2016 Distinguished Alumni

New Class of RIT Distinguished Alumni Awardees Announced

The 2016 Distinguished Alumni Awardees have been selected from each of RIT’s 10 colleges and will be honored throughout the year, during RIT’s Distinguished Alumni Week, April 11-15, and on Friday, April 15 at the Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner event.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to a certified alumnus/a who has performed with distinction at the highest levels of his or her chosen profession; or who has contributed significantly to the advancement and leadership of noteworthy civic, philanthropic, or service organizations over the course of many years. Those honored have brought distinction to their colleges and RIT through their professional, community and/or philanthropic achievements.

This year’s Distinguished Alumni Awardees are as follows:
  • B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences: Tad J. Hunt ’97, co-founder, Exablox
  • College of Applied Science and Technology: Robert L. Jacoby ’77, consultant to oil and gas industry and former enterprise category manager, Engineering and Maintenance, Royal Dutch Shell
  • College of Health Sciences and Technology: Dr. Diana Badillo ’00, family medicine physician, Damian Family Care Centers  
  • College of Imaging Arts and Sciences: Eric Avar ’90, vice president of Design Innovation, Nike
  • College of Liberal Arts: John Hartmann ’85, president and CEO, True Value Company
  • College of Science: Eric Kuckhoff ’84, president, Polystar LLC
  • Kate Gleason College of Engineering: Wayne Plewniak ’83, managing director and head of Fixed Income, GAMCO Investors, Inc.
  • National Technical Institute for the Deaf: Barbara (BJ) Wood ’75,  commissioner (retired), Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Saunders College of Business: Henry D. Navas ’74, ’77, member, RIT Board of Trustees and former treasurer, Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • School of Individualized Study: John Conklin ’15, president and CEO, SolarWindow Technologies, Inc.
RIT President Bill Destler personally made the announcement to each awardee, congratulating each on their selection and thanking them for being a great source of pride for the university.

This Distinguished Alumni honor is an RIT tradition dating back to 1976. If you know an RIT alumnus/a who is deserving of this distinction, please nominate him/her here: https://www.rit.edu/alumni/recognition/.

Check back for updates about RIT’s 2016 Distinguished Alumni Awardees throughout the year as we celebrate these special alumni.