RIT Home | RIT Search | Directories 
header image
 Current Issue | Issue Dates & Deadlines | University News | Archives
spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer December 9, 2004

Doing our part to move RIT from good to great

Paty Spinelli

What an exciting time to be at RIT! It’s a time of unprecedented growth and change. And as we move into the next phase of our strategic plan, we have much to celebrate.

To realize President Albert Simone’s vision, we are moving from a good to great university. Much is riding on our ability to meet our challenges and achieve our goals. One goal of particular interest to me is the successful completion of our capital campaign, “Powered by the Future.” As we move into the final phases of this campaign, I wish to reflect on what it means to me as a member of this community and to lend my support in encouraging everyone to participate by making a donation.

Everyday there are demands made on our disposable income. They can range from requests for spare change during a charity collection to replacing the car’s brakes. Some of these decisions are necessity; some are nice to do. For me, the campaign is both.

It is not the amount of the gift; it is the impact it has on our community. Our students, the RIT Board of Trustees and the giving community at large are aware of the power of our gift and recognize the sacrifice of giving. For some of us, the donation may be relatively small, but no gift is insignificant. All you have to do is look to the results of the scholarship initiative in Facilities Management Services. Collectively they have been able to pool their resources and create a scholarship in excess of $100,000.

Provost Stan McKenzie’s generosity resulted in a commitment of $1.4 million dollars. Think of the impact this will have on the future. When we give as a community, we are saying to the larger community, “Look at us, see our pride, and support us.” It is far easier to ask an outside donor for a gift when we can say with pride that we are giving as well. If we believe in our future, they will too.

Another compelling reason for me personally to support the campaign is that I have been the recipient of RIT tuition scholarship benefits. More than 900 of us—faculty and staff—have had the benefit of an RIT education. Over the years, thousands of our children, spouses and partners have graduated from RIT. These scholarships are just one of the many benefits that RIT offers to our community.
While these are considered employee benefits, it is clear to me that these scholarships are tangible reminders of one of the major reasons we are here—the power and benefits of education that enrich the quality of our lives. It allows us to experience the camaraderie of others in a learning environment and achieve our goals of quality career options and opportunities.

For me, the campaign is about the value of education. While an individual’s ability to give financially may be limited, it is important for RIT to make education more accessible to greater numbers of students through increased level and support of scholarship funds. Sometimes the ability to stay in school depends on the last few dollars—money for books, rent deposit, and so on. Increased scholarship support helps to remove those barriers. Your donation, large or small, makes a difference.

I consider my association with RIT to be the most personally and professionally rewarding of my career. My colleagues are the finest in the world, and we are fortunate to be in service to each other and to our students. The results of our giving allow RIT to further achieve the objectives of the campaign: investing in students, recruiting and retaining top faculty, supporting applied research and learning, reinventing the campus and building a fund for the future. Hopefully each of us can relate to what this means to the programs we support and duties we perform.

I would be remiss not to express my appreciation to Larry Winnie and Kathy Carcaci, our faculty and staff campaign chairs. Through their leadership, we have had very generous giving. To date, more than half of our community has participated in the campaign. For that, I say THANK YOU.

Spinelli is a director of RIT's human resources department.

To find out more about supporting “Powered by the Future,” contact RIT’s Office of Development at: 475-5500.


University News Services. 132 Lomb Memorial Dr., Bldg. 86 Rochester, NY 14623
© Rochester Institute of Technology. All Rights Reserved.
Issue Credits | Questions/Comments? | Terms of Use
Phone: 585-475-5064, Fax: 585-475-5097