Celebrating Wilson's Life
Joe Wilson was in New York City on November 22, 1971, and suffered a fatal heart attack while at lunch with then-Governor Nelson Rockefeller. His sudden death shocked the Rochester community.
Wilson Boulevard was named in Joe Wilson's honor by the City of Rochester, and West High School was renamed Wilson Magnet High School.
“Wilson Day will not be a day of mourning his death, but a day of celebrating his life, a day full of the kinds of things that Mr. Wilson prized about the University: music, art, poetry, science, scholarship, education, research.” (W. Allen Wallis, 10.23.1972)
The events of Wilson Day occurred across the University--at the River Campus, the School of Medicine and Dentistry, Xerox, and the Eastman School of Music. An evening program occurred at the Eastman Theatre.
Wilson Day was intended for all members of the University community, and the schedule of events appeared in the internal publication Currents.
From 1972 to 1987, Wilson Day was a day of intellectual engagement, celebrating the breadth and depth of Wilson’s intellectual pursuits. Nobel and Pulitzer prize-winning scientists, musicians and writers congregated for a day of talks, concerts and symposia; everyone in the UR and Rochester community was welcome.
Press release (Link to pdf)