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We hear you!

RIT President Albert Simone logged thousands of miles traveling around the country to talk to small groups of alumni this year. His visits to 15 cities proved extremely educational: “When I meet with alumni,” says Simone, “I always uncover new opportunities and ideas for RIT.”

During free-wheeling discussions with the president and other university leaders, alumni talked about a wide variety of subjects, often expressing the need for continuing communication and applauding campus improvements and commending the university’s vision for the future. For instance, Dean Crawford ’64 (electrical engineering) of Stuart, Fla., advised RIT to treat its alumni “as students who have gone on a very long, extended co-op assignment” by keeping in touch on an ongoing basis.

Jon Roberts ’70 (graphic arts and photography) of Great Falls, Va., urged alumni to give their time and expertise. Roberts, managing partner of Roberts, Abokhair & Mardula, LLC, sets a great example. He is assisting RIT’s Office of Grants, Contracts and Intellectual Property.

Here is what other alumni are saying:

Susan Foley, ’79 and ’73 (MBA and business), Melrose, Mass.:

“I am impressed with the progress that you and the faculty have made in elevating the university to its current status. It is very rewarding to hear about all of the university’s accomplishments and your plans for the future. It makes me feel proud to be an alumna.

Cheryl S. Norton ’75 (art and design), Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.:

“I believe melding the group will help forward your goals of building endowment and the school’s image in industry. A strong identity within the alumni will ripple out to industry. It is exciting to hear the plans for the future and even more exciting knowing our son (starting his studies at RIT this fall) will benefit from them.

“We came to RIT more than 25 years ago because of its focus on preparing us for business and it is great to see the focus is still there.”

John G. Gaston III ’81 and ’74 (M.S., B.S., graphic arts and photography), St. Davids, Pa.:

“It is apparent that RIT is attracting high-quality students and continues to grow as a prominent technical institute on the national as well as international level. Having received both B.S. and M.S. degrees from RIT and working for more than 25 years in industry, I can attest to the value of the education which I received.”

Brenda and Carl Schlack ’75 (MBA), Redondo Beach, Calif.:

“While we have moved across the country, we still feel strong ties to upstate New York and RIT, and have both concerns and high hopes for RIT and the area in the future. Both the community and RIT have much to offer and we would like to see that potential realized more fully.”

Dr. Brian C. Smith ’82 (science), Shrewsbury, Mass.:

“Dr. Simone is an active and courageous leader, and I greatly admire what he has done for RIT, and am excited about where he is taking the institution.”

Braden R. Smith ’96 (business administration, finance), Long Grove, Ill.:

“You have done an excellent job at making RIT one of the premier universities in the country. Now we have to get out and tell everyone!

“I have a lot to be thankful for and one of them is the experience I gained at RIT. I can say with confidence I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for RIT.”

Julia Wyant ’82 (graphic design), Weston, Ct.:

“It’s exciting to think about all the smart, talented people out in the world who passed through RIT. It’s great to be part of the group!”

Joseph M. Kalka ’78 (graphic arts and photography), Dallas:

“It’s good to know that you plan on putting some programs (for reaching out to alumni) into action. I believe there are many RIT alumni in the area. The contacts we have and the knowledge we possess are invaluable.”

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