Mercer Brugler

Alumnus, Trustee

Mercer Brugler

43 minutes
Jack A. End
Interview/Event Date: 
ca. 1971
Biographical note: 

Mercer Brugler (1904-1999) was a Life Trustee of the University and chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1967-1970. Brugler was a former president and chairman of Pfaudler Co., which was bought by Sybron Corp. in 1968. He stayed on as a board member until 1974 when he retired after almost 50 years with the company. He also served as a board member for Xerox Corp., the YMCA of Greater Rochester, the former Lincoln First Bank, and the former McCurdy & Co. Inc., and was a past president of the Greater Rochester Metro Chamber of Commerce Inc. Brugler graduated from the University in 1925 and from Harvard Business School the following year. While at Rochester, he played both football and basketball and was captain of the basketball team in his senior year. Active in University and alumni affairs, Brugler also was a dedicated fund-raiser for the University. In 1979, Rochester established the Mercer Brugler Distinguished Teacher Professorship in his honor following a $600,000 gift from Sybron along with gifts from him and his wife, Bernice Whitham Brugler '25. (from Currents)

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JE: Mercer, the, University of Rochester is vastly different now from it was like when you were a student here, and you’ve been continuously associated with the University in one capacity or another from your student days to the present, and so have had an opportunity to observe its development practically on a day-to-day basis for many years. What do you think have been some of the more important changes in the University during that period?

MB: Well, first of all, we have now much better facility, arrangements. The old campus on University Avenue was very limited, a smaller student body. Now we have on our new campus at Oak Hill much improved facilities, much better athletic facilities, study hall facilities, a larger and improved library, and in all respects one of the big changes in – are the improved facilities that I’ve mentioned.

‘Course the variety of courses has been expanded. We have now the emphasis on separate colleges, like the College of Engineering, the College of Education, and now our Graduate School of Management. We didn’t have those emphasis – type of emphasis back in the twenties when I went to the University, we had courses in economics and, we had courses in engineering and the like, but we didn’t have the concentration and emphasis that we have now through the separate colleges. The... we have a broader now – a broader range of professorial talent. The number of distinguished professors we have now are larger than those that we had in the twenties. There were some great professors in the twenties that I recall: Dr. Packard[1], Professor Slater, Havens[2], and, many others of that caliber. I was an art student with a major in English, so that I’m not as familiar with the chemistry and technical faculty but Chambers[3] was a great man in chemistry. So we have – we had great men then in our professorial group and we have – but we have more now, and a wider, range of, studies and activities.

So that, those three things, I think – the facilities, the broader range of studies, and the, larger number of distinguished professors – are three elements of change in the present-day University over, what they were before. We had quality, back in the twenties, but on a much smaller scale.

JE: And you’ve been a trustee of the University since 1953 and Chairman of the Board from 1967 to I think 1970.

MB: Was, uh – let’s see – yes, 1970, right.

JE: Now, in your judgment and experience during that time, did you feel that faculty, students, alumni, and other interested bodies really understood the function of the Board of Trustees?

MB: No, I don’t think they did. And we, had a number of elements in the University that thought the trustees should be getting into the details of administration and even into the details of, academic supervision and of curriculum. The trustees tried to explain that that was not our function, that our function was primarily to, really to elect the President and to be sure that, he was doing a good job and the way we did that was through close contact with the University and auditing various activities there, and letting the administration do the administering and letting the faculty handle the academic matters, and we not interfering with the details.

In other words, we were not administering and we had, concern over the broad policy matters of the University which are obvious when you establish a – well, for example, moving the, campus initially back in the twenties up to Oak Hill was a broad policy matter that the trustees had to consider. And the merger of the women’s and men’s campuses later. And then the, the establishments of the [clears throat] (excuse me) College of the Engineering, Education, and Management were, policy matters that the trustees decided. The institution of our financial campaigns, the first campaign to merge the women’s – well, the first campaign going back when we moved the campus from the University up to Oak Hill in the twenties, and then the merger of our – the women’s and the men’s campus, I think that campaign occurred in the fifties, and the Greater University Campaign, which just finished, occurred in the sixties, so the institution decision about those campaigns went through the Board of Trustees.

