Tradition of RIT shared through three generations

Five members of the Armanini family have a connection with the university

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A. Sue Weisler

David Armanini, Dario Armanini, Elaine Armanini, Dawn Herman and Mitchell Herman all have family ties to RIT.

RIT runs in the family for the Armaninis, with the fifth member and third generation of their family enrolling as a freshman this fall.

It all started with Dario Armanini ’61, who came to RIT to study printing management in 1957 after four years of service in the U.S. Navy. Originally from Erie, Pa., he felt RIT’s printing program was the best fit for him.

“RIT is a comfortable place,” says Dario. “You don’t have anxiety when you come here like you do at other universities. It feels like you belong here.”

An avid baseball player in the Navy, Dario joined the RIT team. He played with the Tigers for four seasons, serving as co-captain of the team for three years. He was also a member of the Kappa Sigma Kappa (now Theta Xi) fraternity. His involvement in Greek life led to him meeting Elaine (Galante) Armanini at a fraternity party.

Elaine was a Rochester native who was studying business administration at RIT. She was also a member of the Delta Omicron (now Alpha Sigma Alpha) sorority.

Dario struck up a conversation with Elaine at the fraternity party and the two began what is now a 52-year marriage following Dario’s graduation in 1961.

Dario went on to coach the RIT freshman team for three seasons and served as a part-time athletic trainer for seven years. In 1989, Dario was inducted into the RIT Sports Hall of Fame. He also worked in the printing industry, co-owning a printing company in Rochester until his retirement.

Throughout the years, the couple have been able to pass down their connection with RIT to the rest of their family. Although none of their three children ended up attending RIT as students, two of them eventually made their way back to the university.

In 2005, their son, David Armanini, was hired as the senior environmental health specialist at RIT. He has since been promoted to the director of Environmental Health and Safety position.

Their daughter, Dawn Herman, started teaching in the First Year Enrichment Program in the fall of 2006. When she first began working on campus, her office was just one floor above her brother’s in Grace Watson Hall. Today, she works as the program director of the College Restoration Program.

“It was especially meaningful for me to come to RIT,” says Dawn. “I’m proud there is a family tradition here.”

When Dawn’s son, Mitchell Herman, was deciding on colleges, his grandparents were hoping he would end up at RIT. And while they didn’t pressure him, they were certainly happy about his decision — so happy that they even helped him move into his dorm room in August.

“The work was certainly back breaking but it was exciting and emotional coming back,” says Elaine. “We are so proud to be a part of this community.”

The Armanini family often attends campus events together, including Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival, Brick City Homecoming & Family Weekend, the Glass Pumpkin Patch fundraiser and soon Mitchell’s basketball games as he has joined the RIT team.

They hope the four of their eight grandchildren who haven’t started college yet also will consider RIT.

“We’ll sit down and talk about RIT with our other grandchildren if we need to,” says Dario. “RIT is a family affair for us.”