingly positive.  Specialized master’s programs have grown from a base of 10 in FY 05 to 228 last year with 300 specialized master’s students projected this year, a consequence of the notable success of several programs including master’s programs in finance, medical management and marketing.  Simon anticipates introducing new master’s programs in business analytics and pricing.

Last year, the School launched a master’s program in finance in New York City for executive business students.  The pilot year had a strong start with 19 students.  Simon is now studying plans for further growth in New York City over the next five years. Simon also has achieved notable recent success in fundraising, adding seven endowed professorships, approximately $7 million in student support and significant new discretionary assistance for a total of approximately $50 million thus far in its capital campaign.  The School is emphasizing new ways to differentiate its curriculum, including new courses in entrepreneurship, pricing and health sciences management and last year hired a new director and added staff to materially augment its Career Management Center.

Based primarily on enrollment growth and fundraising success, Simon has reduced its endowment draw from 9.7 percent in FY 06 to 5.5 percent this past year.   Consistent with maintaining this target endowment draw, Simon has revised its target of additional faculty to increase not by 10 as earlier planned, but by 15 new faculty between 2006 and 2014.

The Eastman School of Music, having just completed a historical expansion and renovation of Eastman Theatre, is focusing on initiatives to advance other strategic goals.  To enhance its national and international profile, Eastman ensembles and faculty increasingly are traveling to New York City and around the world,  SLIDE 79
including recent performances in Mexico and China.  With 900 of the leading music students in the world, Eastman is committed to increasing student scholarship support.  SLIDE 80
The recent installation of Doug Lowry as the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School highlights the emphasis that the School attaches to endowed professorships.  At the installation ceremony, Doug articulated the excitement and challenge of music pedagogy in the 21st century, saying in part, “Our prospects are unlimited.  We have momentum.  There is no better time than now for us to stake our claim for empowering the Eastman Advantage.”  The acquisition of Block F creates further new exciting possibilities for what in recent years has been termed “the nation’s hottest music school.”

For the Warner School, the most significant goal of its 2008 strategic plan was to secure a new home.  This critical goal will be achieved with the construction of Raymond F. LeChase Hall, scheduled for occupancy in January 2013.  

Last year the Warner School equaled its key credit hours target for 2017 with approximately 10,500 credit hours.  This fiscal year, enrollment decreased.  The Warner School is confident that it will achieve its 2017 target.  If so, it plans to increase its full-time equivalent faculty from 35 to 40 by 2017.  If enrollment does not increase as anticipated, Warner will moderate faculty growth.  Warner already has launched a new planned Ed.D. program, transformed its Center for Professional Development and Education Reform, and is focusing on securing new endowed scholarships and endowed professorships in addition to further support for its new building in its capital campaign.


Our University continues to grow as the region’s largest employer.  As of June 30, 2011, our total full-time equivalent employment reached 20,143 jobs, a year-to-year growth of 393 full-time equivalent jobs, fortifying the University as the sixth largest private employer in New York State.

For FY 11 the University received government and private research funding of $398 million, somewhat less than the previous year.  In addition, the University received $17 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  This is our second year of greater than $400 million in total support.

When federal research expenditures received by our University are normalized for tenured and tenure track faculty for FY 09, the most recent year for which data are available, Rochester places eighth in the nation.

In July Governor Cuomo asked University Trustee and Wegmans Chief Executive Officer Danny Wegman and me to co-chair the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, one of ten state regional councils, which is charged with developing a five-year strategic plan for the region and this year preparing proposals to compete for approximately $1 billion in state resources.  Governor Cuomo characterized the economic development mission of the Councils as “the top priority in the state.” 

Danny and I began our work at a time of profound transition in the Rochester economy.  By 2011, education and health care had become the dominant employers in our nine-county region with approximately twice as many jobs as manufacturing. 

While much attention recently has focused on the struggles of some of our region’s largest corporations, it is worth noting that small businesses – the type that the University helps spin off – are booming in Rochester.  In July of this year, Forbes turned its Spotlight on Rochester in an article captioned:  “Small businesses saved the city.  It’s a model for other turnarounds.”  In September The Brookings Institution ranked Rochester among the top 20 regional economies in part because of its role as an education center and its specialization in technologically cutting-edge manufacturing.  We have a long way to go to achieve the financial vitality that all of us seek in Rochester.  These are signs that we are on the way.


Under Jim Thompson’s leadership, in the last year we have significantly grown our volunteer leadership, sharpened our articulation of our goals and objectives, and in October will be ready to share our aspirations with a much larger audience during the public phase of our campaign. 

