Virginia Dwyer

Interviewee: Dwyer, Virginia
Interviewer: Braund, John
Duration: 93 minutes
Date: 1995-05-25


Biographical note: One word to describe Virginia Dwyer’s achievements would be “groundbreaking.” As a student at the University of Rochester, she studied mathematics and economics, two fields taught almost exclusively on the then all-male River campus. Her trips to the men’s campus would set a pattern for a career of standing out. She was hired by Western Electric—a subsidiary of AT&T—soon after her graduation in 1943. She rose to become Senior Vice President for Finance with AT&T, at a time when the ranks of women in corporate leadership were thinner, and their advocates rarer, than today. Never too busy to invest time into her alma mater, Dwyer became a leader in New York City alumni circles, and belonged to the Trustees Council and later the Board of Trustees. What did she do once she became a trustee? She kept breaking new ground, serving as the first woman Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Rights: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).
The views expressed in the recordings and transcripts on this website are those of the speakers, and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, the University of Rochester.



John Braund: This recording is being made on Thursday, May 25, 1995, in Rush Rhees Library as part of the University’s Oral History Project. It is with Virginia Dwyer, class of '43, who has been extremely active with the University for many years. Most particularly, she has been a member of the Board of Trustees and chairman of the Board from 1988 to 1991. My name is John Braund.

JB: Virginia, you have been more involved with the University for over 50 years than the average alumna or alumnus. You were active as a student. You were active in music. You were active in a sorority. [1] You were active in sports and a number of other things. [2] In your years as an alumna, out of town, you were regularly involved inalumni programs. You were president, I believe, of the alumni club of New York for a time. You've been a member of the Trustees Council. [3] You've been a Trustee. [4] You’ve been chairman of the Board of Trustees. Your involvement has been steady and I think your perspective is pretty broad and deep on the University and we certainly are very grateful for your willingness to participate in this. Looking back at the beginning, what brought you to the University of Rochester in the first place?

VD: (laughing) It is the result of a research project and in my senior year in high school, a friend and I decided, people made the decisions about the college they were going to attend -- and in those days it was easy to get in -- based on tradition, family attendance, and a number of things and we decided to do it another way. So we got the World Almanac and had certain criteria that we established for the colleges we were interested in and we sent away for bulletins. We probably had the largest private collection of college bulletins in history.

JB: Where was this?

VD: In Baldwin, Long Island. [5] And out of all of that I chose the University of Rochester. And I did apply. It was the only place I applied to. I applied for a scholarship and was granted a full tuition scholarship, [6] and I came. I never visited the University until I appeared as a freshman in September.

JB: That's one of the most rational applications to college I've ever heard.

VD: Well, I tell you, it was, it was really quite remarkable, because quite accidently, because my principal had gone to Syracuse and he knew of the U of R and thought it was a fine institution and so he recommended that I apply and so I did. Now, I must admit that the friend that I did this project with ended up going to the women's college at Rutgers, which is where her mother, her grandmother, and her great-grandmother went, (laughing) so a lot of family pressure was applied in her case. None was applied in mine. The thing that, the criteria, the most operative one, was that my family told me, it being the Depression, that I could apply to any college, so long as it was no longer than 350 miles from Baldwin, Long Island. And Rochester was the outer limits of that 350 mile limit.

JB: That was at the end of the string.

VD: That's right. And so I checked with them and so they said that they thought that they could handle that one. And so that's why I came. I never regretted it, either.

JB: When you got here, what was it like?

VD: Well, as you know as you have already mentioned, the women were still on the women’s campus, over at the Prince Street campus. [7] And the men were in the current River Campus. And that, I think, had a lot of advantages of both the coordinated college instead of either a co-ed or a single sex college. I think it was a nice combination. And there were a lot of colleges that did that at that time, Duke being one of them. [8] Because I had a friend at Duke, and their women's college and their men's college was separated with some kind of a street between them. And for social purposes that was very nice, but for class work you were separated. In my case, as I mentioned to you before we started the recording, I had all of my classes on the men's campus because of my major. And in those days it was very easy to take classes on the men's campus because a black limousine went to the dormitory every morning, picked you up about 7:30, or quarter of eight and you were in plenty of time for an 8:00 class. So it was lovely.

JB: Your major being mathematics?

VD: That's right, and later economics and business. [9]

JB: Which were of course only taught on the men’s campus.

VD: That is right, absolutely true. Although every once in a while they would have a course on the women's campus. I remember taking a course in Theoretical Statistics on the women’s campus. And I have no idea why it was given there because that meant the men had to come over from the men's campus, (JB laughing) and that didn't happen very often. But one of the other big influences on the class of 1943 was the war. We were the war group, and that had many different aspects to it. Once Pearl Harbor happened, we started losing members of our class because they kept enlisting or signing up...

JB: Or were drafted...

VD:...or were drafted as the case may be, or enlisted just before they were drafted, whatever. But, at any rate, the thing that made possible -- the administration decided, and it was a good idea -- that they would keep the college open all year. And they would run courses all year to get the young men as far along as they could before they went off to war. That also made it possible for me to change my major from Mathematics to Economics and Business. Because I had to make up some courses in order to change my major, 'cause I was really at the end of my Junior year, that I stayed for part of the summer in order to make that possible, so I think that would have been difficult otherwise.

JB: Were there any faculty members that were instrumental in your decision tochange from mathematics toeconomics and business? Or was this again a rational decision on your part?

VD: No, it was a course in mathematics that made me change my mind and it upset the head of the mathematics department, no end. He thought I was clearly a math major. It had been my favorite subject for years, but I took a course called Projective Geometry and I recommend it to no one. There was no textbook. (JB laughing) and a professor, a very brilliant professor, whose name I forget, taught it and he gave us notes every week that would cover what we were going to cover that week. And all I remember is that you mathematically manipulated formulas and sent geometric objects out into space. Then you jiggled them some more out there and brought them back. And I didn't understand a thing about it, and that's when I decided that I was not destined to be a theoretical mathematician which is where I started (JB laughing), so I decided to make a change to Economics.

JB: Seems to me that’s not too far from some economic projections, however. (Laughing).

VD: That is true. That may have prepared me for what I was in for. But there was a faculty member that was very important to me in the Economics organization and that was Donald Gilbert. [10] You’ve heard of Donald Gilbert, he later was the Provost.

JB: Provost.He was Provost when I was a student.

VD: Was he?

JB: Yeah.

VD: Well, he was a wonderful Economics professor and he made me want to learn more about Economics, and that's why he was an inspiration for a lot of things. So he was an intellectual stimulus and a good professor in general. But I was perfectly happy with the faculty at Rochester. I thought that Watkeys, who was head of the Math department, whom I got to know very well and who regretted my decision to change majors, but he was a wonderful man and I enjoyed him tremendously. [11] Dexter Perkins [12] was here at that time, John Slater [13] was here at that time.

JB: Did you have all of those?

VD: I never took a course from Dexter Perkins, and I always regretted it. And I had as a Math and/or an Economics major, I had absolutely no business taking the course I took of John Slater's, but I took one. And in typical John Slater style, it was in Victorian poetry; and I had no preparation for Victorian poetry, but I enjoyed the course tremendously, and his exam assumed everybody in the course was an English major. So he asked to compare Victorian poetry with all kinds of others things that I had never read. So I wrote everything I knew about Victorian poetry in my exam paper and didn't answer any of the questions because I didn't have any answers to the questions and it worked fine. He gave me a B, because I had learned a fair amount about Victorian poetry. I explained why I was doing this, so ...but at any rate, it was, it was a remarkably well taught course, and I have, I still have my book on Victorian poetry. So the...and that was a course I could take on the women’s campus. I enjoyed extracurricular activities at Rochester, and that was something I could do on the women's campus while taking my courses on the men's campus. And so, I was class president one year. [14] And I competed against my best friend for the presidency of the students’ association and lost. (JB laughing) And I think that was the best selection that was made. But at any rate, I never regretted coming to Rochester.

