Meliora! A Message from Our Chair
Nathan Moser ’75, National Chair,
George Eastman Circle
When the George Eastman Circle is mentioned outside the University community, it is defined as the “University’s leadership annual giving society.” The key word in that description is “leadership.”
In addition to new or renewed five-year gift commitments, which provide critical annual support, fellow members are providing leadership by helping the George Eastman Circle grow in their regions and hometowns. Across the country, there are more than 100 members serving on George Eastman Circle councils. Members of our councils are leveraging their networks, hosting events, and leading the way for growth of the George Eastman Circle within their own regions.
There are currently eight active leadership councils—Boston, Chicago, Long Island, NYC Metro, Philadelphia, Rochester, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.—with additional councils being established in Southern California and Buffalo. If any of you have wondered how we are growing at the rate we are, these councils—and their volunteer leaders—are among the reasons.
Commitment and enthusiasm are contagious. You don’t have to be leading membership efforts in your area to help broaden the George Eastman Circle. Renewing your membership and speaking about your membership within your circle of friends and colleagues can have a profound effect. Each of you play a significant role in sustaining and building our strength.
Thank you for all that you do as leaders within the George Eastman Circle and at the University of Rochester.
Nathan Moser ’75
Member, Board of Trustees
National Chair, George Eastman Circle
Caring Across Generations
Patricia and Robert Whorf '98M (MD), '01M (Res)
All of our George Eastman Circle members have wonderful stories to share. We are pleased to feature this story from members who created The Whorf George Eastman Scholarship for undergraduate students in Arts, Sciences & Engineering, and who also support students at the School of Medicine and Dentistry through the George Eastman Circle.
When Robert (Rob) Whorf ’98M (MD), ’01M (Res) applied to the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, he already had a sense that the University was a special place.
“At the time, many medical schools were part of a consortium—if you applied to one, you applied to all,” says Rob. “Rochester was separate and required a handwritten application and essay. It cared enough to be different.”
When he was invited to interview with the University, Rob stayed with medical students in Rochester’s 19th Ward, one of whom gave up his bed so Rob would have a good night’s sleep. His thoughtfulness touched Rob, and administration and faculty he met the next day left a similar impression. “It became clear that the University had a desire for students to become not just doctors, but good ones of quality and humility.”
Having lost his mother to lung cancer while still in medical school, Rob immersed himself in studying how to fight this devastating disease. He went on to complete a fellowship in medical oncology at Yale University School of Medicine, and is now director of research operations at Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, the largest independent medical oncology/hematology practice in the United States.
Throughout his academic and medical training, Rob found himself drawn to the people—caring for patients as individuals, and as beloved members of their families. Today, his patients and colleagues can attest to Rob’s caring and creative approach to research, which is helping develop new ways to fight cancer and become “ever better” at treating patients.
“Nobody wants to receive less than the very best of care, and in oncology, that means understanding not just the medical and pharmacological side, but also the emotional, psychological, and spiritual issues,” says Rob. “There are multiple levels of complexities, and you need to take care of them all.”
A proponent of the University’s motto, Meliora, since his days on campus, Rob has helped countless patients with cancer have hope for a better tomorrow. And now he and his wife, Patty, are helping future doctors and leaders at the University of Rochester through their support of The Whorf George Eastman Circle Scholarship for undergraduate students, as well as their support of students at the School of Medicine and Dentistry through the George Eastman Circle.
“We like that we are helping free students from financial worries so they can go on to do something great with their lives. That’s what Meliora is—striving for excellence and being ever better, so you can help future generations to do the same.”
Learn more about George Eastman Circle Scholarships.
The George Eastman Circle recently launched a new LinkedIn group to provide even more information and networking opportunities to its members around the world.
To join this exclusive members-only group, you first need to have a LinkedIn account. Once you have created an account, or if you already have one, visit the George Eastman Circle LinkedIn page, and click “Join” in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
Your Philanthropy at Work
George Eastman Circle members have pledged more than $60 million in annual funds since the program’s inception in 2007. Here is a small sample of the many ways your support has made an impact on the University and the surrounding community throughout 2013.
- Gifts supported the continued construction inside the new hospital. The eight-story building is scheduled to open in 2015 and will feature significant improvements such as the Gosnell Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, private patient rooms, and an advanced imaging facility.
- Our Pediatric Orthopaedics program earned a place among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals listing for the fifth consecutive year, and maintained a reputation for expertise in treating scoliosis, hip, and rib deformities on the East Coast.
- Scientists identified a group of gene mutations that may be behind up to 10 percent of complex congenital heart defects, the most frequent type of birth defect and a leading cause of infant death.
- Talented student-athletes were recruited to lead Rochester to a top five Division III ranking for Academic All-Americans.
- Support has fueled outstanding accomplishments. Men’s Basketball was the University Athletic Association (UAA) champion and had the national player of the year. Women’s Basketball has now been to nine NCAA tournaments in the last eleven years.
