The University of Rochester Board of Trustees elected seven new trustees at its May meeting.
“Each newly elected member has a deep affinity for the University and its mission,” said Board Chair Danny Wegman. “I’m very pleased to welcome these knowledgeable, successful and insightful individuals to the Board. We are very fortunate to have them serve.”
“These are exceptional new Board members. I look forward to working with them as we take our University to The Next Level,” said President and CEO Joel Seligman.
Joan S. Beal ’84E is a studio singer and vocal contractor for film, media, and television in Los Angeles. She is currently performing as soprano soloist with House of Cards in Concert with her spouse, composer/conductor Jeff Beal ’85E. Past appearances include a premiere with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as well as concerts in Miami, the Netherlands and Denmark, with future concerts scheduled in Belgium and Israel.
She previously was cover, comprimario, and chorister with the San Francisco Opera Company, and a professional singer in New York City ensembles, including Musica Sacra, and solo appearances with the New York Philharmonic and Music Viva. As a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Beal has sung on more than 100 film scores for composers including John Williams, James Newton Howard, and James Horner, and has done numerous national commercials and television series. Her collaborations with her spouse include vocals for the HBO series Carnivàle and Rome, and most recently, operatic vocals on House of Cards.
In 2015, Joan and Jeff helped establish the Beal Institute for Film Music and Contemporary Media at the Eastman School of Music to help prepare students for careers creating music for film and other media. Joan serves as an advisor to the Beal Institute and is a member of the International Society for Neurovascular Disease. She received a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from the Eastman School of Music in 1984.
Jay S. Benet ’76S (MBA) is vice chairman and chief financial officer for the Travelers Companies, Inc., a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business and a component company of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. He previously served as worldwide head of financial planning, analysis and reporting at Citigroup, as well as chief financial officer for Citigroup’s global consumer business in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Before these roles, he held various senior executive positions with Travelers Life & Annuity, including chief financial officer, and was a partner at Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC).
Benet is chair of the Simon Business School Advisory Council and a recipient of Simon’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. He also serves as the chair of the board of the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts; as a trustee of the Mystic Seaport Museum and the Goodspeed Opera House Foundation; and as a member of the Harpur College Advisory Council of Binghamton University, from which he also received a distinguished alumnus award.
In 2014, Benet and his spouse, Jeanne Benet, established the Jay S. and Jeanne P. Benet Professorship of Finance at the Simon Business School. He received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Binghamton University, and an MBA from the Simon Business School. He is a five-time recipient of the Best CFO Award for Insurance from Institutional Investor.
Stephen R. Biggar ’92 is a partner at Baker Brothers Investments in New York City, a fund management company focused on long-term investments in life sciences companies. He joined Baker Brothers as an associate in 2000 before becoming a principal and then partner. In 2013, Biggar joined the board of ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, where he is now board chair. He is a former director of Synageva BioPharma Corp., a biotechnology company that was acquired in 2015, and BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pharmaceutical company focused on autoimmune diseases and antivirals.
Biggar played varsity soccer as a Rochester undergraduate and is a member of the Athletic Campaign Committee. He and his spouse, Liz Biggar—also an alumna and soccer player—are members of the Friends of Rochester Athletics and are active athletics volunteers for the University. Biggar received a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and molecular genetics from the University of Rochester, and a medical degree and doctoral degree in immunology from Stanford University.
H. Christopher Boehning ’87, ’88 (MS) is a partner in the litigation department at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. His practice includes complex commercial and civil litigation matters, criminal and regulatory inquiries, internal investigations, and international arbitrations. He is a regular contributor to the New York Law Journal’s technology column, an ongoing participant in the Sedona Conference Working Group Series, and has been recognized by Chambers and Benchmark Litigation.
Boehning played varsity soccer for four years at Rochester. He and his spouse, Julie Boehning, recently made a leadership gift to establish the Boehning Varsity House, which will include new locker, sports medicine, and equipment rooms for the University’s outdoor sports teams. He is chair of the Arts, Sciences and Engineering National Council, chair of the Athletic Campaign Committee, and a member of the Friends of Rochester Athletics. He has received the University’s John N. Wilder Award and Garnish Citation.
