The CSD Student Development Center, described as “the heart and center of student life at RIT/NTID,” was celebrated Friday by Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD), the major donor of the building constructed in 2006.
Students, faculty, staff and alumni attended the celebration under mild and sun-filled skies in the D. Robert Frisina Quad.
“This building is an important part of our college life,” said Corey Burton, NTID’s Student Congress president. “Thank you to CSD for making our dream a reality. I cannot imagine where we might be if this building never existed. It truly means a lot to us.”
“It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly six years since the SDC opened,” said Linda Bryant, interim associate dean for Student and Academic Services. “The building is such an integral part of life at RIT/NTID. It’s a reminder that learning happens not only in the classroom but throughout the college experience. It’s hard to imagine what it was like before it was here!”
The $6 million, 30,000 square-foot, two-story building connects the Shumway Dining Commons to Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall. It consists of a large, state-of-the-art meeting room which can be divided, a home for several student-run organizations, and a popular lounge area, Ellie’s Place, named this spring in memory of Eleanor Rosenfield, NTID’s associate dean for Student and Academic Affairs who died in 2010.
Evan Winegard, CSD’s chief financial officer and an alumnus of RIT/NTID, was pleased to represent CSD for the celebration. “RIT provided me the essential tools needed in my career,” he said. “CSD looks forward to the next generation of leaders that come from RIT/NTID. The foundation begins here for all of us.”
Bryant said the building not only provides space for clubs that allow students to learn valuable leadership skills, it provides space for classes, conferences and meetings with faculty, staff and group projects, as well as allowing students “that all important social time and down time.”
Bryant conveyed best wishes from NTID President Gerry Buckley, who was traveling and unable to attend the celebration.
“He asked me to convey his gratitude to CSD and to Evan in particular for this long-standing partnership between CSD and NTID,” Bryant said. “We are grateful to CSD for providing the lead funding for this amazing facility.”
The celebration moved indoors where the crowd watched a video with testimonials from various members of the RIT/NTID community about what the building means to them.