in a name?
Lucius “Bob” Gordon’s connection to RIT dates
Born in Brockport, N.Y., in 1912, Gordon is the son of Fred Hooker
Gordon Sr., a farmer and president of Yates Coal Co. Gordon graduated
from Phillips Andover Academy and earned his bachelor’s
degree in industrial engineering at Yale University.
“Bob” Gordon, whose connection with RIT dates
to the 1930s, was instrumental in making the new field house
In 1937, Bob joined
his brother, Fred, to lead the Mixing Equipment Company (MIXCO).
Fred Gordon, who died in 2003, was a longtime trustee of both
Mechanics Institute and RIT. The brothers’ company manufactured
fluid mixing equipment used in the chemical, pharmaceutical and
petroleum industries. The Gordons turned to Mechanics Institute,
RIT’s forerunner, for machinists, lab technicians, chemists
and co-op students – and tapped into the school’s
technical expertise for special projects.
made possible the rise of industry in Rochester,” Gordon
said. “We pulled out of the Depression while the rest of
the country was left behind.”
MIXCO grew from 10
employees in 1937 to more than 1,000 employees within 15 years.
It eventually had plants in Canada, England, Australia and Singapore.
When RIT relocated
from downtown Rochester to its
current site, Gordon’s company donated about $50,000 toward
the new campus, which opened in 1968. The move “was great
for industry and it was great for Rochester,” believes Gordon,
who became an RIT trustee in 1975.
His gift to the Student
Life Center funded the Marie and Lucius R. Gordon administrative
wing; the crew team’s “Bob Gordon Shell” is
due to his generosity; and the Lucius Gordon Drive at the RIT
Business and Technology Park recognizes his longstanding advocacy.
At a reception celebrating
the opening of the Gordon Field House and Activities Center in
May, Gordon noted that he and his wife were “very proud
and honored” to have their names on the impressive facility.
replied President Simone, “your broad shoulders and big
heart are the reason we’re here today."