The quadrangle was created in honor of Dr. D. Robert Frisina, founding director of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at RIT, and a pioneer in the field of hearing loss and deafness for more than 40 years. In the early 1960s, Frisina embarked with other pioneers on what was referred to as “The Grand Experiment,” creatively guiding the creation and growth of NTID from what began as a statement of hope into a reality of cutting-edge educational and career opportunities for the nation’s deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
“Dr. Robert Frisina has always has been an innovator and a tireless advocate for causes related to the education of deaf people,” said Dr. T. Alan Hurwitz, RIT vice president for NTID and CEO/dean of NTID. “Walking through this quadrangle each day will remind students, faculty and staff, alumni, parents and friends of this college just how much he helped it flourish.”
Established in 1965 by an act of the U.S. Congress as the world’s first technological college for deaf students on a campus planned principally for hearing students, NTID became known as a “beacon of opportunity,” providing a successful living and learning environment that forever would raise the personal and career aspirations of deaf and hard-of-hearing people worldwide.
“Today, NTID is a world leader in technological education for deaf and hard-of-hearing students,” said RIT President Albert J. Simone. “It is a leader, without a doubt, thanks to the foresight, perseverance, and wisdom of Bob Frisina.”
Frisina currently leads the RIT/NTID-based International Center for Hearing and Speech Research—the nation’s largest age-related hearing loss research initiative—and is a professor of communication services at NTID. He serves as a board member and adviser for several organizations, and has earned many RIT awards, such as the Presidential Medallion, the Principal Investigator Award and the RIT Diversity Trailblazer Award. He has earned the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Westminster College, the Bicentennial Medal of Excellence Award from the New York State Board of Regents, the Civic Award for Education from the Rochester Chamber of Commerce, the Lyon’s Founder Award from the Rochester School for the Deaf and the Special Recognition Award from University of Buffalo.
RIT is internationally recognized as a leader in computing, engineering, imaging technology, fine and applied arts, and for providing unparalleled support services for students with hearing loss. RIT is home to NTID, where more than 1,100 students with hearing loss from around the world study, live, and socialize with 14,400 hearing students on RIT’s Rochester, N.Y., campus. U.S. News and World Report has consistently ranked RIT among the nation’s leading comprehensive universities.
Web address: www.rit.edu/NTID.
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