From the President: Surrounded by Greatness

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A. Sue Weisler

RIT President Bill Destler welcomes first-year students to campus.

Greatness. What exactly is it?

It’s expecting the unexpected. It’s answering questions before they’ve been asked. And it’s reaching conclusions that change everything.

Greatness is finding new ways to design. New ways to think. And new ways to communicate. It’s agile. It’s driven. And most of all, it is relentless.

The above is powerful language from our new branding video, “RIT Greatness.” Indeed, we have a compelling university story to tell and we are surrounded by greatness. Here are some fresh examples:

This year’s freshman class includes approximately 2,660 students, representing 47 states as well as 54 countries. The quality of this year’s class, measured by grade point average, rank in class and scores from standardized tests, reached an all-time high. The mean GPA increased to 92 percent, with 38 percent of students coming from the top 10 percent of their class. Sixty-eight percent of students in the incoming class are enrolled in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines.

A group of RIT students took first place in the U.S. State Department’s international competition for university students to find ways to use social media to combat extremism and terrorism.

We became the first university to publish a video game on the Xbox One gaming platform. The game was produced in a studio course offered through the internationally ranked School of Interactive Games and Media and the RIT Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity (MAGIC).

A student team from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf won the National Association of the Deaf College Bowl academic competition for the third consecutive year and earned its sixth victory overall.

Our sponsored research portfolio grew by 18 percent in fiscal year 2016, reaching a record $73 million in funding. RIT received a record 358 new awards during that time period from a variety of state, federal, corporate and foundation sponsors. Included in that funding was a record $15 million from the National Science Foundation and $3 million from the National Institutes of Health.

RIT is a partner on five of the eight National Network for Manufacturing Innovation centers established by President Obama to increase America’s ability to compete in this crucial economic sector.

Our video goes on to state: “Greatness is creating difference—today, tomorrow, forever. Some might say RIT is on the verge of greatness. We say, we’ve already arrived.” To see more examples, please watch the video at:

Yours in Tiger pride,

Bill Destler, President