About a week before leaving office following 15 years as RIT president, Albert Simone wasn’t quietly packing his bags last Friday. Rather, Dr. Simone was at the center—literally and figuratively—of the latest major capital project involving RIT: college town.
At the June 22 ceremonial groundbreaking for the project—which is now known as Park Point at RIT—we learned that Dr. Simone will forever be the center of attention at Park Point when it was announced that it will feature Simone Square and a statue in his likeness. The honor follows the renaming, a week earlier, of the Albert J. & Carolie Simone Plaza and Circle (previously known as the administration circle), just outside RIT’s Eastman Building and Student Alumni Union.
This week, I spoke with Dr. Simone for a Q&A—part of a special edition of “Dateline: RIT – The Podcast.” As he prepares to leave office, Dr. Simone shares his vision for college town and discusses his post-presidency plans. Also, hear him recount how the announcement about Simone Square and a statue caught him by surprise, along with his thoughts on where college town ranks among other major RIT projects completed during his tenure as RIT president.
Park Point, at the corner of Jefferson Road and John Street, is slated to open in 2008. For more on the $72 million, 636,000-square-foot mixed-use (retail and residential) development, anchored by a Barnes & Noble bookstore, see “Construction begins on RIT development” and other outside media coverage at www.rit.edu/news (see “RIT In the News”).
Since announcing plans for his retirement more than a year ago, Dr. Simone has received many plaudits. I believe this most recent tribute—Simone Square featuring a statue of Dr. Simone—by Park Point developer Wilmorite is one of the best. Though RIT’s “The Sentinel” has its place on campus, many have lamented that the RIT campus lacks a more traditional monument or statue. It would be difficult to find anyone more deserving of this honor than President Albert Simone. How do you feel?
Best wishes, Dr. Simone!