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Frederick Wiedman Jr. bequeaths $5 million to RIT

    RIT will receive an estimated $5 million from the estate of the late Frederick Wiedman Jr. Wiedman, a Rochester native who practiced law in the city for 50 years, passed away at the age of 76. His association with RIT began in the early 1960s, when he helped settle the estate of RIT benefactor Grace Watson. "At that time, RIT was contemplating building a new campus," recalls Alfred Davis, RIT vice president emeritus. "The $3 million bequest from Mrs. Watson became the key to purchasing the land and beginning the whole process."

    Through Wiedman's involvement as Watson's attorney, he met Mark Ellingson (then president of RIT ). Wiedman's longtime law partner James Vazzana says that RIT appealed to Wiedman because "he believed RIT contributed to the community. He saw many of the students who go there tend to stay here." Wiedman became a member of RIT's Nathaniel Rochester Society in 1982, and in 1985 established the Frederick and Anna B. Wiedman Professorship in Imaging Science in recognition of his parents. In 1986 he joined RIT's Board of Trustees.

    The estate provides that the money first be used to fund completely the existing Wiedman Professorship in the College of Science and to then establish an additional chair. "The extent of Fred's generosity is extraordinary," says RIT President Albert Simone. "What he has done for this university is truly immeasurable."