JB: How were the relationships between students and faculty at that time? In particular, do you remember going to any of the events at Professor Watkeys' home?

VD: Yes.

JB: He used to have informal gatherings that were absolutely delightful with faculty and students.

VD: On Sunday afternoons; and I was part of the group and I went on Sunday afternoons. And I was always petrified because at the end of the speaker's speech, everybody was expected to ask a question, and I very often didn't hear the speech worrying about the question I was going to ask. (JB laughing) But they were very good for everybody, I think. And I think I started going in my freshman year. I forget kind of, I didn't stop going until I changed my major.

JB: But this was something you found very refreshing...

VD: Oh yes, I did. And I felt I got to know him and I knew quite a few of the members of the Economic faculty quite well. And, but I think Dr. Watkeys’ was the only faculty home I visited. And even though Dr. Gilbert's daughter, Emily, [15] was a suite mate of mine in Munro Hall [16] , she and her roommate had the room, was two rooms, two double rooms. So, it was very nice.

JB: Were there other faculty members that you recall?

VD: I remember Dr. Coates [17]

JB: Willson Coates, history.

VD: Willson Coates, British history and I remember him singing about Henry VIII, “With her head tucked underneath her arm she walks the bloody tower.” [18] And it was a remarkable performance. (John:laughing) So...there were a lot of informal contacts between students and faculty, I think. There was no contact, I should add, between the student body and Alan Valentine.

JB: I was wondering...

VD: He was a very remote president, particularly remote, relative to someone like Dennis O' Brien, [19] who got to know a lot of students.

JB: Actually held public forums regularly.

VD: That's right, absolutely, and Alan Valentine, the only time I ever remember seeing Alan Valentine, [20] he had no impact on me, as a student, was he did invite all the seniors to his house for a reception in connection with graduation week. [21]

JB: That was the Eastman House. [22]

VD: The Eastman House, that's where he was living at the time and...and that’s the only time I think I ever met him. But I may have seen him at some official dinner or other, but I don't remember talking to him except on that occasion, so. You had indicated that I was active in sports. And I wish to correct the records on that. I was active in high school in sports...

JB: Oh!

VD: fact, I won awards. But I very nearly didn't graduate from this institution because I kept flunking...

JB: Physical Education! (laughing)

VD: Gym. And so my friend, Ann Carlton Logan, [23] now Mrs. Dickinson, and I played tennis every day in our junior year, trying to graduate. And so, we still talk about it quite frequently.

JB: Maybe somewhere, there is some records that indicate that you were very busy in that regard then so it was not so much the sports, as just the effort to pass Physical Education.

VD: I think that, that is more logical in terms of reality.

JB: Okay, okay.

VD: But we did play a lot of tennis unexpectedly and not entirely happily...oh, I have seen one of those before...

JB: This was a slight pause while the automatic light went out (laughing).

VD: So we know what happened.

JB: In your senior year, as I understand, you were a member of the Marsiens...

VD: Uh huh.

JB: ...which was the senior honorary society. [24] Did membership in that society offer you any contact with faculty or deans? Or what was your experience with the Marsiens?

VD: As far as I was concerned, it was an honorary organization and it was accorded you because of other activities you had. It led very little life of its own.

JB: Okay. So you didn't have regular meetings with faculty or dean...

VD: I don't remember them, they were not important in my scheme of things.

JB: Well, that was different then, because when I, a few years later, was amember of the Keidaeans, which was the counterpart, which was on the River Campus, we did meet monthly at the Dean's home and we had a couple of faculty advisors. And I had the sense that, at least in those days, they did indeed use the Keidaeans as a sounding board. There were various issues and problems that they would want discussed to get some kind of student

VD: Uh huh.

JB: ...input, I guess they felt was a kind of responsible type of input. So I did have a feeling we were useful in that regard.

VD: There may have been some of that and I just wasn’t sensitive to it because I felt as if I got to know Dean Clark, the Dean of Women.

JB: Janet Clark...

VD: ...Janet Clark [25] better in that senior year when I was part of Marsiens. But whether we had formal meetings or not, I don’t remember. I really don't.

JB: When you graduated, what inspired you or what prompted you to remain active or to participate in alumni programs, alumni affairs?

VD: I don't know that either, I think...let me tell you something else first. And that was this was graduation and job searching was another thing in which the war impacted on us. Up until that time, and I didn't realize this, women graduates of colleges had trouble finding professional jobs. I was totally unaware of this, and I may have been the only Economics, Finance and Business major of an American university graduating in 1943 with those majors. I was very popular. I was the only one who didn't have to go to war. All the men graduating in those fields had to go to war and I was available. So I got recruited by all kinds of companies and I assumed that was always the case, but I was informed otherwise by a lot of people. And I thought that was an unusual event in my life that I didn't recognize at the time. Because I just assumed things were always that way. I wanted to work in New York. I knew exactly what I wanted to do and the Western Electric Company of The Bell System did have a job opening that fit my requirements and so I went to work for them, [26] two weeks after I graduated from Rochester and retired from the old Bell System -- AT&T -- at that point, 50 years later or 43 years later, I guess.

JB: That’s amazing.

VD: Yeah, it really is.

JB: So when you went to New York you did participate in alumni programs?

VD: Yes, I did.

JB: Down there and you were actually, as I recall, president of the New York alumni club or what?

VD: I think I was at one time. We had great trouble, and I...going back to your original question, I think that the only reason I decided to be active is that I tend to get involved in things. And it was, I thought, quite natural to stay connected to the University you had attended and liked very much. So that's what I did do. The... we had great trouble trying to organize a regional alumni club in New York and I really don't think it has changed very much. There is a group now that is very active and they’re fairly young, recent graduates, and therefore they are all located in New York. Once they marry and have children they will move out of New York and then it will be very hard to corral them because it's very expensive.

JB: And they’re also at this point looking for something for themselves. Looking for this as a networking opportunity.

VD: That's right.

JB: It connected them with a variety of people with similar business and cultural interests.

VD: That's right.

JB: I found this when I was involved in setting up the new incarnation of an alumni club in New York several years ago. This was the primary motivating factor, people to become involved ...

VD: Therefore, it's the younger group.

JB: How did you, how did you see your university from afar, those years? How did you see it -- l don't have any particular avenue of response in mind, but as you looked at your university from afar in context to other institutions in which you had become aware, how did you see Rochester?

VD: In the four years that I was here, the University met my needs and it was intellectually stimulating and I learned a lot. And I had coverage in the fields that I was interested in covering. So it was all kind of accepted by me. One of the things I found after I got out of Rochester was that the academic fraternity, because I took graduate courses at NYU, [27] at first at Columbia and then at NYU at night, that the academic community had a higher view of Rochester than I had ever thought about. They considered it to be a fine school. I just thought it was a school that suited my needs and without ever trying to evaluate that. So ... I found it kind of interesting that the academic community gave it very high grades.

JB: So it gave you a point of pride.

VD: Absolutely, yes, and so made me want to continue to be active. So ... but I really in that immediate period after I got out of college didn't come up to Rochester very often at all. I traveled a lot visiting college classmates who were friends and who were spread to the hither and yon, but I didn't come up to the campus. But I went to every reunion every five years, religiously; my fifth, my tenth, and so forth. We had a group that was quite close when we were in the class of 1943 and they all tended to come back every five years and so it made it a very easy way to keep up with people, since I am a very notoriously bad correspondent. So we did do that, and but I don't remember except for reunions, coming back

JB: Uh huh.

VD: ...until I went on the Trustees Council. And I really wasn't quite sure why I was invited onto the Trustees Council, if the truth be known. But I came religiously every time they had a meeting. And I enjoyed it very much. I got updated on the University and enjoyed that, but I still was somewhat mystified by the whole process.

JB: Well, maybe I can reveal a little bit of a secret on that. You were appointed at the time that I was in the alumni office. I'm sure other people had initiative in doing this, but for whatever reasons, I made sure every year that your name was on the list for consideration.

