When Bill Destler became president of Rochester Institute of Technology on July 1, 2007, he stressed that his number one priority was transforming RIT into a national center for creativity and innovation.
Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival is designed to demonstrate what can be accomplished when, as Destler likes to say, “right and left brain collide.”
“The festival’s mission goes beyond showcasing the thriving RIT campus. We see it as a call to national service,” Destler says. “Innovation is one of our country’s last competitive advantages. Young Americans walk to the beat of their own drummer, and their desire to be different is an innate American characteristic. Channeling that passion in constructive ways will foster the United States’ leadership in technical innovation and creative ideas for new products and services.”
Founded in 1829, RIT is an internationally recognized leader in professional and career-oriented education, enrolling 18,000 students in nine colleges. Students hail from all 50 states and nearly 100 countries. RIT is the 11th largest private university in the United States. The university's modern 1,300-acre campus is located in Rochester, N.Y., the third largest city in the state.
With more than 92 undergraduate degrees, 70 graduate degrees and four doctorate programs, students have choices for their program of study. Students are able to enhance a personal interest or expand a professional pursuit with their choice of courses, minors and concentrations.
RIT has one of the oldest and largest cooperative education programs in the world. RIT helps students obtain a co-op (or an internship) with a leading company in their academic field of study, giving students real work experience to display on their resumes when they graduate.
RIT also provides its students with a vibrant experience outside of the classroom. Students can choose to join one of the university’s more than 200 clubs and/or 29 Greek organizations. RIT also offers a wide variety of athletics, intramurals, recreational and wellness programs that meet the interests and needs of a diverse student population. RIT has 24 varsity sports with the NCAA. Twenty-two teams participate at the Division III level, while men's and women's hockey play in Division I.
“RIT has the makings of the nation’s first ‘Innovation University’,” says Destler. “Indeed, RIT has an unfair advantage with its unique program mix and diverse student body.”