Imagine RIT wins top CASE awards

Annual festival wins gold for Community Relations, Best Communications practices

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Matt Wittmeyer

Guests stop to engage at one of the more than 400 exhibits at 2012’s Imagine RIT festival.

Imagine RIT, Rochester Institute of Technology’s annual campus-wide festival showcasing the university’s innovation and creativity, has received two top honors from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

CASE District II, the largest of the organization’s eight districts, awarded Imagine RIT with a gold medal for Community Relations and a gold medal in Best Practices in Communications. RIT also received an honorable mention for media relations for the festival, which is held annually on the first Saturday in May.

“The Community Relations award serves to reward RIT for embracing the exciting innovation and creativity that our students, faculty and staff demonstrate to the Greater Rochester community in a hands-on way,” says Barry Culhane, RIT’s executive assistant to the president and chairman of the Imagine RIT festival since its inception in 2008.

Each category of the CASE awards is judged by a panel of experts who evaluate the entries for quality, creativity, innovation, adherence to professional standards, and success in meeting stated objectives.

“Imagine RIT is the university’s signature branding event,” says Bob Finnerty, RIT’s chief communications officer. “More than 140,000 visitors have attended the festival since its inception in 2008. Our creative team of marketing communications professionals attracts new visitors each year and keeps festival regulars returning for another interactive experience.”

Judges in the Communications Practices award called Imagine RIT “a highly ambitious project with an impressive reach. We selected this as the Gold Winner because of the dramatic results, the compelling case for community, and the way in which the festival promoted the institution’s brand and identity through innovative and participatory means. We were impressed by the multi-channel communications strategy that served multiple audiences as well as the look and marketing of the collateral and materials. This festival and the accompanying communications present a truly transformative opportunity for RIT.”

CASE District II is a regional organization of advancement professionals in the areas of alumni relations, communications and philanthropy. RIT will receive its awards at District II’s annual conference, set for March 3 through 5 in Pittsburgh. Imagine RIT 2013 is set for May 4 on the Henrietta campus.