VD: Oh is that right? Good for you. Thank you very much.

JB: Simply because of what I saw in you as I met with you in New York from time to time. You were always there, you were always informed and you always had some good observations to make.

VD: Well, that’s very nice.

JB: And it was my sense that you would be very useful in that regard.

VD: Well, I enjoyed the Trustees Council very much and found it very informative and I think it’s a good idea.

JB: Was it good preparation for becoming a Trustee?

VD: I think so. It gave you a chance to get up to date on the issues and that’s worthwhile.

JB: It gave you some foot wetting in those waters because you were involved in visiting committees with the Trustees.

VD: That's right. And I must admit that I had a running battle with Bill Meckling, [28] the head of the Management School, and he probably remembers that, although he is retired. Where is he living?

JB: I don't know.

VD: I don't think he stayed in Rochester. I think he went somewhere else, but I, not only Bill Meckling, but his successor. [29] I had a running battle with on the subject of the curriculum at the School of Management being too closely tied to the University of Chicago, and too quantitatively oriented. As a result ...

JB: Too theoretical?

VD: Too theoretical, too quantitative mostly. It didn’t create CEOs, it created very dedicated professional Quants, and I thought the the role of the School of Management should be different.

JB: That reminds me of a luncheon at which I was present, I think when you were on the Trustees Council, it was over in the Faculty Club and I was either sitting next to you or across the table or near you when someone asked you something about people you were involved in hiring at A T&T, in those days and you made the comment very straight forwardly (laughing) that you really weren't interested in people that graduated from Rochester. You would rather have someone from Wharton or Harvard or somewhere and I know that the person with whom you were speaking coughed and guffawed a few times (laughing) and was quite confused by what he thought was disloyalty.

VD: Anybody that was on that Visiting Committee, that's right, anybody that was on the Visiting Committee was well aware of my feelings on the subject, so I figured I'd better, say that up front. And I had no idea of how right I was, how wrong I was, but I was certainly steadfast in my views.

JB: In your years as a trustee, you became a member of the Trustees Council in ‘76 and then you became a member of the Board of Trustees in 1979. Do you have any observations of things that were happening at that time? Bob Sproull [30] was president, as I recall at those times, some of the issues that were happening were certainly the period when the University was in the financial straits. As I recall, the Laser Lab [31] was costing an awful lot of money, the stock market was going down, those were some of the issues at the time. But do you recall things from your early days on the Board that were significant?

VD: What was one of the things that happened in that period shortly after I went on the Board, was a debate about the spending level of the endowment, how much was going to support operations. It was a generational question, and I remember that discussion very well, because we ended up increasing the take, temporarily. But much to my surprise, once it went up there it is considerable difficulty in getting it back down again. And so that's still being worked on.

It was also true that Rochester had an investment theory that it was operating on, with its endowment that caused a large stir in American academic circles. And articles were written that were very complimentary to Rochester because the portfolio was managed by the investment office, not by outside managers. And it was entirely in venture capital. It was an unusual arrangement, and that was fine, as long as venture capital was profitable. But when it became unprofitable, which it did in those years, the return on the endowment investment declined rapidly.

And the problem there was that because the Board had voted to increase the proportion or the return that would be used currently for current budgetary purposes, it was with a view that returns were going to be greater than that. And that the endowment would continue to grow and that did not happen. [32] The problem was that it was very difficult to unwind that investment theory because the investments were illiquid. And therefore, it became a problem that stayed with the Board and with Bob Sproull during the rest of his career before he retired.

And Dennis O' Brien, during his entire period at Rochester, was faced with that problem. He brought in a new financial Vice President, Dick [Greene], [33] who wanted, with the thorough support of the investment committee, to change the theory of investment to include outside managers. And he did do that and we didn't want to have a fire sale on the venture capital investments, but they should be liquidated in an orderly fashion as time permitted and the money turned over to outside managers. And I think that process is still, is not a hundred percent complete yet. It was a very long process and I think Dick did just a fine job. So.

JB: The endowment had been managed at least apparently for many years before that...

VD:That's right.

JB: But under a different policy where did ...

VD: Juan Trippe.

JB: Bert Tripp! [34]

VD: Bert Tripp, excuse me. Juan Trippe was the head of Pan Am. [35] (JB laughing) Oh, that's where I got that. Isn't that funny? Yes, Bert Tripp. He tended to emphasize growth stocks and had a very successful investment policy. That's right. As I recalled the University for many years was considered rather singular in the investment world.

JB: There was an article that was either Forbes or ... one of those.

VD: But that continued when they went into the venture capital business, too. But ...

JB: Who, do you know was behind getting into the venture capital?

VD: No, I don't. It had started before I became active.

JB: Are there other things with respect to your earlier work on the Board that seemed notable? You were involved in a number of committees, you were involved with the personnel committee, you were involved with the investment committee, you were involved with the College of Arts and Science.

VD: College of Arts and Science Visiting Committee came later; that was after I retired as chair of the Board.

JB: Oh, okay, because I had a reference here, somewhere between 1987 and 90.

VD: But I retired in 1986.

JB: That was from AT & T

VD: That’s from AT & T, yeah.

JB: And you became chairman of the Board in 1988?

VD: That's right. And I didn't think I was on the Arts & Science Committee. I am now, as a senior trustee.

JB: Okay, right, Okay. Were there other things going on in those earlier days that seemed notable or?

VD: I think that, the most important thing in my recollection, is the fact that about that same time the number of seniors graduating from high school began to decline, and therefore all universities began to have a recruitment problem. And the University had to respond to that. And that occupied a lot of time and a lot of Board discussion and so forth.

JB: There were some dire projections. I think it was from the ...

VD: Oh yeah!

JB: ...from the early eighties all the way up to the mid-nineties the projections were, certainly in the northeast, the number of 18-year-olds were going to diminish by something like 24 to 26 percent ...

VD: Before turning it around.

JB: ...which would reduce the number of potential freshmen.

VD: The other part of that projection was that, after it turned around and began to increase again, that the make-up of that group would be very different than it was in the seventies. And that therefore many changes had to be worked on at the same time in order to prepare for that and so that became a very serious problem.

JB: What, What would be some of the differences that were foreseen or projected in the make-up?

VD: I think that what was expected was a continuation of an increase in the number of women going to college and an increase in the number of minorities. Now I think, if I'm not mistaken, the number of women has continued to increase, but the number of minorities have not. And the number of the minorities in the population has increased, but the proportion going to college has decreased rather than increasing as it was expected. And I think that was the two trends that were most talked about at the time. And, which tells you a lot about projections. Some things work out and some things don't work out. And you can start with demographics that are pretty reasonable and you still get surprises. But one of the interesting things that occurred between the Sproull years and the O'Brien years, that was I thought significant, there was a belief -- fairly widespread, I believe -- that the University of Rochester had become a quote grind unquote school, that it had become very technically-oriented and that the chief emphasis was on graduate studies rather than undergraduate. And that became something that the Board had to at least address and the way it was addressed in my view, some other people might think it differently, was that in·the search committee for Bob Sproull's successor, a lot of emphasis was put on undergraduate education. And another thing that had happened, another tendency, was for less important links between the University and the community over both the Wallis[36] and the Sproull years. And ...

JB: You mean diminishment in the linkages between the University and the community.

VD: And the community. That's right. And so that was another thing that was addressed by the search committee, the importance of reestablishing those links with the community. And I think they were important to that search committee in the decisions that were made and the selection that was made. And so, and I think that there has been increased emphasis on the undergraduate side and on the links to the community in the intervening period. I don't think that had to be as an important an issue in the search committee, of which I was not a part, which selected the current president,[37] whom I think is a great guy.

