A Celebration in Honor of Richard Eisenberg

An event recognizing the many accomplishments in research, teaching, and mentoring of our colleague and friend, Rich Eisenberg.

May 20, 2011 — May 21, 2011

Over a hundred former students came together the weekend of May 20th and 21st for "A Celebration in Honor of Richard Eisenberg". The "Richfest" weekend kicked off with a reception at the Eisenbergs on Friday night. During a time of constant rain in the Rochester area, the day of the reception the sky cleared up long enough to put up a tent and have a great party. The good weather continued through Saturday night of the weekend. Among the attendees were five people from the 60's when Rich taught at Brown in Providence, RI. Many of the others had not seen each other in many years, coming from as far as Italy and England. For some of the more recent graduates, the event served as a mini reunion and allowed them to meet more of their fellow graduates.

The Symposium was an all day event in Goergen Auditorium. Harry Gray, Rich's Ph.D. advisor, unofficially emceed the event with many ad libs throughout the day, bringing tons of laughter as he spared no one from his good humor. Speakers included Dan Nocera, Cort Pierpont, George Stanley (B.S. '75), Simon Duckett (Postdoc '93), Don Berry (Postdoc '85), Zach Tonzetich (B.S. '02), Harry Gray, Bill Connick (Postdoc '98), Jim Ibers, Cliff Kubiak (M.S. '77, Ph.D. '80), and Gordie Miller (B.S. '82). Several speakers took turns at a bit of humor involving Rich over the years. All made mention of the effect he had on them and his passion for chemistry. Several previously well kept secrets were also shared and the group roared almost continuously. In addition to the official symposium flyer, which was sent out to everyone before the event, an "ad libbed unofficial flyer" circulated during the day and can be found on the chemistry department website.

The Gala Dinner on Saturday evening began with cocktails in the Flaum Atrium at the UR Med Center. Rich also prepared a slide show of pictures for the group to enjoy. There were 120 attendees for dinner and the group picture is shown at right. Bill Jones and Jim Farrar organized the after dinner program and made it known that the person who really needed to be acknowledged was Marcia. Bob Witmer, John Sofranko, George Stanley and Cliff Kubiak spoke from the heart about their time with Rich, the impact he had on their life and their thankfulness. After we thought we had heard it all, Harry Gray proceeded to tell even more stories about Rich. He brought Rich up to demonstrate "The Look" as the crowd burst into laughter. Rich gave a heartfelt talk to end the evening, talking about his life in chemistry, the relationships he had made and the things he had learned. Rich and Marcia left the next day for Prague for a continued whirlwind of travel. The year 2011 was a significant one for Rich as he was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences and we wish him the best in the next phase of his life!

eisenberg pics