So those broad policy matters are concerns of the trustees. And the trustees’ function is, large – to a large extent fiduciary, it’s our function as trustees to safeguard the assets of the University, to be sure that it’s in sound and solid and healthy condition financially, and then supplement that by efforts to raise money to be sure that the, University has a source of incoming funds. Uh, and those broad ma – those broad, wide policy decisions and activities are really what the trustees are supposed to do, and not to administer the University.

But we, after choosing a President, we certainly should back him, but we also should be in a position to evaluate the results of his administration to see how the faculty’s been built up, the caliber of our students, the nature of our studies. And, the trustees can do this by attending University affairs as participants, and as observers. We do it, by having faculty come and talk to us at – on the occasion of our trustees’ meetings. And one excellent way we do this so-called auditing is through the Visiting Committees, where trustees, along with administration and the deans and some students, visit the various, segments of the University, talk with them, have meetings with them, dinner meetings, all-day seminars to find out, their programs and problems and to inform us about what’s going on in their divisions. For example, there’s a Visiting Committee for the College of Arts and Science, there’s a Visiting Committee for the College of Engineering, for the College of Education, for the Graduate School of Management, for the Medical Center, for the Eastman School of Music, and then there’s a Student Affairs Visiting Committee. These Visiting Committees have been very helpful in giving the trustees an opportunity to see elements of the University that effect, uh – sorry – reflect on its quality and its progress. These, activities of the Visiting Committees are going to really be expanded and become more intensified in the future. And in some cases we’re bringing outsiders in, outside, deans and educators from other institutions in the areas that the Visiting Committees are concerned about to sit in with us and give an outside point of view and outside experience on what’s going on within our University.

So I talked at some length about the fact that trustees do not administer the details of the University, we do not manage the academic affairs, we do not control student activities, we let those things, be in the hands of the people who are properly prepared and competent to handle them, like the administration and the faculty and the student leadership. But we keep informed of what’s going on, so that we’re able to, advise when we’re asked or able to make policy decisions that affect elements of the University where faculty, administration, and students, uh may make recommendations or may be involved.

JE: Well, you talked a little bit about, the election or the, appointment of a, an executive head of the University, which is one of the jobs of the trustees, among others. Um, once he is appointed, what do you think the relationship should be between the Board of Trustees and the head of the University?

MB: Well, the relationship should be very – a very close one. And this relationship is accomplished first of all by the trustees, meeting three times a year in a group, and the trustees are composed of active trustees, honorary trustees who’ve served out their years of service and have reached the age of seventy and become honorary although they are urged to remain active and they are on our active committees, and then we have the Trustees’ Council, which is composed of alumni, twenty-five alumni representative from all over the United States who are appointed and designated to sit in with a portion of the trustees’ meetings that we hold three times a year. Now, at those trustee meetings, those three-times-a-year trustee meetings, the President – the first thing on the program is for the President to give his report. In this case, as with our set-up at Rochester, the Chancellor[4] gives his report, and then the Chancellor calls on, the President, Bob Sproull – now Wallis is Chancellor – will speak, then he’ll call on Bob Sproull to speak and amplify and supplement his remarks. So that there’s one way that the trustees keep in close touch with the President.

JE: Supposing they disagree with the President’s ideas?

MB: Well, there’s a debate. There’s debate, in the Board of Trustees. Let me go a little farther and tell you where a little more active, intimate, and more frequent contact is made between the trustees and the President and the Chancellor, and that’s in the Executive Committee. There’s an Executive Committee of eleven people. We meet – eleven trustees. We meet, once a month. And we meet, and our meetings go from two to three to four hours. And at that time there is plenty of debate and plenty of, differences of opinion and expressions of opinion. Uh, so that, and there are occasions when, I know I’m, without going to a formal vote and taking a count, I know that the expressions made by trustees in the Executive Committee meetings have had influence on the President and the Chancellor and their subsequent activities.

JE: Well, how about the Chairman of the Board of Trustees? Now, you were, first of all, a member of the Board of Trustees and eventually Chairman, so you’ve had the experience of being both. Um, what . . . influence does the Chairman have, both on the – either the Chancellor or the President before there was a Chancellor. And also what influence, does the Chairman have on the Executive Committee and eventually the Board of Trustees?

