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A message from President Simone

At RIT, we’re concerned with progress. We constantly strive to do better, accomplish more. We set lofty goals and we do not rest until we succeed.

Albert J. Simone

Even with this focus on the future, there is great value in celebrating the past. And what a fascinating history it is! This May, RIT begins the celebration of its 175th anniversary. The university traces its roots to a group of pioneers who wanted to enrich the cultural opportunities in their community. Just a few years later, visionary business leaders had the idea of establishing an institute where workers could acquire specialized skills needed by the area’s developing industries. Merging those two organizations – the culturally oriented Rochester Athenaeum and the technically minded Mechanics Institute – was a stroke of sheer genius.

That merging of art and technology provided a foundation on which RIT continues to build. Our student body is a fantastic mix of techies and artists. The campus is home to world-class works of art and state-of-the-art laboratories. Many of RIT’s faculty and alumni are esteemed in the fields of photography, art and design as well as engineering, printing, imaging science, computer-related fields and other technological areas.

Like our predecessors, we remain committed to preparing our graduates to make significant contributions in the workplace. At the same time, we prepare students to be well-rounded world citizens.

While the commitment to students remains unchanged, RIT has grown and evolved tremendously. There are many milestones in RIT’s history, as you will discover from the time line that begins on page 16. For instance, 2004 marks the 60th anniversary of the name RIT, and it was in 1955 when RIT awarded its first bachelor’s degrees, raising the academic program to a new level and ambition.

The theme of this anniversary celebration is “Education, Exploration, Innovation”. Those three words aptly describe RIT’s history, and they clearly define RIT’s future.

The festivities begin with commencement weekend May 21-22, when Anne Mulcahy, chairwoman and CEO of Xerox Corp., will deliver the keynote address.

Much of that celebration will take place in our new Gordon Field House and Activities Center.

Many activities are being planned for this special year (see page 23 for a listing, or visit the special Web site www.rit.edu/175 to find out more). I hope you will be able to participate in some of the events. This is a terrific opportunity to connect with the university and – as always – I would be delighted to welcome you back to RIT.

Cordially yours,

Albert J. Simone
President