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Albert and Carolie Simone
Albert and Carolie Simone

For the past 25 years, my bride Carolie and I have “lived above the store.” Together, we’ve hosted countless dinners, meetings and events when I served as president of the University of Hawaii, and since 1992, at our RIT home, Liberty Hill. Carolie and I have enjoyed every moment. It is with bittersweet emotion that I announce my retirement as your president in mid-2007 (see page 2). It has been an extraordinarily rewarding experience at RIT: the best job I could have ever imagined.

RIT has grown considerably since I became a member of this great family. We’ve added many academic programs, including two Ph.D. programs. Our endowment has increased from $189 million to more than $580 million. We’ve gone global with programs in China, eastern Europe, and the Dominican Republic. We’ve made nearly $300 million in improvements and expansion on the campus in the past decade. The alumni population will soon reach a major milestone: 100,000. Our growing student enrollment of more than 15,200 puts us among the top 20 largest private universities in the United States. We’ve become more selective, with SAT scores among the upper echelon in higher education. The university has reached new levels of excellence in many areas.

But it is certainly more than just about numbers and bricks and mortar and programs.

It is about the people . . . the RIT family. I will miss the students most. They are so bright and so eager to learn. It is rewarding to watch them grow. I love to celebrate their wins and accomplishments. RIT is unquestionably a progressive and agile university on the move. I am very proud of the impact that RIT alumni, faculty, staff and students are making locally, nationally and globally.

So what’s in store for the upcoming year? We will not sit back and rest on our accomplishments. This fall, we will dedicate the opening of the Center for Bioscience Education and Technology. We will open the new Student Development Center at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. We will break ground at “College Town,” our development of housing, retail and entertainment on campus. We are in the planning stages of adding Ph.D. programs in astrophysics and sustainability. And we will wrap up the most successful capital campaign in RIT history – gifts tallying $300 million that will benefit all of RIT for a generation to come. It will be a whirlwind year for me, and then RIT will start a new, exciting chapter.

Finally, I would like thank Carolie, my children and grandchildren. Carolie has been a dedicated ambassador for RIT, serving as a leader with the RIT Women’s Council, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, and the Rochester School for the Deaf. She has devout passion for RIT and has been my sounding board and soul mate in my 50-year career in academia.

Onward and upward for the 2006-2007 academic year!

Albert J. Simone
President