MB: Good. Good question. Well, I know just from my own experience. I was a trustee for many years and then I was Chairman of the Executive Committee for – oh, I forget, maybe two or three years or so before, I became Chairman of the Board. So that, as Chairman of the Executive Committee, I was in close contact with the President and, frequently, I would go to his office an hour before the meeting, and find out what was on the agenda and discuss it, and, at those meetings, I’d have opinions that, I would express. They wouldn’t always necessarily be exactly in line with his point of view and nor would his opi – his point of view be in line with my comments. But we would have an interchange of ideas and a good healthy difference of opinion on occasion. But, generally when we went back into the Executive Committee, to the meeting, we pretty much saw eye-to-eye on the broad policies, and, in those cases, the Executive Committee was given the benefit of my comments as well as the President’s comments so that, I’d – at that time as Chairman of the Executive Committee, there was an opportunity to have some influence on and to be informed by the opinions of the President.

That carried over to the Chairmanship of the Board. And, before the, Executive Committee meetings, I would try to ask the Chairman of the Executive Committee to sit in with the President and me before the meetings to go over the agendas, uh – the agendas were sent out in advance and if there was certain items that looked to be problematical, the three of us would meet. That would be the President, the Chairman of the Executive Committee, and, myself. The Chairman of the Executive Committee when I was Chairman of the Board was Don Gaudion, so that, uh . . . then, when, Bob Sproull came, as Provost and then subsequently as President, the four of us would sit down. It would be, Wallis, Sproull, Gaudion, and myself. We would sit down not every month but on special occasions when the agenda appeared to have some items that, could be controversial or could require more explanation. We would sit down ahead of those meetings. Then there were frequent occasions when [W.] Allen and I had lunch together to talk over various special problems that arose so that there was close contact between I would say the – my contacts with Allen when I was Chairman of the Board were at least twice a month, and, on an average, except for the summer months when the college wasn’t in session, so that there was close, close contact there.

JE: I want to go back a little bit, when Dr. de Kiewiet came here. He had some rather innovative ideas as to how the University should be run. Um, and at that time, as a member of the Board and, Joseph Wilson[5] is, Chairman, what was – how did this work out in that era? Was Mr. Wilson in agreement with, Dr. de Kiewiet or the Board in agreement or disagreement? Was there any conflict there?

MB: Jack, I don’t think I can answer that adequately. Uh – I wasn’t as active at that time during de Kiewiet’s, period of presidency. At that time Ray Ball[6], Joe Wilson, and de Kiewiet were really the three key people. Uh, Marion Folsom was Chairman of the Executive Committee during a good bit of that time. So that, I wasn’t as intimately involved with the de Kiewiet regime as I was with the, Wallis and Sproull regime. So, I can’t answer that in detail. I know there was – I sense there was some controversy, in the, University between the President and some of the deans and some of the faculty. And I know Joe was very concerned about that. And Joe, bless his heart, is a . . . is a wonderful, thoughtful executive and considerate, and I’m sure that, he helped hold together the University during any controversial times that could’ve exploded or enlarged into a real serious crisis. So, I really can’t give you any more detail than to say that it was a period of Ray Ball, Joe Wilson, Marion Folsom, de Kiewiet. And, all very competent people. All with, very definite ideas and good thinking. And they held the University together during a very important decade there when the women’s campus was moved to the men’s college and, that was a time of controversy in itself, among alumni themselves. So that, uh – that’s about all I can say about that era, Jack.

JE: Well, obviously, the – what they did worked out all for the best and apparently it was the four of them and all the other people involved that did a good job.

MB: They did a good job. Those four handled the University’s affairs during that decade in excellent fashion. And who was Chairman of the Board prior to – Ray Ball was.

JE: Ray Ball.

MB: Yeah, so that he and, and Joe and Marion Folsom and de Kiewiet did a great job. Then they had great help from people like LeRoy Thompson and, Ray Thompson and, Bert Tripp[7] and, other competent deans and administrators.

