Rochester Institute of Technology formally dedicated the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences on May 2, acknowledging its status as the largest comprehensive computing college in the nation.
Albert Simone, RIT president, and B. Thomas Golisano, chairman and CEO of Paychex Inc. and new owner of the National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres, attended the ceremony inside the college’s recently constructed facility—located on RIT’s Henrietta campus. A $14 million gift from Golisano, offered in 2001, is responsible for creating the college. It remains the single largest gift to any Rochester-area college or university by a living donor.
"Tom understands RIT’s role in preparing students for careers in technology," states Simone. "He also understands the remarkable potential of computing and information sciences to businesses in Rochester and around the world. His generosity made this college a reality."
RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences offers undergraduate and graduate programs in computer science and information technology and an undergraduate program in software engineering. RIT was the first university to offer undergraduate degrees in information technology and software engineering.
"I am so impressed with RIT’s ability to empower its students with an education that will sustain them throughout their careers," explains Golisano. "Preparing them to become leaders in the information age is necessary for them but also essential for industry."
The event marked the ceremonial grand opening of the college’s new three-story "wireless" facility. Construction of the 126,000-square-foot structure wrapped up last winter, and it now features 31 computer laboratories and more than 1,000 workstations. Classes in the new building began with the start of RIT’s spring quarter in early March.
This state-of-the art facility complements the college’s focus on consistently providing both curriculum enhancements and new courses, according to Jorge Díaz-Herrera, dean of the B. Thomas Golisano College.
"Computing is the fastest growing occupation in the country," he explains. "We are committed to preparing students to be computing professionals who can apply, adapt and develop technology to solve real life problems."
A multimedia presentation by Jaron Lanier, known for his pioneering work in virtual reality, highlighted the festivities. Lanier—a talented computer scientist, composer, visual artist and author—used real and virtual instruments to lead guests on a musical tour of virtual worlds.
Following the celebration, those in attendance were encouraged to tour the new facility. Lab demonstrations—including those in computer gaming, artificial intelligence, behavior simulation, and new "social" applications for computer software—offered first-hand insights on the current impact of computing and its significance for the future.
RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences enrolls more than 3,000 students. By 2006, enrollment at the college is projected to reach 4,000.
NOTE: Internationally recognized as a leader in computing, imaging technology, fine and applied arts, and education of the deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology enrolls over 15,000 full- and part-time students in more than 250 career-oriented and professional programs. For the past decade, U.S. News and World Report has ranked RIT as one of the nation’s leading comprehensive universities. RIT is also included in Yahoo Internet Life’s Top 100 Wired Universities, Fisk’s Guide to America’s Best Colleges, as well as Barron’s Best Buys in Education.