Beginning today, alumni, parents and students will gather throughout the River Campus community to celebrate the first annual Meliora Weekend.

At press time, 6,319 people had registered for the weekend. Many events are already sold out, including the Bill Cosby shows, the Bill Bradley lecture, and the breakfast with the President and Deans.

The theme of this year?s event is freedom. This theme was actually chosen last year. However, Meliora Weekend student co-chair Mindy Fountain thinks that this year?s theme is especially appropriate to our everyday lives. ?I hope everyone takes a moment this weekend to participate and remember how lucky we are to be here together, living and learning from our classes and from each other.?

Junior Jen Kercull also found the theme appropriate. ?I?m looking forward to hearing what each speaker has to bring to the topic of freedom,? she said.

To go along with the freedom theme there is going to be a freedom of speech panel, which includes many UR alumni. ?I would like to see the many speakers that are coming to UR that will hopefully discuss the tragic events that have recently happened to this country,? junior Ben Wolarsky said.

The panelists include Arthur Miller, Class of 1956, a Harvard law professor and legal commentator, UR President Thomas Jackson, Richard Leibner, Class of 1959 who is the President of N.S. Bienstock Inc., a leading newscaster agency, Gail Lione, Class of 1971, Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel of Harley-Davidson Motorcycle company and former counsel for U.S. News and World Report and Atlantic Monthly, USA Today columnist and former Presidential speech-writer Walter Shapiro, and the internationally known pollster John Zogby. Lewis A. Kaplan, Class of 1966, who is a US District Court Judge in the Southern District of New York, will no longer going to be part of the freedom of speech panel.

?All of the speakers are experts in their fields,? Fountain said. ?The subjects of the symposia range from health and medical matters to the emerging democracies of the former Soviet Union. There is a topic for everyone.?

However, she is personally most excited about a new event this year, Rochester Revue, which will be held on Thursday night. Students, faculty, staff, and the Trustees Alumni Council of The College and the Board of Trustees are all invited to attend. ?I hope that we will have a great turnout from campus and I am sure it will be a fabulous event,? Fountain said.

Sophomore Dan Kamins is looking forward to seeing Bill Cosby and hopes that he will talk about Jell-O. ?If he doesn?t talk about that, I am going to be very disappointed,? he said.

Sophomore Ryan Zinchefsky is also looking forward to seeing Bill Cosby. ?It?s gonna be damn funny,? he said.

Brandon can be reached at ebrandon@campustimes.org.



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