I was a member of the last freshman class to start on the old campus—in September 1967.
I enjoyed your article in the Spring 2017 issue of The University Magazine explaining RIT’s rationale to move to Henrietta. However, one obvious reason was omitted—student safety. Three years before I came to RIT, the 1964 riots went right down Plymouth Avenue alongside the freshman men’s dorm, Nathaniel Rochester Hall. As a part of freshman orientation, we were given a lecture on what had occurred and exactly what the campus security procedures would be in the event of another riot. (Yes, this was a concern.) The lecture ended with the warning that, without a student ID, we would not be admitted to the dorm under any circumstances. In addition, students were advised to travel in groups after dark. And as I recall, during the 1967–1968 school year there were three knifings on campus resulting in minor injuries. I was very happy to move to Henrietta the following year.
One somewhat humorous memory of the overcrowding on the old campus was the serious shortage of parking spaces. Freshmen were not allowed to have cars (with good reason) and the RIT parking permits were affectionately known to commuters and upperclassmen as “hunting licenses.” As you said, the move to Henrietta was the most significant single act in RIT’s history, and I am proud to say that my grandson is a freshman there now.
- Jim Booth '71 (business administration)
Write us with your memories as RIT prepares to celebrate 50 years on the Henrietta campus in 2018. Or send your thoughts on other topics covered in the magazine to firstname.lastname@example.org. We edit for space, clarity and style.