JB: There were concerns at other levels at that period, too. Because I remember when I was working the River Campus Alumni Board, at that time in the irregular meetings with faculty and students, they became aware of a student discomfort with what they felt was an emphasis on research and lack of emphasis on teaching.(VD: That's right!) Terry Giles[38] and some others lead an effort to put together a rather well planned paper from the Board. (VD: Of the Alumni Board?) of the Alumni Board. This the River Campus Alumni Board that it presented to Bob Sproull and it solicited the longest response from Bob Sproull that I ever saw to anything and it was very genuine and they engaged in what I thought was a very good dialogue. One of the thngs that they discussed in there and it came through some of the management experience of some of the members of the Board, Jerry Katz[39] and a few others, was that maybe part of the problem was the reward system for faculty. The reward system is strictly in terms of how much research you do, how much you publish and if tenure is going to be based totally on that, then that’s going to steer the faculty in those directions. I know even later in the Bob Sproull years there was distinct change in some of the reward systems. The light went out again?

Virginia: (laughing) Very good. I'm glad you were here and knew what to do with that.

JB: Technology. They did institute, I think, with Paul Hunter [40] was involved in the faculty.

VD: And he was on the search committee, by the way.

JB: Oh yes? He was involved in putting together the Dean's mentors or the Dean's fellows[41] I guess. This brought faculty members in to the residence halls and met students informally. There was another award that was put together for good teaching at the graduate assistant level. They received then a grant from the Lilly Foundation[42]to institute a program to work particularly with junior faculty and to try to establish a teaching mentorship for them with experienced faculty, and to give them a basis for documenting their teaching experience, and I would say their growth and teaching abilities, so that when they came up for tenure that became a part of their dossier. But those things were instituted in the later Sproull years. And then, of course, Dennis O’Brien picked them up even more.

VD: Yes, that's right. At any rate, those tendencies and problems continued into the period when I chaired the Board. They ... nothing went away.

JB: Okay that's a good opening. What observations would you make from your years as chair of the Board of Trustees? That was a period in which certainly you were involved significantly in most major areas of concern for the University, you were involved with the key leaders, you were involved in the decision making process at the highest levels. With the perspective of a few intervening years now, what kind of observations would you make about those years with respect to the issues, how some of them were resolved or not resolved, with respect to some of the leadership you were with, the decision making process?

VD: That's a hard one. You know it's very hard to assess what you yourself have been involved in, very difficult. And the budget problems really overcame many other problems as looming as the highest priority issue. The problem with financial aid and the draw that financial aid put on the endowment fund when the endowment fund itself was in a state of flux, a state of change, so the -- there have been interesting initiatives made in the budget area, you have to turn that over.

JB: Not quite yet, we have a few minutes.

VD: Oh, okay. But there was a serious difficulty in trying to change the decision making through the budget process. There was serious effort made to do that, particularly with respect to getting revenues to the various the units of the University because they had never been there before. The budgets that various units submitted each year to the financial office were expense budgets. Nobody knew what bottom line they were aiming at. And I think that occupied (laughing) not only a lot of time and a lot of effort, but it created a lot of enmities in the process. There were all kinds of -- and I forget the details of it -- but all kinds of areas in which the -- trying to decide how to say this -- interdependencies, allocations, whatever of the budget process made it impossible to really analyze accountability, and that was the thing that we most wanted to increase. And I think that Ron Paprocki[43] and the other people involved in that effort did yeomen work in that period and the Board did think that Ron Paprocki was absolutely outstanding in the way he went about this. He was most objective and I ... I think that was generally accepted by the Board.

JB: What are some of the differences between the way the budget was determined and the way it is now determined to provide more accountability?

VD: Well, what, what the intent was to do was to make possible independent budgets for each unit of the University, that combined the revenues and expenses, and permitted a calculation of the contribution to the bottomline of the whole university. And that is easier said than done. The process of trying to get at that, requires changing linkages that have existed for generations, and so ...

JB: Linkages and attitudes.

VD: Absolutely, absolutely.

JB: That would certainly put a more managerial role, true managerial roles on the part of deans and department chairmen.

VD: Absolutely, than they have ever had before.

JB: Where they considered most of their concerns academic.

VD: And so there was a very long not only technically, technically driven set of things, issues because it was hard to do. You had to set up records and flows and all sorts of things. But you had to change attitudes and you had to educate people in what they could get out of this system. And so all those things have had to take place but it’s taken a decade to do. And

JB: And still not in place.

VD: No, it's not ultimately in place. Rochester was not alone in this. However, I think that a large number of universities had exactly the same problems.

JB: Well, even some of the giants which had huge endowments, Harvard and Yale, in particular ...

VD: That's right.

JB: ... have experienced problems

VD: They never had to worry about this. That gets to fundraising because everybody was having problems with their endowments. Endowments couldn't bear the burdens they were being charged with and Rochester was trying to get back to a 6% utilization rate and I think it was an 8% rate. That had all kinds of problems.

JB: That had jumped from what was originally 5% was it?

VD: I think it was started out as 5 and it had moved up to 8. But ... it was also 5% on a five year moving average that tended to lag and it was not -- it didn't move very -- it wasn't very responsive.

JB: Right.

VD: So, I think that is all part of what is happening now.

JB: The campaign, the large $375 million campaign, Ithink began officially while you were in office[44]

VD: (laughing) yes it did)

JB: Of course it had various beginnings before.

VD: We knew, we knew that we had to have a campaign. There was no doubt about that because you couldn't solve the problems of the University any other way. But one question was what size campaign could we mount? And there were all kinds of Litmus tests that we made. And that all happened while I was chairing the Board. And I believe the 375 million emerged as a brave goal at that time. And I think we're going to make it. We haven’t made it yet, but we have a little more time left. And so I hope we make it. It is not an easy goal despite the fact that many institutions are having billion dollar campaigns these days. I think 375 million when you don't have a single donor as we did in the twenties and thirties, early thirties is very difficult to raise, and requires a lot of organization and a lot of work by a lot of people. So ...

JB: Rochester's heritage in terms of generous giving on the part of the alumni has not been strong. We’ve had strong alumni but there has not been the kind of ...

VD: And, you know, I attribute that to George Eastman.[45]

JB: Oh yes!

VD: The way I attribute ... when I first graduated from this institution I used to get an annual letter that said as follows "We're having our usual annual campaign. If you'd like to give, this’ll tell you where to send it." And that was the end. We weren't really trying to raise money and ...

JB: There was no urgency...

VD: ...and, and we didn't need to because of George Eastman, and his gifts which were ... I don't know whether it's true or not, but rumor had it at those -- that time, that we had the highest endowment per student of any institution in the country.

JB: I heard those rumors, too.

VD: I can't assess it's validity, but that was the rumor. And so that really gave you no incentive to raise any more.

JB: I think that dynamic also had it's effect on the community of Rochester as well as the institution of Rochester. That's what I have referred to for some time as the “Let George Do It Theory'' it was especially notable at the Eastman School when I was there, but I've seen it also in a long term effect in local Boards and groups, arts groups, the theater, orchestra...

VD: Why, why would the University want to raise money?

JB: Well, so many people felt that the University, the Eastman School, the hospital, the Rochester Philharmonic, hospitals were all well...

VD: That's right.

JB: ...served; and it became for a number of the -- what I call, the wealthy families in Rochester--there wasn't any urgency for them to support in large amounts.

VD: Local institutions.

JB: So the habits became that some of the more wealthy families would join at the minimal patron level, so that they would have their names on the Art Gallery Board and the Philharmonic Board and more recently Geva Theater, but that there hasn't been the level of commitment in this community...

VD: I think that's true.

JB: ...that there has been in other communities.

VD: Whereas this community is better able to support such institutions as most communities. And it's kind of surprising, but that I think is true.

JB: How did you find the Board in your working with it? Or let's say how do you find it? You're not a voting member now, but did you find it a working Board? Were there some who worked harder than others?

VD: Yeah, there were some. I think any organization in history has some people who work harder than others and particularly it becomes notable in fund development. We had some people on that Board who were remarkably good givers and remarkably good raisers of funds. And then there are some other people, and I count myself in the latter group, who may be alright in the giving department, but are singularly unsuccessful in the fundraising.