Boehning also serves on the National Council at Washington University School of Law, where he received the Distinguished Alumni Award, and on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the University of Michigan Law School, where he has served as an adjunct professor. He received a bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s degree in public policy analysis from the University of Rochester in 1987 and 1988, respectively, and a law degree from Washington University School of Law in 1994.
Emerson U. Fullwood is the retired corporate vice president of Xerox Corporation. He joined Xerox in 1972 and spent 36 years in executive and general management leadership positions, including director of large global office products and systems businesses, president of Xerox worldwide channels group, president of Latin America, president of worldwide customer services group, and executive chief staff officer of developing markets group. In his most recent assignment, Fullwood was executive chief of staff and marketing officer for Xerox North America.
He serves on several business, higher education, and philanthropic boards. He is lead director of SPX Flow Corporation; a director of Vanguard Group and Vanguard Funds; a former director of Amerigroup Corporation and General Signal Corporation; and vice-chair at North Carolina A&T University. He is also a board member at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Roberts Wesleyan College, Monroe Community College Foundation, the Rochester Urban League, United Way of Greater Rochester, and Rochester Boy Scouts of America. He previously served on the board of the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. In 2009, Rochester Institute of Technology named Fullwood its Minett Professor, and he served for several years as executive-in-residence at RIT’s Saunders College of Business.
Fullwood was recognized in 2007 by Black Enterprise magazine as one of the “75 Most Powerful African-Americans in Corporate America,” and in 2004 by VAR Business magazine as one of the “Top 100 Executives” responsible for supporting computer resellers. He has received numerous leadership and service awards. Fullwood received a bachelor’s degree in economics from North Carolina State University, an MBA in marketing from Columbia University, and an honorary doctorate from North Carolina A&T University.
John Sexton ’05 (Honorary) is president emeritus, Benjamin Butler Professor of Law, and law school dean emeritus of New York University. He joined NYU’s law faculty in 1981, served as dean from 1988 until 2002, and as president from 2002 to 2016. During his presidency—among other significant accomplishments—NYU created an integrated global university with full research university campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai, as well as New York, and study away campuses in 12 other cities on six continents; there was the largest expansion of faculty in NYU’s history; engineering was restored; applications for admission doubled, even as standards rose dramatically; and fundraising reached record levels.
Sexton is the author of several books, including a leading casebook on civil procedure, Redefining the Supreme Court’s Role: A Theory of Managing the Federal Court, and Baseball as a Road to God: Seeing Beyond the Game. He has chaired the American Council on Education, New York Academy of Sciences, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He served on the board of the National Association of Securities Dealers and now serves on the boards of the Institute of International Education and the College Advising Corps. He is a member of the Global Citizenship Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations. He was a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger and to U.S. Court of Appeals judges David Bazelon and Harold Leventhal.
Sexton is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from Fordham College, a master’s degree in comparative religion and a doctoral degree in the history of American religion from Fordham University, and a law degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School. Sexton has received 18 honorary degrees.
Amy Leenhouts Tait ’85S (MBA) is executive chairman and chief investment officer at Broadstone Real Estate, a full-service real estate company that sponsors private real estate investment offerings and manages commercial and residential properties across 37 states. Tait co-founded Broadstone in 2006 with her spouse, Robert Tait, and her father, the late Norman Leenhouts ’56, a former University of Rochester trustee. She has served as Broadstone’s board chair since 2012 and was chief executive officer until 2017.
Tait began her real estate career with Chemical Bank in management training and commercial real estate lending before joining Home Leasing Corporation, the predecessor to Home Properties. She then served as executive vice president of Home Properties from 1994 to 2001, and as a director and chair of the company’s real estate investment committee until 2012. Tait serves on the board of governors of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, the Simon School National Council, and the Simon Advisory Council. She has also served on the boards of numerous other community organizations.
In 2016, Tait was inducted into the Rochester Business Hall of Fame, and she also has been honored with the United Way D’Tocqueville Award, the Athena Award, and Simon’s Distinguished Alumni Award. She received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Princeton University and an MBA from the Simon Business School.
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