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A message from the president

Our alumni make us smile. Using the outstanding technical skills they acquired at RIT, Ken Bielenberg and Mike Krummhoefener (cover story, page 6) helped create, respectively, Shrek and Monsters, Inc. – Oscar-nominated computer-animated films that make the world a little brighter.

Indeed, we needed those smiles in the troubling times since Sept. 11. All of us have been affected by the tragic events of that terrible day. On page 8, we share stories of some of the alumni who witnessed the attacks - many doing their jobs as photojournalists. The RIT community mourns the loss of two alumni, Philip Rosenzweig and Deborah Medwig (page 9). On campus, students, faculty and staff found ways of dealing with their grief by helping others.

That instinct to reach out to the community is deeply ingrained at RIT, in our students, staff and faculty. Volunteerism thrives, and a growing number of organizations benefit. As anyone who has lent a hand in a worthy effort learns early on, doing good is a two-way street. Everyone benefits. That's why we've made a concerted effort to incorporate community outreach projects into our academic programs (more about this on page 17). Community-based learning, like our historic co-op program, provides another way for students to enhance their education with real-world experience.

RIT"s commitment to practical, applied approaches to teaching and learning continues to attract record numbers of students. Enrollment for the current academic year is more than 15,000 students, with students from 50 states and more than 90 countries. More than 2,300 first-year students arrived on campus, selected from nearly 9,000 applicants. The entering class had a mean SAT score of 1212 - the highest ever.

Last October, I had the opportunity to share the story of RIT's growth and goals with visiting alumni, parents and friends at our annual Brick City Festival and for the first time, at our comprehensive alumni reunion. I hope many more of you will come to RIT Oct. 10-13 for this year's big event. As much as I love showing off our growing university, I'm even more pleased to discover what you have accomplished.

Our students and alumni give us hope for the future. You make us smile.