And so, you get a little bit of both, and then you get some Board members who don't do either. But it's partly people's abilities. I think that fund development is a very specialized task. And you need to have people involved in it who are good at it, and so, and that's not everybody. In general, I think that probably dates back to that attitude about the fact that we didn't have to raise money. I think that the Rochester Board of Trustees has a record of not giving as much as other Boards of Trustees, but I think it's because nobody tried for many years. That stopped in the 80s. It stopped during a period when I was chairing the Board also, whereby the annual fund campaign carried a dollar tag of expectation. Because I think anybody who takes on the job of being a Board member has financial responsibility that goes with that. And so it’s been hard to persuade people that times have changed. But I think we're getting there; I truly do.

And so, I continue to work with Joe Mack.[46] I now work with the Senior and Life Trustees, and not the voting Trustees. Although I go to the voting Trustees meetings, which is an odd circumstance, I don't have a vote. But I ceased coming to Trustee meetings when I ceased being chairman, because I think it is wise when you are no longer in authority (laughing) to get out so that your successor can take over. And I did do that. And that was noticed by one Dennis O'Brien, who called me one day and asked about my coming and I said, “I see no reason why I should get in the way of my successor. I think that I have a good successor and he should run things his way and I am not going to come to any board meetings.” He said, “I think that's too bad. Your interest in the University hasn't stopped." And I said, "No it hasn't, but I don't have to come to Rochester in order to prove it."

So, at any rate, the next thing that I know was that the Board of Trustees voted in favor of a proposal from Dennis, that I sit in on the voting Trustee meetings and send out a note or a summary of the events to Senior and Life Trustees. So that's why I come to these meetings. I figured I'd better or something worse would happen.

JB: You're the correspondent.

VD: That's right, I'm the correspondent, Corresponding Secretary or something.

JB: Okay. Do you see the composition of the Board now as being different than it has been? Not so much in terms of individuals, but in terms of constituencies that they represent or their backgrounds or the expertise that they bring?

VD: I'm going to answer that in a funny way. When I retired from AT&T, I became a full-time corporate board member at a number of corporations, seven to be exact, which is too many. I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, but one of them was in Cleveland. Chief financial officer had been in Rochester for a long period of time, as a chief financial officer of a company in Rochester. And when I told him that I was on the Board of Trustees at the University of Rochester, he said, "Oh are you a member of the club?"And that was the first time I ever heard that. And so I did explore that a bit and it was his feeling and he thought it was the feeling of much of Rochester, that the Board of Trustees at the University was a club with certain traditional members and so forth, and that’s true. And I think that's changing, I truly do. So I think that the constituency of the Board has changed, and will change more. I think the industrial complex of the city of Rochester has changed and so some traditional memberships that went to various industrial companies no longer will automatically go. I think they should stay if there are people who are interested in the University and willing to put in the time and effort to do it.

JB: Just a poor form of membership is the problem.

VD: That's right, doesn't, doesn't do anything for the University.

JB: A few years back I heard some observations locally that the University's Board, like a number of other boards around town, namely corporate and bank boards, was a rather incestuous type of structure...

VD: That's the same thing...

JB: Each one having members on the board, interlocking members.

VD: So that probably fits the club idea. And I just don't think that's as true nor should it be as true as it was.

JB: What other kinds of issues did you find the board dealing with besides the financial?

VD: Well, and it probably has more to do with my background than anything else. The -- there are various aspects to this financial involvement. There were a number of investment issues that had come up nationwide that hadn't hit Rochester as early, but hit while I was involved in chairing the University. One of which was the South African issue[47]about whether university endowments should be invested in companies that have South African presences, presence and I felt very strongly, and I haven't changed my mind, that the people that gave money for that endowment did not expect later groups to put restrictions on the investment process. And so I was not in favor for a change, but the change took place. As I remember the students built a shanty town...

JB: Uh huh.

JB: front of the chapel so that the board members would have to walk (laughing) through the shanty town in order to get to lunch at one Trustee meeting. And I think that what has happened in South Africa has made this no longer an issue in the same sense.[48]

There is a question of timing, but that’s about all. But that was not an issue that was only being faced by universities, although it may have been a little more dramatic. It was also being faced by corporations and their investment process and their business decision making. And industry itself was all over the lot on that one. There was no universal feeling about it, but that was an issue and was typical of the kinds of issues that hit the University, but from outside. They weren't generated within the University. And those were not the only ones, there were some others. The-we had a flap just as (laughing) I became chair of the Board of Trustees about a Japanese student at the School of Management.

JB: The applicant from Fuji.[49]

VD: That's correct, that's correct. And that had started before I became involved. I caught up with it later, but it was a very messy business.

JB: It was a real albatross.

VD: It was an albatross, but it was less significant and should have been less significant than it turned out to be. I don't understand exactly how that happened. The ... ultimately that student was offered and accepted a place in M.I.T. and that also was messy. But I think that the issue that bothered most people, and I know it bothered me, in fact I went to see the president of the corporation who had caused the stir on that general topic and he didn’t exactly disagree with me either, was the fact of a corporation being able to influence a decision of the University. That was the big issue and I don’t think it will ever happen again, I truly don’t.

JB: That made it a character issue.

VD: That's right, and I just don't think anybody thought through all of the significance of the issue when it first came up and they reacted suddenly and it just messed everything up.

JB: I think part of the problem too was it happened at a time when key figures were out of town on vacation.

VD: Oh, there’s no question about that. That was absolutely true.

JB: The president was in Ireland, I think the Provost was out of town and there were various people were trying to connect in a rather disjointed fashion, in other words, if it had happened at another time they could have had a summit rather quickly and effectively and then worked with ...

VD: Face to face and made a better decision. But at any rate it was, it was kind of a mess. That was, that was not an issue, it was an episode.

JB: Yeah.

VD: Okay and ...

JB: It never really got defined very well nor did it ever get resolved very well.

VD: No, it went away because I don't know whether it would have gone away as rapidly if the student had come to Rochester. I think it might have lasted ...

JB: ... would have lingered more...

VD: Lingered during his entire stay, but the fact that he went to M.I.T., you could have forgot about it.

JB: It sort of finally went away as the cloud from Mount Saint Helen's eventually went away.

VD: Absolutely, absolutely, the air's disappeared, but ...

JB: In looking at let's say some broad strokes, as you have experienced the University and as you have observed it, who among its key leaders have you felt really did a great job?

VD: That is a difficult question. I feel more comfortable talking about Donald Gilbert because I knew him...

JB: Okay.

VD: ...than I do about any of the presidents and I knew them all. I met Valentine, I knew de Kiewiet, I knew Wallis, Sproull, O'Brien and I know Jackson. I think that Wallis and Sproull were the ones who set the University on a trend toward increasing research, increasing graduate education and increased technical superiority. [50] And I think, not necessarily because they willed it so, but because trends when they start can't be turned off so quickly, it was over done. And therefore their accomplishments are tinged by that.

O'Brien's was an attempt under difficult financial circumstances to reverse that, increase the community links, increase undergraduate education, but without the funds that would have been available 50 years earlier to make that transition a lot easier. But was done with difficult financial circumstances.

JB: Also had difficult leadership in the College of Arts and Science [51] )

VD: Oh yes, that's right that was, that was very difficult.

JB: That was wholly a state of flux ...

VD: I had forgotten about that.

JB: While he was in there and that's a key.

VD: And yes, that is the heart of the undergraduate and so ... That's interesting, I had completely forgotten about that, but that was an important issue. If the leadership in the College of Arts and Sciences could have been what it is now, life would have been a lot simpler. But I think Dennis was, was hurt partly by financial constraints and not his intent, but it was a response, it was not a new initiative, it was a response to a former initiative, and that's always secondary. I have a feeling that the leader we currently have is going to be the most important, more important than the ones I knew — and I -- Tom Jackson...

