Robert W. Rice, ’94, ’97, founder, president and managing partner of BayFirst Solutions, a government contracting firm specializing in risk management, information technology and homeland security, has been named 2013 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year by the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, a college of Rochester Institute of Technology.
A Distinguished Alumni is selected each year by each of RIT’s nine colleges from a pool of more than 111,000 alumni. An awards celebration is scheduled today.
A native of Abington, Pa., Rice lives in Chevy Chase, Md. He started his career with Coopers & Lybrand and went on to work as an information technology consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton before founding BayFirst.
Rice earned a bachelor’s degree in management and leadership and an MBA with concentrations in management and information technology, bot from RIT’s Saunders College of Business. He served as chairman of the NTID Foundation Board of Directors and RIT President’s Roundtable. In 2011, he was appointed to the RIT Board of Trustees.
“I’m humbled,” he says. “I owe my sincere gratitude to those faculty and staff who provided guidance and support during my time at RIT.”
He advises others to “surround yourself with people who think along similar lines,” but have different skills that complement your own.
Aside from the actual education, RIT taught me how to stand on my own and to continuously build my own learning pattern,” he says. “Also, meeting peers and role models from distant places and diverse backgrounds allowed me to develop a broader world view, a more sophisticated cultural understanding and the ability to be more aware of my own identity and everything and everyone around me.”
Rice recently agreed to establish the Robert W. Rice Endowed Scholarship to provide support to deaf and hard-of-hearing students at RIT.
NTID President Gerry Buckley congratulated Rice on his award and achievements.
“As we celebrate the 45th anniversary of the establishment of NTID, Rob is one of the shining examples of the mission of the college: a successful business and community leader,” Buckley says.