JE: Now you mentioned alumni, and you’ve always been active in alumni affairs and fundraising, spokesmanship, and so on. Do you believe that an alumni body contributes greatly to the welfare of the University?

MB: Oh yes.

JE: If so, in what way?

MB: Oh yes. An alumni body is oft – very important. It’s, a source of, it’s a source of funds for the University because, but the alumni are a source of support for the University financially because they realize that when they were in college their tuition only paid a part of their costs.

JE: Well -

MB: And they feel – so that, from the point of view of financial support that’s great, and also –

JE: Is that really a big thing? I mean, in terms of dollars that’s more – rather a small percentage of, what the University receives from foundations and grants.

MB: Yes, it’s – it may not be big in itself but it’s continuous. I mean, every year you’re getting – what are we getting, four to five hundred thousand dollars? Uh, what’s – what is that, that’s five percent on ten million endowment, isn’t it?

JE: Mmm-hmm.

MB: I mean, if my arithmetic’s correct – I’m without a pencil and paper – but it’s about that. But that comes in, it’s steady, it’s continuous, and it’s a very important source of funds. But that – I don’t want to put a dollar sign on our alumni. Uh, they’re very helpful in interpreting the University to the community. We have a large alumni body here in Rochester. Through this Trustees’ Council and through a number of alumni meetings, they know what’s going on at the University. They hear the President report three times a year to them and the Chancellor. Uh, they get an opportunity of finding out what – all about the activities and – through the Trustees’ Council they’re parts of the Visiting Committees so that they, get a chance to see what’s going on. Alumni have meetings and they’re addressed by administrators and professors. Uh, alumni have an opportunity of asking questions and making criticisms. Um, and they get answered up at the campus through their meetings and councils. So that it’s very important to have somebody interpret to our Rochester community some of the goings-on at the University. It’s, one must realize that a University and its atmosphere of freedom of thought and freedom of speech and freedom of challenging existing axioms, so to speak, sometimes it’s misunderstood down on Main Street in the business community. But the alumni – informed alumni, many of them are well informed, and there’s many – plenty of opportunities for them being well informed – can interpret, the University to the community. So that’s – that’s one, second function.

A third very important function is recruiting good students for us. Sam Havens[8] at Chicago, trustee and alumnus, many – brought some wonderful students from our Chicago group. George [Malley?][9] in Boston is doing a wonderful job in recruiting, so that, recruiting – encouraging competent students to come to the University is one of the very important functions that, alumni can perform. So that, they’re just three things that occur to me offhand here, they’re probably other important functions but those three are very significant and very helpful to the University.

JE: Uh, you mentioned, service to the community and the role, the alumni play in this. How do you personally feel about, University service to the community? You think that the University is doing enough in this area?

MB: Oh, I do think so. Um, here again I, being sort of financially-oriented, my – and I hesitate always to put that first because it isn’t necessarily first in my mind but the University is a large employer in the city. I think it’s the third or fourth largest employer. It feeds considerable benefit materially into the city. Uh, also through its, night school and University School provides an opportunity for young people already employed to come up and get added studies. Uh, Rochester Institute of Technology does – has – performs the same service for the community in that respect, as the University does. We have this executive development program, for example, where, with the cooperation of a man’s employer or a woman’s employer, the student can come to the University and, get a Master’s degree, for example, in business administration, while they’re working!

Um, also, one of the big benefits that the community receives from the University is we – that we bring in competent students from all over the country and really from all over the world and – because I think of our total graduate student body, I think several hundred are graduate students from abroad. But at any rate the important thing is that we bring a large number of students from outside of New York State and outside of Rochester. I think, eighty percent or even a little more of our students come from outside the Rochester area. All right, these students come into Rochester. They study. Uh, many of them work here during their summers. They – many of them find they like the community, the business atmosphere, the cultural atmosphere. So they stay here. So what in effect happens is that the University is importing able, citizens to the, city and the area and thereby enriching it in many ways.