JB: Yes, why, why do you say that?

VD: I'm just impressed by him, by his view of the world, by his very practical attack on problems. [Lunch arrives-brief conversation] I just like the way he goes at problems; his personal approach to interrelationships is good and I think that's important in any institution that involves people -- and everything involves people ultimately. And I just think he could be very important to this University.

JB: What do you think the key issues are that he is going to have to face? Obviously the financial one is present and visible now, but what other things do you see lurking that he may well have to be very attentive to?

VD: He may have to worry, and I don't know this, that he doesn't let the trends that started during Dennis' time become over done, like I think happened somewhere in the Wallis-Sproull period.

JB: What, what trends would those be?

VD: Those are the tendency to increase the stress on undergraduate education and community linkages, and less involvement of graduate education relative to undergraduate. The problem with that is that if you let it go too far, you will undo some important things that were accomplished in the Wallis-Sproull period. What you're looking for is a balance.

JB: Many of the graduate programs that were strengthened really added strength to the University.

VD: Uh huh, uh huh.

JB: Particularly things like Political Science and English and some others.

VD: And you want to be sure that that isn't all wasted. And I think he is going to have to worry about that. But his most important problem at the moment is the demographic problem, I think.

JB: Still the admission problem...

JB: Still the demographic problem...

JB: And again the problem of not only getting students, able students, but able students who can pay. [52]

VD: That's right. (laughing) which is a particularly difficult time when the demographic profile is changing, and what you have is a lot of have-nots who are bright enough and should be in college and don't have the wherewithal to do it.

JB: As a resident of New York State, you are also aware of the relationship between the private education and public education and one of the problems that has been stated earlier is the financial wherewithal of the students in private institutions is in gross figures less than those attending state schools as measured by the median family incomes.

VD: But that's going, that is going to be handled in apeculiar way by the fact of the state deficit. The state deficit is going to require that the state do what it should have done long time ago and that is to increase tuitions,and so it will redress itself.

JB: More than token amounts.

VD: Yeah, that's right. I don't know what amounts are non-token, I really don't. But the student body tends to holler like a stuck pig at the very slightest tuition increase, and they’re just going to have to get used to it. But I think that's a very important issue.

JB: Well, there’s real gamesmanship now among the parents as the parents are helping students shop for schools that are economically advantageous.

VD: Well, you would never have a student do what I did, which was never go visit the institution, until I showed up as a freshman, incredible. When I look back on it I'm horrified.

JB: Well, it's a lot easier to travel.

VD: That's true, that's true. I had to take the train. Nobody flew. My sister, my younger sister [53] who is married to Dale Buley [54]

JB: Oh yes, I know Taise.

VD: ...and she flew. But there was enough difference in age between us that it was all right for her.

JB: But even driving is so much easier now. There are expressways and cars that are faster than they used to be.

VD: That's right.

JB: Did Taise come here partly because of your experience?

VD: I had a brother who almost came here, too. He had gotten a Genesee Scholarship. [55] He had never seen Rochester, but I obviously was enjoying it, so when he, he was three younger than I, he applied, got a Genesee Scholarship, which was no longer a full tuition scholarship, it was when I came, when I started. It was a half tuition scholarship when I finished, the ... but he got an appointment to the Naval Academy two weeks before he left for Rochester. [56] And so, therefore, he decided to go to the Naval Academy which was his first choice. In this case Rochester was fall back to an appointment to Annapolis, and so that's what he did, too. And Taise, it was just a kind of family tradition at that point, so she automatically applied.

JB: It's interesting about your brother, 'cause my daughter had an appointment to the Naval Academy. She turned it down and came to Rochester.

VD: Is that right?

JB: Yeah.

VD: Interesting.

JB: She still ended up as a Naval Officer.

VD: Did she go into the ROTC program?

JB: She recompeted and got an ROTC scholarship, actually turned out to be the first female distinguished midshipman in the graduating class. [57]

VD: Very good. I think that's very nice.

JB: Looking again at a broad scale, how do you see the University now in its existence? Do you see it as a successful place, a thriving place, a struggling place? And what do you see in terms of its future?

VD: Very difficult question to answer because there is a tendency when you are on a Board of Trustees or chair that Board Turstees to think only of the problems because that's what you'repaid to deal with or not paid to deal with. And

JB: Those are certainly what command your attention.

VD: That's right, absolutely. And ... I think that Rochester is in better shape than its trustees are allowed to think about. I think the mood of the students is better than it was five to ten years ago, in terms of their feeling about the University. And I think that's very important for succeeding generations. I think the actions to correct the endowment investment policy are beginning to bear fruit. [58] I think that some of the initiatives, such as the Meliora Grants, are very innovative. [59] And I think that that may do the job to adress some of the financial aid problems, in combination with the state budgets and things, and increased tuition at universities, the state schools. So I see a lot of positive things emerging. I think one of Rochester's strengths is and has been it's faculty. I think it has a fine faculty and I think that it's important that nothing that we do to correct other problems impinges on that and makes the faculty feel any less valuable. I think faculties are dificult to deal with. A statement I have made over recent years is that ''I would never have lasted in academia. I like corporate decision processes much better than the need to build consensus (JB laughing) for every damn thing you want to do." Which is what I found to be the University decision process or lack thereof. It is very easy not to make decisions in the university setting. And ... but I think that's tragic, because you have to make decisions and start initiatives and move on things.

JB: You have to include the faculty in the decision-making process, but including them does increase the need for consensus.

VD: Because they think that they are the university and that the administration is secondary to the faculty. And I don't necessarily think that is exactly true. You can't run a university, nobody will admit to that better than, more than I will, that you can't run a university without a top­notch faculty and that that faculty is all important. But the leadership skills that come out of a fine administration are tremendously important as well.

JB: In a way they have to protect the faculty as well as (laughing) keep them in line.

VD: That's right, I mean you've got to curry favor with them and I think that's a shame. You should be able to make decisions and move on.

JB: Do you think the tenure environment has outlived its usefulness?

VD: Yes! And I think it's a dead dodo.

JB: A dead dodo, in what regard?

VD: It just doesn't know it's dead.

JB: Okay.

VD: Okay? The problem is with tenure, that when you reach a period such as the one the one we are currently going through, in which some very basic changes have to be made in a university setting; tenure is an inflexibility, has an inflexibility about it that makes that whole process much tougher. What good does it do you to decide that a department is obsolete, not in demand, no longer necessary to a university, if you got a fully tenured (laughing) faculty? It doesn't accomplish anything for you to cut out that department, you still have the faculty.

JB: Well, you mentioned earlier budgetary process there was a need to increase accountability and when you have tenure, you have a large part of the population for which there is ...

VD: No accountability.

JB: Lack of accountability.

VD: That's right. And you need to be able to have your faculty responsive to incentive packages for early retirement. That's what industry has been doing for ten years now. And right at the moment they’re totally insensitive to it. If they like teaching and they like the way they feel, they are just going to stay there. And it's terrible.

JB: I think as one who worked at a university for many years in various administrative roles and I also served as an academic adviser at both graduate and undergraduate levels, in looking at my role vis a vis faculty, I guess I always felt I was vulnerable. If I didn't continue to produce and continue to stay ...

[brief interruption for a lighting issue]

VD: But the purpose of that was we have, I still have an office at A T&T and I don't use it very often. It's in a very inconvenient place and so they have something similar to that that's a little different.

[conversation about the lighting issue]

JB: Well, to get back to the tenure thing. Do you think if it could be...well let me change that question. Do you think that there is any chance, in the foreseeable future, that the tenure system at University of Rochester, perhaps in the academic world, can be changed, will be changed?

VD: Or should be changed.

JB: I think you've already said it should be changed (laughing).

VD: Yeah, it should be changed. They ... whether or not it will be, John, is difficult to say and I don't think I'm the person who can say it, 'cause it has to be somebody who is in University administration who can have some influence on events.

JB: It would certainly have to be led by to have credibility, it would have to, a movement would have to led by faculty members who have tenure.

