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Dyers' $2.5 million to create an NTID visual arts center

    Joseph F. and Helen C. Dyer have donated $2.5 million, the lead gift to build and develop a visual arts center in NTID's Lyndon Baines Johnson building. The facility will be known as the Joseph F. and Helen C. Dyer Arts Center.

    Through a new special project, NTID plans to attract additional funds for the center, specialized gallery space and the archival needs of the school's extensive art collection. The Dyers' financial commitment will begin the work on the unique center, which will house and exhibit art works by both deaf and hearing artists.

    "NTID currently holds a significant collection of artwork contributed by deaf people from all corners of the world," says Robert Davila, vice president for NTID. "We seek to build on and develop the current collection through contributions. The center will serve as an exciting space to witness and appreciate the important contributions of visual artists, among them a significant number of NTID students and graduates who have distinguished themselves through the arts."

    The 7,000-square-foot Dyer Arts Center will become the focal point of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Building, which houses the administrative headquarters of NTID as well as a number of laboratories and high-tech classrooms. Visitors will encounter the glass enclosed arts center as they first enter the front doors of the building. A glass roof to bathe the exhibit rooms in natural light will cover the center.

    The Dyer Arts Center will also be the site for special events hosting national and international dignitaries and will serve as a unique venue for RIT presidential events. Last year more than 4,000 people from all over the United States and many foreign countries visited NTID, among them President Mary McAleese of Ireland, the president of Tianjin University in China and two delegations of educators from Hungary.

    "NTID at RIT is of great importance to the deaf community," says Joseph Dyer. "Helen and I want to help support NTID, which has made significant contributions to deaf education, technology and the arts."

    "We believe the arts are a large component of a well-rounded college education," Helen Dyer says. "Expression through art for deaf people is especially meaningful and beneficial."