Mark Kelly and Gabrielle Giffords to speak at RIT homecoming celebration

‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ comedians also featured at Brick City Homecoming Oct. 10-13

Follow Scott Bureau on Twitter
Follow RITNEWS on Twitter

Comedians Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood from the Emmy-nominated show Whose Line Is It Anyway? will host an improvisational show from 8 to 10 p.m. Oct. 10 in RIT’s Clark Gymnasium.

A talk by U.S. astronaut Mark Kelly and former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and a performance by comedians Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, will highlight Rochester Institute of Technology’s Brick City Homecoming & Family Weekend Oct. 10-13.

Kelly and Giffords will speak to students, faculty, staff, alumni and guests as the Horton Distinguished Speakers at 2 p.m. Oct. 12 in RIT’s Gordon Field House and Activities Center. The couple’s speech, titled “Endeavor to Succeed,” will explore goals, perseverance and managing difficult situations.

Kelly is an astronaut, retired U.S. Navy captain, best-selling author, prostate cancer survivor and an experienced naval aviator with 6,000 flight hours in more than 50 different aircrafts, 375 aircraft carrier landings, 39 combat missions and more than 50 days in space. Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was first elected to Arizona’s 8th Congressional District seat in 2006 and won re-elections in 2008 and 2010. Upon entering Congress, Giffords quickly became a leading champion of border security, energy independence and the needs of military families and veterans.

On Jan. 8, 2011, a gunman opened fire at a local event in Tucson, Ariz., and Giffords sustained a gunshot wound to the head. Giffords faced immediate neurosurgery and survived, returning to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives less than seven months after her injury. In their best-selling memoir, Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope, Kelly and Giffords share their story of hope and resilience with the world. The inspirational memoir topped multiple best-seller lists, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Amazon.

RIT Student Government created the Horton Distinguished Speaker Series to profile nationally renowned speakers addressing relevant social and political issues. Past speakers include U.S. presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, and other prominent names such as economist and actor Ben Stein, athlete Earvin “Magic” Johnson and actors Robert Redford, Al Pacino, Michael J. Fox and Alec Baldwin.

The weekend will also feature comedians Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood from the Emmy-nominated show Whose Line Is It Anyway? The improvisational show will be from 8 to 10 p.m. Oct. 10 in RIT’s Clark Gymnasium.

Mochrie and Sherwood, known for their razor-sharp wit and improv skills, will interact with the audience to create hilarious and original scenes. The entire show will be driven by audience participation, as guests yell out suggestions and are brought up on stage to add an extra element of the unexpected.

The weekend of celebration boasts numerous events on RIT’s campus and in the Rochester area, including NTID’s 45th Anniversary Reunion with a performance by Sean Forbes, guest speakers at each college and sporting events, including RIT men’s and women’s hockey. The men’s hockey team will put a bow on Brick City Homecoming with a contest against perennial power University of Michigan at 7:05 p.m. Oct. 12 at Blue Cross Arena in downtown Rochester.

To learn more about RIT’s Brick City Homecoming & Family Weekend, go to