- Men’s Squash finished in the country’s top five for the fifth consecutive year. Men’s and Women’s Swimming have won three straight Liberty League titles. Men’s Indoor Track had a state champion in the 5,000- and 3,000-meter races.
- Women’s Softball had the UAA player of the year. Men’s Golf was the UAA champion and had a golfer win their third consecutive UAA Championship. Women’s Crew won the Varsity-8 at the Dad Vail Regatta.
- Highland Hospital was listed by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best hospitals in western New York for 2013–14.
- The Wolk Emergency Department implemented new protocols and physical changes to meet the unique needs of elderly patients. Improvements include streamlined care for conditions such as pneumonia and hip fractures, enhanced geriatric-specific training, and six newly designed senior-friendly patient rooms.
- Growth in surgical volume was supported by the creation of two new, state-of-the-art operating rooms.
- The Palliative Care and Gynecologic Oncology programs earned esteemed Joint Commission Certification.
Dollars pledged are as of December 31, 2013.
To read more about how members' support has made an impact across the University, visit the impact page of the George Eastman Circle website.
Ron Fielding '73 (MA), '76S (MBA), P'14S
As George Eastman Circle members, your commitment to philanthropy makes you leaders within the University community. Your annual gifts provide critical funds that enable world-class research and health care and create countless academic opportunities, which advance our mission to Learn, Discover, Heal, Create—and make the world ever better.
Below are members who have made significant Campaign gifts in addition to their membership commitments.
Member and 2014 Simon Business School Dean’s Medal recipient Ron Fielding ’73 (MA), ’76S (MBA), P’14S recently gave $2.5 million in support of scholarships at the Simon School. His latest gift adds to an already impressive legacy, bringing his total scholarship support to nearly $10 million. You can read more in the August 2014 issue of Fast Forward.
On June 20, the University held a ceremony that recognized Charter Members Stephen I. Rosenfeld ’59, ’63M (MD) and Elise A. Rosenfeld ’60W for their gift creating the Dr. Stephen I. Rosenfeld and Elise A. Rosenfeld Distinguished Professorship in Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The Rosenfelds created the distinguished professorship to enhance patient care, teaching, and research in allergy and clinical immunology. This aspiration will be carried out by the inaugural Rosenfeld Distinguished Professor, R. John Looney ’76M (MD), ’79M (Res), ’81M (Flw), ’84M (Flw). You can read more in the June 2014 issue of Fast Forward.
Charter Members Alan S. Zekelman ’87S (MS) and Lori Talsky-Zekelman were recognized on June 6 for creating the Lori and Alan S. Zekelman Professorship of Business Administration. The Zekelmans’ professorship will give the Simon School enduring resources to recruit a leading scholar and continue to build a globally-renowned faculty of finance experts. For his excellence in the field of finance, Robert Novy-Marx, Ph.D., was made the inaugural Zekelman Professor. You can read more in the June 2014 issue of Fast Forward.
Through a dedication to philanthropy, the George Eastman Circle is helping to shape the future of the University and touching lives around the world. Your five-year commitments are providing critical budget-relieving annual funds to specific schools and units of the University and, ultimately, strengthening the University’s ability to make a profound impact on society.
One of the ways we’re able to thank you is to extend invitations to various regional gatherings, dinners, and University programs. Here is a list of upcoming events:
Los Angeles, Calif.: Meliora Challenge Celebration Dinner
September 21, 2014
The Langham Huntington, Pasadena
Meliora Weekend: An Evening with Jason Alexander
October 17, 2014
Exclusive George Eastman Circle pre-concert reception:
5:30pm at the Memorial Art Gallery. Tickets are $20/GEC members.
8pm at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theater. Only Grand Balcony tickets available ($25).
You can register online.
Meliora Weekend: Keynote Address by Doris Kearns Goodwin
October 18, 2014
Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre
To purchase tickets, please visit www.rochester.edu/melioraweekend.
Ferrari Humanities Symposia
October 30, 2014
Rush Rhees Library
Chicago Regional Cabinet Annual Event
November 6, 2014
Featuring URMC faculty members David Topham and Deborah Fowell for the discussion "New Vaccines on the Horizon"
6pm at the Conrad Chicago
Westchester/Fairfield Regional Cabinet Annual Event
November 19, 2014
Featuring Robert Clark, senior vice president for research and dean of the Hajim School
Scarsdale Golf Club
Northern New Jersey Regional Cabinet Annual Event
November 20, 2014
Featuring Robert Clark, senior vice president for research and dean of the Hajim School
6pm (location TBD)
Houston, Texas: Meliora Challenge Celebration Dinner
November 13, 2014
Dallas, Texas: Meliora Challenge Celebration Dinner
November 14, 2014
Park City Club
New York City Holiday Party
December 3, 2014
New York, N.Y.
JW Marriott Essex House New York
For more information about attending any of these events, please contact the Office of Donor Relations at 800-281-2055.