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Fall 2013: Welcome Back

Welcome back! Let me offer a special welcome to the Class of 2017.

We have been busy!

In just a few weeks, we will open the Ronald Rettner Hall for Media Arts and Innovation on the River Campus. This new three-story, nearly 19,000-square foot building will offer students access to state-of-the-art technologies to develop practical skills and theoretical understanding of digital technology. Rettner Hall will be home to our digital media studies major.

Since we broke ground in early May for College Town, the developers have been working to clear the area by tearing down the Towne House buildings and adjacent professional building. When complete in fall 2014, the new development at the corner of Mt. Hope and Elmwood Avenues will include 500,000 square feet of retail and dining space, spacious sidewalks, hotel and conference facilities, parking, and housing for the Mt. Hope communities and area visitors.

Rochester students will soon have a new living option across the Genesee River at The Flats at Brooks Crossing.  In July developers broke ground for a new 12-story mixed-use project near the corner of Brooks Avenue and Genesee Street. When it opens in the fall of 2014, it will feature 10 floors of housing that will accommodate 170 students, a scull boat house, a restaurant, and common area.

Over the summer, upgrades to the Delta Kappa Epsilon, Sigma Alpha Mu, Sigma Chi, Psi Upsilon, Alpha Delta Phi and Theta Chi houses have given the Fraternity Quad a cosmetic facelift, with new paint, floor coverings and improved accessibility.

The Golisano Children’s Hospital at the Medical Center, the University’s largest capital project in history, continues on its construction course and is scheduled to open in 2015. The new $145 million building, located on Crittenden Boulevard and attached to the Medical Center and Strong Memorial Hospital, will have eight floors and approximately 245,000 square feet of space dedicated to children and their families.

A $100 million construction project on Interstate 390 that will include a new exit at Kendrick Road will greatly improve access to and from the University of Rochester. By addressing this critical limit on University growth, the State will enable the University and its health care system to continue to grow and thrive over the next 20 to 30 years.

This fall we will host our 13th Meliora Weekend, our biggest social and intellectual celebration for alumni, students, parents and friends. During the October 10-13 weekend, we will hear a keynote address by Robert Gates, former CIA director and secretary of defense for U.S. presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and a special combined Presidential Symposium and Miller’s Court will welcome former U.S. Representative Barney Frank. In all we will present more than 200 events, including featured entertainment by comedian Demetri Martin.

The Memorial Art Gallery celebrates its 100th birthday this year. The Gallery’s newly dedicated Centennial Sculpture Park features interactive outdoor art installations by our community’s internationally renowned sculptors such as Albert Paley, Wendell Castle and others.  It is an inspiring experience.

After a highly successful first year, the First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival is back, this year doubling in size to exhibit our community’s diverse talents and creativity in the arts.  With more than two dozen official venues in and around the East End, the Fringe will transform Gibbs Street between September 19 and 28 into a stage for headliners, local performers, and some 30 performing groups featuring University students and faculty from the College, the Medical Center, and the Eastman School.

It is a joy to welcome the entire Rochester family and offer best wishes for a successful school year.