Cultivating the Imagination

Cultivating the Imagination

The power to create is universal. It cuts across continents, cultures, and classes and at the same time is intensely personal.

At the University of Rochester, the quest for creativity is most evident in our commitment to the arts. The arts are a source of pride on the River Campus, at the Memorial Art Gallery, and at the Eastman School of Music—the top-ranked graduate school music program in the country (U.S. News & World Report).

The spirit of creativity has not only shaped the University's cultural environment, it has also helped define our relationship with the larger community. Our contributions trace back to our historic advances in photography and film and extend today to our alliance with the George Eastman House and to our participation in Rochester's International Jazz Festival.

Creativity also extends beyond the arts at Rochester. New ways of thinking reach into every school and department and infuse every aspect of our mission. Our charge is to continue to spark creativity University-wide, from advances in music, to entrepreneurship and technology transfer, to medical research and education.

The Meliora Challenge will advance creativity in its broadest dimensions. Gifts will extend the extraordinary quality and breadth of the Eastman School, strengthen the arts across the River Campus, and support the Memorial Art Gallery. The Campaign will fund new programs as well, such as the growing fields of digital media and digital art.

Marty Messinger

Marty Messinger '49

Managing Partner, Neuberger Berman, LLC

Together with his family, Marty Messinger has built a legacy of philanthropy and service to the University and the wider community.

For more than four decades, Marty Messinger and his wife, Joan, who passed away in April 2011, have used their philanthropy to enrich the educational experience at Rochester. Their vision and generosity have influenced their four children, as well, who all serve on the family's foundation.

The Messingers' goodwill has reached across campus, including Rush Rhees Library, Judaic Studies, and the Debate Union. Their latest gift—establishing the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music—underscores their long-running interest in the arts.

"This commitment is just the beginning," notes Marty, a Life Trustee at the University. "It is my hope that others will join us in honoring the Eastman School's legacy of innovation and artistry."

Supporting Innovation

The following is a sampling of funding opportunities that enhance Rochester's mission to Create.

Music Innovation at Eastman

Create Music Innovation

Success as a professional musician today requires more than exceptional musicianship. Success now requires entrepreneurial savvy, strong communication skills, and fluency with emerging technologies. The new Center for Music Innovation at Eastman will encourage students to explore performances that blend music with the visual arts, theatre, dance, and new media applications. The Center will move the school to a leadership role in using technology to transform the world of music.


The Memorial Art Gallery

Create Memorial Art Gallery

The Memorial Art Gallery is one of the country's few university-affiliated art museums that not only is open to the public but also actively serves the larger community. The Gallery shares a broad collection of art that spans 5,000 years—from the relics of antiquity to contemporary works. Gifts to the Campaign have helped fund a new sculpture park that serves as a gateway to connect residents and visitors to Rochester's rich and historic creative community. Additional support will enhance the Gallery's spaces, programs, and exhibits to match the quality of its acclaimed collection.


Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer

Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer

Rochester is a leader in entrepreneurial thinking and technology transfer and an engine of economic growth for the state and nation. We rank among the country's top 10 universities in licensing revenues. In the last 15 years we have spun off more than two dozen tech-based entrepreneurial ventures. Investing in our faculty—and furthering entrepreneurial collaborations with the corporate world—will ensure that Rochester flourishes as a global leader in entrepreneurship and technology transfer between the University and the public.


Blurring the Boundaries Between the Arts and Engineering

Create Digital Media and Innovation Center

The digital world is changing the way entire generations create art, advance scholarship, access information, and communicate. Rochester's strengths in computing, visual studies and film, music, digital archives, and library technologies position the University as a leader in this field. The new Ronald Rettner Hall for Media Arts and Innovation provides a home for Digital Media Studies as well as an engineering fabrication lab for students to build project prototypes. This new building allows us to combine the science and engineering that drive new technologies with the arts and humanities that lead to the creation of new media. Learn more about Rettner Hall by clicking here.


Arts at the River Campus

Create Arts at the River Campus

Students at the River Campus maintain a keen interest in the arts, even while many pursue studies that prepare them for careers in medicine, engineering, and science. Many undergraduates say they are attracted to Rochester in part because of our musical legacy. New initiatives will further connect the arts with the sciences, engineering, social sciences, and humanities. Priorities include improving the facilities that support our International Theatre Program and River Campus music programs.