President Joel Seligman addresses the audience at the
San Francisco Bay regional campaign launch.

On June 5, in San Francisco, the University launched the first in a series of regional campaigns in support of The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester. More than 160 guests attended the spectacular kickoff at the St. Regis Hotel—the largest University event ever held in San Francisco. It was an evening that celebrated remarkable progress and further conveyed the ambitions of The Meliora Challenge.

The San Francisco Bay regional campaign, led by Co-Chairs Carol Karp ’74, P’11 and Joe Abrams ’74S (MBA), P’02, will further the Campaign’s significant momentum. Karp and Abrams announced the region’s campaign goals: $45 million in total commitments and 120 George Eastman Circle members.

“All of us in this room have an incredible opportunity to become a part of this endeavor,” said Karp. “As we expand our regional network, we will strengthen the solid foundation of support that will ensure the University’s ongoing development and success.”

President Seligman delivered an inspiring message about the great potential of the University. Trustee and Campaign Vice Chair for the West Coast, Larry Bloch ’75, spoke about Rochester’s history and honored Charles Munnerlyn ’69 (PhD), inaugural chair of the San Francisco Bay Regional Cabinet. Diana Pratt ’13, recipient of the Dr. Nathaniel and Helen Wisch Endowed Scholarship, shared her story and articulated the profound impact of scholarships.

Additionally, soprano Adelaide Boedecker ’13E (MM) gave an exceptional vocal performance that included pieces from both the classical and musical theater repertory. Boedecker was accompanied by talented pianist and fellow Eastman student Heather McEwen Goldman ’13E (MM).

The San Francisco Bay regional campaign is part of the University’s efforts to enhance engagement for alumni and those affiliated with the University on the West Coast. Through the development of Regional Cabinets—composed of alumni, parents, and friends who hold leadership positions for the University and within their communities—Rochester is increasing its visibility across the country.

The San Francisco Bay region has raised more than $37 million to date and is home to 70 members of the George Eastman Circle. In total there are more than 3,400 alumni, parents, and friends living in the Bay Area. The progress thus far has built upon the leadership of the San Francisco Bay Regional Cabinet.

“Regional Cabinets continue to be formed across the country,” said Abrams. Currently, there are a dozen other Cabinets in the process of forming, which include areas such as Texas, Chicago/Midwest, Philadelphia, and four in Metro New York City. “We, as Cabinet members, energize and engage the University community because we understand the power of our support, our legacies, and our institution.”

At the core of the San Francisco Bay regional campaign is a much simpler message which President Seligman delivered to the audience that evening: Come Home. For many, the kickoff event was an opportunity to reconnect and become reacquainted with the University. It’s an experience Rochester will be recreating in cities across the country. This calendar year, there are plans to launch regional campaigns in Chicago and Boston.

Click here to view a photo gallery of the San Francisco Bay regional campaign launch.