So, also the professors are called upon to visit, um, various civic affairs and, civic organizations and clubs and contribute to the cultural life of the city. The, it’s obvious the benefits that the Medical Center gives to the city through training doctors and having a hospital there which, takes care of many, many patients of all kinds, of all varieties, of all incomes levels, I think are – we’re the largest element of taking care of inner-city emergency cases, for example. Well, it’s obvious also that the music school, brings a cultural element into the community. The students there provide free recitals all the time for, people who want to attend in Kilbourn Hall or even over in the Eastman Theater. Uh, the, the various, specialized schools, the College of Education and, Engineering, and, the Graduate School of Management has seminars, they bring outsiders in for discussions and lectures and, the people from the city are invited to attend. Most of these lectures are free, so that the community has an opportunity of hearing cultural leaders and technical scientists through seminars and through lectures, which certainly enriches the intellectual and cultural life of the city. So they’re just a few factors.

JE: You were one of the founding members of a group called the U of R Associates, which was formed in 1963. In fact, you were that group’s first chairman. Um, what is the function of this organization and what are its aims and goals?

MB: The functions of the organization are to – it’s the sort of the old town/gown idea that, we had years ago. It’s to, bring together in one group alumni and non-alumni people in the Rochester area who not only, are interested in cultural and scientific and related ideas, but also welcome the opportunity of contacting the University and experiencing, the stimulation of those contacts. Uh, these people, being interested in the University, also contribute, financially to it, and, a measure of their interest is – it’s difficult to put a dollar sign on it but many of them contribute, two hundred and fifty dollars or more a year. Many of them contribute, a thousand dollars, two thousand a year. Its part of their, budget of – for educational expenditures. They’re Rochester people, Rochester-area people, as alumni they’re proud of the institution, as non-alumni they’re interested in it and admire it and are pleased to include it in their, annual budget of giving for educational purposes.

In recognition of that support the University is – it makes – it gives these people an opportunity of meeting, three or four times a year. And at these meetings, there is a social conviviality of, uh – people of that sort getting together and there are of course many, many friends, knowing each other in the Associates. They have a good time together when they meet. Uh, they have a social hour then there’s, frequently some department of the University, performs or, puts on a program. We’ve had programs from, all as – from all points of view: the Medical Center, the Eastman School of Music, College of Arts and Science, our separate colleges have put on various programs for the Associates. Um, frequently trustees have opened up their homes for the Associates to come and meet and hear a professor speak or to hear someone from the University present, a description of what’s going on at the University. I know during the time when we had – during that period of student unrest, which was, all over the country really, we brought the Associates together at a meeting and explained how the University was, trying to approach this problem, how it was trying to meet it, and, it was an opportunity for us to inform, to inform a group in the city who were close to the University just what we were doing.

So, it’s a combination social and educational group bound together by mutual interest and largely be friendliness and friendship. And over a period of a decade that the Associates have been in activity there’s been – I know there’s been many friendships built up, and at our meetings, which are expanding now to – I think we have over five hundred members – at our meetings there’s an air of friendliness and conviviality and cultural interest. So I think that describes it pretty well, Jack.

JE: Very, very well. Thank you. Um, the cost of operating institutions of higher learning is spiraling higher and higher. And, there seems to be no end in sight. Do you think that there is a solution to this?

MB: Well, there’s, one solution – there’s several solutions. One is to be – have the administration and faculty conscious of costs. Uh, there must be cost-consciousness. That seems to be the case in everything today, in government, even in one’s own private budget. With inflationary spiraling, cost-consciousness and, business acumen in watching expenditures is essential. So that from the point of view of the University that should be done.

And item two, I think additional emphasis on gifts from interested alumni and interested people can be developed. Uh, under the new tax laws there’s opportunities for people to make, for example, gifts through a life income trust where older people whose families are well taken care of and who have estate assets, they can, either include it as bequests – and here again, bequests are a source of, valuable funds for the University – or they can set up a living trust with the income during their lifetimes, the lifetime of the two – of the husband and the spouse, to go to them and then upon the death of both of them the corpus then goes to the University. It’s a very, advantageous way to, make a charitable contribution because the present value of the trust when it’s set up is a taxable deduction and then the income is constantly coming to them during the period of the trust and if they happen to put in low income – low-yielding income securities into the trust, they can increase their income by, trust provisions.

