RIT Celebrates New Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences

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College’s benefactor to attend "kick-off" celebration

Rochester Institute of Technology will celebrate its newest college, the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, in a "kick-off" event, 1–3 p.m., on Friday, Oct. 12. The event takes place under a tent in the area where the 122,000-square-foot building will stand—on a footprint the size of a football field. Remarks and a ceremonial groundbreaking are set for 1 to 1:40 p.m.

B. Thomas Golisano, chairman and chief executive officer of Paychex Inc., will be on hand for the celebration of the college that bears his name. The college, with 3,000 students and 65 faculty members, was created with a $14 million gift from Golisano last February. It houses undergraduate and graduate programs in computer science, information technology and software engineering.

The kick-off event features a "fly-through" or virtual tour of the building as well as renderings of the building.

Student entries for the new college logo—set up for viewing to enable electronic voting for the logo of choice—will add to the affair. To date, nine logo designs have been submitted.

The Golisano College, one of eight colleges at RIT, is also home to the university’s Information Technology Lab, which partners with industry in the development of innovative applications of emerging information technologies. RIT broke ground for the IT Lab building in May, with an expected completion by January. The lab is funded by a $1.5 million grant from the state of New York. NOTE: At 1:15 p.m., brief remarks will be delivered by Golisano College Interim Dean Walter Wolf, RIT President Albert Simone and founding donor B. Thomas Golisano. A groundbreaking ceremony will follow at 1:35 p.m. with the speakers and Provost Stanley McKenzie, Chairman of the Board William Buckingham, faculty member Jim Vallino, staff member Joan Thomas and student representative Bryan Reich.

Media note: Please contact Laurie Maynard or Mike Saffran for interview requests, 475-5094, 475-5697, respectively.

Background: Founded in 1829, RIT is internationally recognized as a leader in computing, engineering, imaging, technology, fine and applied arts, and education for the deaf. RIT enrolls 15,000 students in more than 260 undergraduate and graduate programs.

RIT was the first university to offer undergraduate degrees in information technology and software engineering and, in 1972, was one of the first universities to offer an undergraduate degree in computer science.

First-year enrollment in the IT program has grown nearly 130 percent since 1998. The computer science and software engineering programs have seen nearly 42 percent and 40 percent growth, respectively, in freshmen. These programs are now housed in the new B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.