The role of the faculty and staff will be pivotal in our campaign.  Over the next year, Advancement will complete creation of new programs that will seek to involve more faculty and staff in articulating their pride in our University.  Few communications are more inspiring to our alumni and friends than from those who devote their lives to their University.

During the period after our campaign kickoff, Advancement also will continue to build Regional Cabinets and regional events throughout the country.  Increasingly we are a national, indeed international, university and by traveling to where our alumni and friends live, we strengthen the bonds with which we will build the University of Rochester for the 21st century.

Our momentum is building.  Since I spoke to the Faculty Senate last September, our University has been blessed with a  series of major gifts from friends and alumni that include:

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    Tom Golisano, whose commitment of $20 million I mentioned earlier.
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    Richard ’83 and Martha Handler, who made an additional commitment of $20 million that raises their total giving to $25 million for student scholarships.
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    Phil Saunders, who committed $10 million to support research programs in muscular dystrophy, cancer and translational medicine and for whom we have named the Saunders Research Building.
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    Barry Florescue ’66, who contributed $5 million to support the newly created undergraduate business major.
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    Wayne and Beverly LeChase, who made a $3.5M commitment that made possible the construction of Raymond LeChase Hall.

Nor is support for our campaign just increasing from major donors.  This heightened level of support is occurring at all levels.  George Eastman Circle membership, for example, has now reached 1850 members, on a pace to reach our goal of 2,000 by December 31, 2011.      


Thanks to an incredibly dedicated senior leadership team, an amazingly talented faculty and staff, outstanding students and passionate and loyal alumni, our comprehensive capital campaign is likely to succeed. Our alumni and friends have articulated enormous pride in the faculty and graduates who have made Rochester one of the nation’s leading research universities.  Since 1934, eight Rochester faculty or alumni have been awarded the Nobel Prize:  

George Whipple, founding dean of School of Medicine and Dentistry, who won the 1934 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine;

Henrick Dam, a senior research associate at Strong Memorial Hospital, recipient of the 1943 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine;

biochemist Vincent du Vigneaud ’27 (PhD), winner of the 1955 Nobel Prize in Chemistry;

biochemist Arthur Kornberg ’41M (MD), recipient of the 1959 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine;

Carleton Gajdusek ’43, who was awarded the 1976 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine;

economic historian Robert Fogel, a member of the economics faculty in the 1960s and ’70s, who earned the 1993 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences;

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu ’70, awarded the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics; and

 physicist Masatoshi Koshiba ’55 (PhD), upon whom was bestowed the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics.

This level of extraordinary achievement continues.  In 2008, Allen Orr, the Shirley Cox Kearns Professor in the Department of Biology, was awarded the Darwin-Wallace Medal, one of the rarest honors in science.   

Medical school professors William Bonnez, Richard Reichman, and Robert Rose ’94M (PhD) helped develop the first vaccine against any form of cancer.

This past year, Ching Tang, the Doris Johns Cherry Professor of Chemical Engineering, was awarded Israel’s Wolf Prize for inventing the organic-light emitting diode; the Wolf Prize has been a precursor to the Nobel Prize in one of three historical instances in his field.

Esther Conwell, professor of chemistry and physics, in 2010 was presented the National Medal of Science by President Obama.

Eastman alumna Renée Fleming has been hailed as the leading soprano of our time, “the people’s diva.”

There is tremendous pride in how our students are educated. The University of Rochester has been a thought leader in redesigning the undergraduate curriculum through our Rochester Curriculum with its distinctive cluster system, pioneering the “biopsychosocial model” for medical education and creating the “unification model” for nursing education.

We provide “Medicine of the Highest Order.”  U.S. News & World Report recognized Strong Memorial Hospital as best in the Rochester area in its inaugural Best Regional Hospitals ranking.

We are the home of the Eastman School of Music, ranked first among graduate school of music programs in the last two surveys of U.S. News.

We established optics as an academic discipline with the creation of our Institute of Optics in 1929.

We helped redefine the academic study of business with path breaking scholarship such as Jensen and Meckling’s 1976 article, "Theory of the Firm: Managerial Behavior, Agency Costs and Ownership Structure."

For 40 years, the Laboratory of Laser Energetics has helped lead the effort to achieve nuclear fusion, potentially a game-changing source of future energy that unlike current nuclear power is safe, cannot melt down, is carbon free and potentially inexhaustible.

Support from our alumni and friends is already transforming our campuses.  SLIDE 118
Since 2005 the University has completed or begun 18 major facilities projects since the 2005 fiscal year with a combined value of $604 million.

Our alumni and friends share our dream: To be one of the leading research universities of the 21st century, a community leader and builder, home to outstanding faculty, students, and staff.

On October 21, our next chapter begins.