University Priorities

With the help of alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff and all our friends, the promise and vision of the Rochester Institute of Technology can continue to grow well into the future. The university has a number of strategic priorities that with your continued support can be achieve both for today and for tomorrow. RIT students and the dedicated faculty and staff of this great university routinely amaze with their creative, insightful and innovative approach to problem solving with the goal of making the world a better place. Please join us in supporting the students of this leading innovation university.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

At the forefront of innovation, RIT promotes and enables entrepreneurial education through cutting edge and interdisciplinary curriculum, applied entrepreneurial experiences, and various innovative and entrepreneurship-related programs. Known for integrating business education with our world leading technical and creative programs, RIT fosters experiential learning and is a place where brilliant minds assemble and collaborate, where they pool together their individual talents across disciplines in service of big projects and big ideas.

Yet as the roles of innovation and research–the driving forces in our world economy–continue to expand, the importance of a university that gives students opportunities to participate in creative projects and faculty-guided research can't be overlooked.

Innovation and research as well as scholarship and creative work, form a critical part of faculty and student work; learning becomes engaged and enhanced when faculty embrace the teacher-scholar model and infuse the classroom learning with new ideas, discoveries, and inventions. With continued support from donors, alumni and friends, RIT is powering the future.



Research is about solving problems, and RIT recognizes that many of the best careers require strong research skills. RIT provides a wide-variety of undergraduate and graduate research opportunities-from working on a business-, industry-, government agency-, or RIT-sponsored original research project in collaboration with a faculty member; to facilitating applied scientific, engineering, or market research in a corporate or industrial setting, as part of the RIT co-op or internship programs; plus a host of other options. Research is one of RIT's top priorities because innovation, entrepreneurship and research are the foundations of experiential learning and RIT is at the forefront. RIT is a vibrant community teeming with students collaborating with experts and specialists: a hub of innovation and creativity to solve some complex problems. Through research and innovation, RIT is powering the future and with your support, anything is possible.

For example, the Undergraduate Research program in RIT's College of Science will help increase the number of scientists working in core and applied sciences, and in turn, will help increase the amount of U.S.-based research and development of new scientific—and economically—beneficial knowledge. The Fred L. Emerson Foundation has offered a challenge grant to RIT's College of Science in support of the Undergraduate Research program. A grant of $250,000 will be given to the program to establish the Emerson Endowed Fellowship Program for Undergraduate Research in the College of Science, if we can secure $750,000 in additional gifts and pledges by October 1, 2015. If we can meet this challenge, the endowed fund will provide a permanent, stable and growing source of funding for competitive undergraduate research awards, and will enable the College to DOUBLE the number of students selected for full-time summer research. To help RIT's College of Science build better scientists for generations to come, please make your gift to the Emerson Challenge online now.



There is no greater need at RIT than increased scholarship funding, and YOU can address that need through financial commitments to establish scholarships.

College is still one of the largest investments any individual makes in his or her life and scholarships are critical to enabling more RIT students to not only graduate but live productive and successful lives. Without scholarships, college can be a crushing expense impacting individuals for decades after they graduate.

Your gift can lessen the impact of college costs for students and their families, providing access to an RIT education that otherwise wouldn't have been affordable.

Tiger Power Play for the Gene Polisseni Center

Tiger Power Play for the Gene Polisseni Center

Certainly RIT faces big expectations with each winning season. But in fact, the launch of a new rink is a logical next step in the men's and women's continuing march toward national prominence. Steady progress and success for men's hockey, and the recent move to D1 for women's hockey both mean that this new facility is now a necessity. Recognizing the need for a bigger venue to match RIT's national stature, there is an equal need to create a high-value fan experience. RIT's loyal fan base will seek an atmosphere that is similar to that in Ritter Arena, but the teams' expanded fan base will expect an experience that provides increased bang for their entertainment buck.

Nationally recognized for both men's and women's hockey excellence, the hockey programs' growth and success have passed a point where the current rink, Ritter Arena, will meet RIT's needs. As a Division I hockey program, the RIT Tigers require:

  • Tournament approved ice size.
  • Recruiting support. As a mixed D1/D3 university, RIT cannot offer player scholarships, and needs to balance those offers to heavily recruited players to enhance RIT's appeal.
  • Tournament facilities including visiting locker rooms, security requirements, media facilities, and guest services.
  • Revenue sharing opportunities to support D1 tournament play, including expanded seating capacity, concessions and guest services for additional revenue as required by visiting teams.
Saunders Challenge

Saunders Challenge

Our Challenge at the Saunders College of Business

  • Challenge - to create a world-class business college within the country's first Innovation University.
  • Challenge - to present to the world the unique Saunders College approach to entrepreneurship and innovation.
  • Challenge - to excite Saunders alumni around a new vision for their alma mater, and incite them to become part of that vision.

Goal - To become the choice among U.S. business schools for an exceptional innovation-focused, technology-related business education. The Saunders Challenge is a call to alumni and friends to support the college. Leveraging a matching gift from Phil Saunders, each gift to the Saunders Challenge will be matched 3:1. When met, the Saunders Challenge will have a tremendous impact on the Saunders College of Business by supporting:

  • An expanded and renovated Lowenthal
  • Exceptional teaching in new, globally-focused fields.
  • Graduate fellowships in innovation, commercialization, and global business.
  • Student start-up businesses through the SPARK Fund

To make a gift online visit the Saunders Challenge webpage, or contact Suzanne Tunnell for information on how you can support the Saunders College.