VD: Yes, probably deans. Because deans tend to have tenure. They come out of the tenured faculty, so they can return to the tenured faculty. And so they know what tenure is about and yet they can see the problem that it creates, when you're trying to make adjustments and ... so I think maybe deans are what you need. But I certainly can't predict whether those changes will take place in an orderly fashion. I really can't. I know what I would like to see, but that's a whole different world.

JB: Are there any other observations you would like make, to offer up for historical perspective, any senses about the University or the people within it?

VD: I really don't think so, but in case I haven't said it somewhere on this tape, I have always thought of the University as a fine institution in which I have every reason to be proud of the education I had here. And that's a very important perspective from which to make whatever comments I've made. I think its problems, that they're facing right now, are probably no worse than other institutions are facing of the same broad scale. And I think that the current leadership, I am very happy with, as I think you probably have gathered. So I'm all positive.

JB: Well, I thank you very much. I would take issue with only one thing you said. You indicated that you didn't see yourself as much of a fund raiser.

VD: (laughs) The world’s worst!

JB: I have seen some evidence that you have been more influential in that regard than you may, than you may think.

VD: That may be true, John, but if it's true it's accidental and not by intent because I don't have a natural capacity and I truly mean that.

JB: We thank you very much.

VD: You're welcome.

JB: This has been very enjoyable and certainly your service to the University has been extraordinary.

VD: I’ve enjoyed it. I've enjoyed everything about it.

[1] Ms. Dwyer belonged to Theta Eta (Interpres Class of 1943, 54. [RBSC]: Online).

[2] Ms. Dwyer participated in Glee Club in 1940 (Croceus Class of 1941, 134. [RBSC]: Online).

[3] At various times, Ms. Dwyer belonged to the Executive Committee, Investment Committee, and the Personnel Committee. She also served on the Visiting Committee for the Graduate School of Business and the School of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering (“Virginia Dwyer, Distinguished University Trustee, Dies.” University of Rochester press release, October 1,1997

[4] Ms. Dwyer joined the Board of Trustees in 1979. She was later designated a Senior trustee (1991-1997) and Life trustee (1997) (ibid).

[5] Ms. Dwyer’s hometown (ibid).

[6] Dwyer was a Genessee Scholar. These scholarships, inaugurated in 1932, went to a maxiumum of twenty admitted students from outside of Rochester in each entering class. At the time of Dwyer's admission, Genessee Scholars received a full-tuition remission (May, History 1968).

[7] The Women’s campus operated separately on Prince Street until 1955, when the two campuses merged (May, History 1968).

[8] Duke operated a Women’s College at its original site in Durham until 1972, when the Women’s College merged with Trinity College, the liberal arts unit of Duke University (“Duke University: A Brief Narrtive History.” Duke University Libraries. William E. King, University Archivist. 1972-2002. <a href "">

[9] Dwyer earned an economics degree in 1943, and completed her master’s degree in economics in 1953 (“Virginia Dwyer, Distinguished University Trustee, Dies.” University of Rochester press release, October 1, 1997 <a href="">

[10] Donald Gilbert, University of Rochester class of 1921, shone as both a teacher and an administrator. He began teaching economics in 1922, and he accomplished a pair of firsts—first president of the faculty club and first head of the Canadian Studies program. In addition to his work in economics, he occupied multiple administrative positions. He served as Dean of Graduate Studies, and beginning in 1942, Dean of the Graduate School. In 1948, he became the first University Provost. From that position, he led the University for a year in the absence of the president of the University, Alan Valentine. He served as vice-president for University Development from 1948-1957 (May, History 1968). 

[11] Dr. Charles W. Watkeys was a member of the Class of 1901. From 1908 to 1946, he was a professor of mathematics at the University of Rochester. He married one of his students (Ollie Antoinette Braggins, Class of 1908, who worked for a time as an assistant in the Mathematics Department) and was involved in curricular reforms. Many of his former students fondly recall the discussion groups he held at his home, which featured prominent speakers from the University and community.

[12] Dexter Perkins enjoyed one of the most productive scholarly careers among faculty of the University of Rochester department of history. A faculty member from 1914-1954, Perkins published seventeen books. Following his retirement from Rochester, he was the first John L. Senior Professor of American Civilization at Cornell University. He has contributed an interview to the Living History project (“Dexter Perkins.” Living History Project. [RBSC]: Online).

[13] Dr. John Rothwell Slater was a popular English professor who came to UR in 1905 and chaired the department from 1908 to 1942, when he retired. He also wrote the inscriptions found on the facade of Rush Rhees Library and played the chimes, which were located in the Rush Rhees tower prior to the introduction of the carillon. His papers are available in Rush Rhees Library Rare Books and Special Collections.

[14] As a sophomore in 1941 (Interpres Class of 1942. 124. [RBSC]: Online).

[15] Emily Gilbert, Class of 1946, earned a degree in sociology (University of Rochester commencement program, 1946. [RBSC]: Online).

[16] Opened in 1939 on the Prince Street Campus, this dormitory included several amenities, among them a reception room, a sunbathing area on the roof, a library, and a dining area. It was used as a men’s dormitory following the 1955 merger of the men’s and women’s campuses (May, History 1968).

[17] A Rhodes Scholar who specialized in British and intellectual history, Willson H. Coates taught at the University of Rochester from 1925 to 1956. He founded, and served as the inaugural editor of the Journal of British Studies, a leading academic periodical in the field. Both during and after his academic career, he was a prominent Rochester community leader. He served on the National War Labor Board, formed during World War II, and chaired Rochester’s Police Advisory Board from 1965 to 1970. (May, History 1968; “Wilson H. Coates Papers.” collections description, [RBSC]: Online).

[18] Lyrics from the traditional English folk song “With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm” also known as “Anne Boleyn.” (“Anne Boleyn.” Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics. <a href="">

[19] Dennis O’Brien was the eighth President of the University, serving from 1984 to 1994.

[20] Alan Valentine, fourth president of the University of Rochester, 1935-1950.

[21] For an account of this reception, see George Mullen’s interview, Living History Project. [RBSC]: Online. <a href="">http://livinghistory.

[22] Valentine and his family lived in the George Eastman house from 1935 to 1947 (“History of George Eastman House.” George Eastman House. 2000-2015. <a href="">http://www.eastmanhouse.

[23] Ann Carlton Logan received her BA in English in 1943. Despite her difficulties passing gym class, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa (University of Rochester commencement program Class of 1943. [RBSC]: Online. 4).

[24] The group included at least eight members each year. In his history of the University, Arthur May calls the Marsiens “the most influential undergraduate organization at the women’s campus” (May, 1968). Its male counterpart, the Keidaeans, became a co-educational group in 1971, and continues to function as the campus honorary society today (“The Keidaeans, 1924-1975.” collections description, [RBSC]: Online).

[25] Dean Janet Howell Clark was the third dean of the College for Women, serving from 1938 to 1952 (May, History 1968).

[26] Ms. Dwyer worked as a clerk with the Western Electric Company upon graduation. By the time she moved to AT&T in 1972 she was chief economist at Western Electric. She retired in 1986 (“Virginia A. Dwyer, 76, Former AT&T Executive.” New York Times October 3, 1997).

[27] Ms. Dwyer earned her master’s degree in economics from NYU in 1953 (ibid).

[28] Dean of the School of Business (now called the Simon School), 1964-1983. William Meckling retired as James E. Gleason Distinguished Scholar in Management and Government Policy in 1983. Under his stewardship, the business school added a Ph.D. program and created the Center for Research in Government Policy and Business, now known as the Bradley Policy Research Center. He retired to Rancho Santa Fe, California (“Meckling, former Simon Dean, Dies.” Currents 26 (June 15, 1998): np. University of Rochester. 1998. <a href="">

[29] Paul W. MacAvoy succeeded Meckling. MacAvoy’s career began at the University of Chicago, where he was assistant professor of economics (1960-1963). He then joined the faculty of MIT, and came to Rochester from Yale University, where he had been Frederick William Beinecke professor of economics (1976-1982). MacAvoy also had extensive experience in public policy, including as a member of President Gerald R.Ford’s Council of Economic Advisors. He oversaw the naming of the William E. Simon School of Business Adminsitration and concluded his tenure in 1990 (“GSM Dean.” Rochester Review (Summer 1983): 19. [RBSC]: Online; “Paul W. MacAvoy.”