So item one is your expense-consciousness, item two is, increased income from giving bequests and trusts. Uh, item three is this new legislation that is being discussed whereby, a scholarship incentive award’s granted by the state, will be increased and, that will permit, institutions to raise their tuitions, certainly the state institutions to raise their tuition, so that, people who can afford it will be paying more nearly the total cost of education because tuition apparently pays only about half now. Now whether – that means that, through the state concentrating on real needy students through their scholarship incentive awards that may help our universities too.

So those three areas, through, economies, increased gifts, and really increased tuition through intelligent state aid through the scholarship incentive awards is – those three things will help universities meet the financial bind. But it is a financial bind and it’s a serious problem for private institutions.

JE: Now to go to a little lighter subject, you were an outstanding player on the U of R football and basketball teams during your college days. How does the athletic program at the University of today differ from that of the time that, you were going to school?

MB: The program today – the programs today are – there’s a wider participation, there’s more people on the squads, the basketball players are taller [laughs], the football players are heavier and faster, there’s better equipment, there’s more professional coaching going on, the whole field of coaching is – has progressed like everything else into more scientific and more studied approaches. The, uh – so that the quality of the players, the quality of the equipment, the quality of the coaching is better. And that’s not to criticize what we had back in 1920s at the U of R. We had wonderful people coaching and we had good spirit on the teams and good spirit on the – of the students. But there’s been an increase in quantity and quality all along the line in our athletics today at the University.

JE: Who were the, football and basketball coaches when you were playing?

MB: Well, George Sullivan was our football coach. And he was a very able coach, a good man. He stayed with us, a good long time. Following him there were a variety of coaches, [H.A.] Lorenz, [John P.] Sabo. But George Sullivan was the real, able longtime coach in football. And basketball, Johnny Murphy coached our basketball team and we had, we had some good teams then: Bill Uhlen[10] and Rufe Hedges[11] and “Red” Callaghan[12] and, Taylor[13] and, um – we had, Lut Webster[14] and, “Jap” Apperman[15] and, we had some good boys then and we – Johnny Murphy, of course, was a central player and a central coach and he did a competent job in coaching our basketball team. I didn’t play baseball so I can’t comment on that.

JE: Do you think that the athletic program, the athletic policy that the U of R is following today is the correct one for them?

MB: Yes, yes I do. We –

JE: You don’t feel they should get into more recruiting and, uh –

MB: I think recruiting can be done on a quality basis. You can get good students who are good athletes too. And I do feel that, athletics is a good e – is a good preparation for your active life after university just as, many other things are. For example, it increases your physical stamina and you know in these days of pressure and business and any that have to be physically able to stand the [gaffe?] is important. And athletics do build up a stamina and an endurance and, so that, also it provides two elements, that are awfully important when they get out of school: it brings a realism of competition and believe me it is competitive, and it also brings a realization that, in order to meet this competition successfully you gotta have teamwork and cooperation within your own working entity. Uh, and it’s, it’s tough going, I mean, it takes discipline and determination to stay out there and practice during snowstorms and, to go out for basketball and keep working on that and have to go back and study to keep up with your studies. It takes discipline and all that is, I think is a very important addition to college life and I think our recruiting efforts to bring good athletes in is excellent. I hope we continue them. And I’m sure that those methods will be commenced and consistent with our educational standards.

JE: Now I’m going to ask you to look into your crystal ball and, tell me what you think the future of the University is going to be like.

MB: The University is going to continue in its pursuit of excellence, I think. I don’t envision it growing tremendously over the next five to ten years. I think we’re going to, improve the quality all along the line. Certainly we have quality facilities now. Let’s admit that. Through our $38 Million Campaign under the chairmanship of Joe Wilson and his – when he was Chairman of the Board and also Chairman of the campaign, and through the generosity of Joe and his family, we now have excellent facilities. And what – at the time that $38 Million Dollar Campaign was instituted there was a feeling that we had given stress and here again, Joe Wilson deserves a lot of credit when he was Chairman. He’d given stress to building up the quality of our faculty, through the Wilson Chairs of – and professorships[16]. So that we had been building up the quality of our faculty and the quality of our student body was being built up so that we – the level of high school quality graduates was raised.

