Chairman emeritus of RIT’s Board of Trustees Richard Eisenhart died Aug. 29 at his Pittsford, N.Y., home. He was 95.
Mr. Eisenhart was the retired founder of R.H. Eisenhart Inc. He was first elected to the Board of Trustees in 1972, succeeding his late father M. Herbert Eisenhart, who was the former president and chairman of Bausch & Lomb Inc. and served on RIT’s board for 50 years.
Together, their ties to RIT date back to the 1920s.
The Eisenhart family began the Eisenhart Award for Excellence in Teaching for RIT faculty in the memory of their late father and the M. Herbert and Elsa Eisenhart Memorial Scholarship, supporting more than 350 students over the past 35 years.
In 1999, Mr. Eisenhart and his wife established the Richard and Virginia Eisenhart Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes and supports faculty who have taught three years or less.
In 1976, Mr. Eisenhart was named chairman of RIT’s Board of Trustees.
Early on, he was conscious of the need to develop a high standard of technical education at RIT. His visions helped propel RIT into a tradition of seeking out students and shared programs from around the world.
He also recommended the renovations to RIT’s City Center campus in downtown Rochester and oversaw planning for City Center’s first tenant, RIT’s School of Applied Industrial Studies. He was also instrumental in the creation of the RIT Research Corp. in 1980.
“Dick Eisenhart and his family leave an amazing legacy at RIT,” says RIT President Bill Destler. “Dick was an active contributor to RIT until his very last day. He had tremendous vision for both the university and the Rochester community. We will miss him dearly.”
His wife, Virginia, died in 2009. He is survived by his two sons, Doug and Rick; and two daughters, Debbie and Susan.