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RIT at 175

RIT will commemorate its 175th anniversary with a year-long celebration that begins with the 2004 commencement ceremonies May 21-22.

The theme for the anniversary is “RIT: Celebrating 175 years of Education, Exploration and Innovation.” The anniversary will continue through the next academic year, concluding with commencement 2005.

“The anniversary year is an opportunity to not only celebrate, but also to showcase RIT to the community, as well as the nation and the world,” says Deborah Stendardi, vice president for government and community relations, and co-chair of the planning committee. The 27-member team began planning the celebration more than a year ago.

“The committee has laid out a plan that reflects this goal, and also provides opportunities for all members of the RIT family to be engaged in a variety of events and activities throughout the year,” Stendardi says. “In addition, we hope to create some new traditions that will carry on beyond the anniversary year.”

“The 175th anniversary provides an excellent opportunity to foster pride in RIT and enhance its reputation throughout the country and internationally,” says Fred Smith, secretary of the institute and assistant to the president, who also co-chairs the committee. “We look forward to a busy, but exciting year.”

With this issue, The University Magazine begins its own year-long commemoration of this important anniversary. You’ll find a time line noting significant dates in RIT history over the next six pages, and the next three issues will carry stories reflecting the anniversary themes as well as coverage of activities.

There’s also a new Web site devoted to the celebration. The address is www.rit.edu/175.

What do you remember about RIT?

If you are a graduate, parent, faculty or staff member, trustee, administrator, retiree or other member of the extended RIT family, you likely have special memories of the institute. Perhaps a faculty member influenced your life in an important way. Maybe you met your spouse here. Did an interesting project keep you working through the nights? Could it be that you still think fondly of your time in the darkrooms, labs or shops?As we take this time to reflect on 175 years of RIT history, we’d like to share your memories with our readers. Please write to The University Magazine, Rochester Institute of Technology, 132 Lomb Memorial Drive – Building 86, Rochester, N.Y. 14623; or send e-mail to umagwww@rit.edu.