Then we found that that quality was exceeding the quality of our facilities. Our library was inadequate. Our classrooms and our office space for professors were inadequate. So that we then had to bring our physical facilities up to the quality of our people and our personnel. That has been done and it is on its way. And thanks to the $38 Million Campaign we have accomplished seventy-five percent of the problem. We still have twenty-five percent of the problem left because a lot of these buildings and programs we haven’t got the money yet for because inflation has raised our costs. We’ve got to find funds and that’s why increased giving and contributions are important, so that, we still have a challenge ahead of us, so looking ahead we have the challenge of financing these added facilities.

Um, there is the problem of – one of the big problems of – in the future of better facilities is in connection with the Eastman School of Music. Whether things need to be done there – whether we do it where they’re now located or attempt to move it – it’s a big problem that hasn’t been solved yet and is being considered. There’s no consensus as I see it at the moment whether it should be moved or not. But any rate, there’s a problem ahead so as I see the future of the University, there’s a problem to be solved in the facilities. We’ve solved a good many of the facilities on the River Campus except for raising some more money to take care of, some of the buildings that are on the way but haven’t been completely financed. But the Eastman School is, is a big problem. The hospital’s on its way and the Medical Center, that’s on its way.

So as I see the future of the University in the next five to ten years I see a slight growth, maybe a ten percent growth in total students but mostly at the graduate level. I think our undergraduate student, group will stay about where it is but I think our graduate student that will increase in medicine and music, and, in the College of Arts and Science. I think we’ll have some increase in graduate students. But the increase will be very moderate and the emphasis will continue to be on quality, and improving the facilities at the Eastman School of Music.

JE: I would gather then that you, feel that there are problems ahead but in general the University is on the right track.

MB: That’s right, it definitely is. There’s been under Joe’s leadership and lea – of course Ray Ball contributed so much to the University when he was not only employed by the University but when he was active chairman. And Herb Eisenhart.[17] We’ve had a distinguished group of devoted citizens who worked hard for the University and our Presidents, Alan Valentine and de Kiewiet, and now Wallis and Sproull have been distinguished people in their own right and each one has made a tremendous contribution to the University. So that I think we’re definitely on the right track. There are a lot of problems ahead but believe me, we’re very fortunate in the progress that’s already been made.

JE: Thank you, Merci.

[recording ends]

Transcribed by Eileen L. Fay, January 2014

[1] Laurence B. Packard, taught history and government from 1913 to 1925, when he moved to Amherst.

[2] Raymond Dexter Havens, English Professor and member of Class of 1902. Moved to John Hopkins in 1925.

[3] Victor J. Chambers, Class of 1895. Headed Chemistry Department for thirty years. Was also dean of graduate students.

[4] The position of Chancellor was unique to W. Allen Wallis, who succeeded Cornelis de Kiewiet as President of the University in 1962. In 1970 Wallis was named Chancellor of the University, a post he held until 1978. During this time he worked with Robert Sproull, who was President from 1970 to 1984.

[5] Joseph C. Wilson was the CEO of Xerox Corporation. He was a member of the Class of 1931 and served on the Board of Trustees from 1949 to 1967, becoming President of the Board in 1959.

[6] Class of 1914. Long career at UR included duties as Treasurer and Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

[7] Hulbert Tripp

[8] Samuel M. Havens (UR 1899).

[9] Could not find a match for this or similar names either.

[10] Class of 1926

[11] Rufus Hedges, Class of 1926, UR Athletic Hall of Fame

[12] John G. Callaghan, Class of 1925 (rec’d BA in 1926)

[13] May be Eddie Taylor, Class of 1924

[14] Luther Ira Webster, Class of 1926,  UR Athletic Hall of Fame

[15] M. Selig Apperman, Class of 1928

[16] In 1961 the Wilson family made a gift of $1 million to the Program for a Great University “to develop and sponsor new opportunities . . . by making possible significant new faculty appointments and the materials needed to sustain such appointments.” The Wilson Professorship was subsequently established in the College of Arts and Science. Its first recipient was Dr. A. William Salamone, an award-winning historian. (source: Rochester Review, Sept.-Oct. 1962)

[17] M. Herbert Eisenhart, Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1945 to 1952, succeeding Edward G. Miner.