[30] Dr. Robert L. Sproull served as President and CEO of the University from 1970 to 1984.

[31] The Laboratory for Laser Energetics opened in 1970, under the direction of Moshe Lubin, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering (UR LLE: 40 Years of Excellence 1970-2010. 2011. 1-3).

[32] According to one report, during the 1970s Rochester claimed the third largest endowment in the country, trailing only Harvard University and the University of Texas (Lerner, Josh, Antoinette Schoar, and Jialan Wang. “Secrets of the Academy: The Drivers of University Endowment Success.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 22.3 (2008): 207-8).

[33] Vice president for investments Richard Greene retired in 2000, having spent fourteen years with the University of Rochester (“Vice president for Investments is Named.” Currents 28 (August 28, 2000): np. University of Rochester.1999-2004. <a href="">

[34] Hulbert Tripp (Class of 1958) worked in finance for the University of Rochester from 1941 to 1965. During his career, he managed the University’s investments so effectively that he was “ranked with the foremost university financiers in the entire country.” His success enabled him to rise from assistant treasurer—the position for which he was hired in 1941--to vice president for finance by 1954. After leaving the University, Tripp was named senior vice president for First National City Bank of New York, and served on the Board of Trustees of the University of Rochester(May, History 1968).

[35] Juan Trippe founded and led Pan American World Airways from 1927 to 1968. He remained chairman of the Board until 1975 (“Juan Trippe, 81, Dies; U.S. Aviation Pioneer.” New York Times April 4, 1981. <a href="">

[36] W. Allen Wallis was the sixth President of the University, serving from 1962 to 1970, and then served as Chancellor (a post unique to him) 1970-1978.

[37] Thomas Jackson was the ninth President of the University of Rochester, 1994-2005. He oversaw the Renaissance Plan, part of which attempted to address the enrollment concerns Ms. Dwyer referenced (“Presidents of the University.” Office of the President, University of Rochester).

[38] Terry Duncan Giles (Class of 1966, MBA) (University of Rochester commencement program, Class of 1966. 23. [RBSC]: Online).

[39] Gerald Mark Katz (Class of 1970) earned a BS degree with distinction, in management science (University of Rochester commencement program, Class of 1970. 35. [RBSC]: Online).

[40] J. Paul Hunter, Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Rochester from 1981 to 1987 (“J. Paul Hunter Named Director of Chicago Humanities Institute.” University of Chicago Press Release. June 5, 1996.
; “News Digest.” Rochester Review (Winter 1979-1980): 22. [RBSC]: Online).

[41] In their current format, Dean’s Teaching Fellowships support early or mid-career professors with a two-year stipend and seminar series. The program culminates with each fellow completing an educational research project suitable for publication or presentation at the national level (“Call for Applications: 2015-2017 Dean’s Teaching Fellowship Program.” Online).

[42] Since 1937, the Lilly Foundation has managed an endowment of the family of Eli Lilly, founder of Eli Lilly pharmaceuticals. The endowment supports initiatives in education, religion, and community development (“The Endowment.” Lilly Endowment. 2014. <a href="">http://www.lillyendowment.

[43] Ronald Paprocki earned both his undergraduate degree (Class of 1969) and MBA from the University of Rochester. He has worked at the University since graduation, first in academic support, and later in a number of administrative positons. As CFO since 2000, he has overseen community-campus cooperative programs including the Brooks Landing housing and retail complex, College Town, and the University Home Ownership Incentive Program, designed to encourage employees to live in the 19th Ward neighborhood (“Ron Paprocki to Retire After 45 Years Working at the University.” University of Rochester press release, May 19, 2015. <a href="">

[44] The five year “Campaign for the 90s” concluded in June, 1996, having surpassed its initial goal of $375 million in funds raised by generating a total of $421 million (“150 Years of Support.” Kathleen McGarvey. Rochester Review 74.2 (November-December 2011): 37. [RBSC]: Online).

[45] Eastman’s philanthropic contributions to the University of Rochester, M.I.T., and historically black colleges are legendary. As of 1924, he had contributed $30 million of his own fortune to the University of Rochester, M.I.T., Hampton University, and the Tuskegee Institute (“George Eastman.” Kodak. <a href="">

[46] Joe Mack, Class of 1955, was CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi Advertising. His contributions to alumni affairs culminated in his chairmanship of the Sesquicentennial Celebration in 2000, for which he received the James S. Armstrong Alumni Award for Service to the University. He was elected to the Board of Trustees in 1991, and is now a University Life Trustee (“Mack Honored for Sesqui Work.” Rochester Review 63.2-3 (Winter-Spring 2001): np. [RBSC]: Online; “New Trustees Join University Board.” Rochester Review (Fall 1991): 32.[RBSC]: Online).

[47] Ms. Dwyer refers to the policy of racial segregation known as Apartheid, first imposed in South Africa in 1948 and terminated in 1994 (“The History of Apartheid in South Africa.” CS 201. Monal Chokshi et. al. Stanford University. 1995. <a  href="">http://www-cs-students.

[48] The Board of Trustees voted to discontinue a six year period of restricting endowment investments in South Africa on October 22, 1993 (University of Rochester press release, October 25, 1993. <a href="">

[49] After initially extending an offer of admission to Fuji employee Tsuneo Sakai,the Graduate School of Management withdrew its acceptance to honor a request by Kodak. Sakai subsequently enrolled in the Sloan School of Management at M.I.T. (“Kodak-Fuji Rivalry Over Business Takes an Academic Turn.” Lee A. Daniels New York Times August 29, 1987. <a href="">

[50] Graduate student enrollment doubled during Wallis’ tenure (Craig Linder.“Crisis of Confidence: Unrest among the University of Rochester’s Faculty 1966-1969.” Sesquicentennial Essays. [RBSC]: Online. <a href="">

[51] Three different men—Dr. J. Paul Hunter, Dr. Jack A. Kampmeier, and Dr. Richard N. Aslin--served as Dean of Arts and Science during O’Brien’s tenure (University of Rochester commencement programs [RBSC]: Online).

[52] For an account of the University of Rochester’s response to the financial and enrollment challenges at the beginning of the Jackson presidency see John R.Hayes. “Economics 101.” Forbes 155.2 (Jan 16, 1995): np. Online).

[53] Marie Therese Dwyer Buley, Class of 1954, graduated with a BS in nursing (University of Rochester commencement program, Class of 1954. 12. [RBSC]:Online).

[54] Dale Victor Buley, Class of 1954, graduated with a BA in economics (Universityof Rochester commencement program, Class of 1954. 7. [RBSC]: Online).

[55] First awarded in 1932, these scholarships went to a maximum of twenty students from outside of Rochester in each entering class (May, History 1968).

[56] Jack Dwyer (“Virginia Dwyer, Distinguished University Trustee, Dies.” University of Rochester press release, October 1, 1997 <a href="">

[57] Betsy Braund Boyd, Class of 1983 (Rochester Review (Winter 1986-1987): 39. [RBSC]: Online).

[58] For a summary of the performance of the endowment in the years after Ms. Dwyer’s interview, see (“Growing the Rochester Endowment.” Scott Hauser. University of Rochester Office of Institutional Resources. <a href="">https://www.rochester.

[59] Former University president Thomas Jackson introduced the Meliora grants, which provided $5,000 tuition scholarships to students from New York State, and did not affect additional need-based aid (“University Announces New $5,000 “Meliora Grant.” University of Rochester press release, October 24, 1994. <a href="">