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
|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
degrees, raising the academic program to a new level
The theme of this
anniversary celebration is “Education,
Exploration, Innovation”. Those three words aptly
describe RIT’s history, and they clearly define
The festivities begin
with commencement weekend May 21-22, when Anne Mulcahy, chairwoman
and CEO of Xerox Corp., will deliver the keynote address.
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.
Albert J. Simone