Campaign for RIT
On Sept. 28, 2002,
RIT made history. That evening, before a crowd of 300 volunteers,
donors, and friends in the Clark Gymnasium, RIT announced the
launch of its most ambitious fundraising campaign a campaign
whose goal is $300 million and theme is Powered by the Future.
is a bold statement, said President Albert J. Simone, to
the Rochester community but also to this nation and to the world
that Rochester Institute of Technology is preparing now to meet
the demands and opportunities of technological education in the
and fundraising began in 1998, following six years of university-wide
strategic planning. Since then, the board of trustees has joined
key administrators in establishing a steering committee, hiring
critical development staff, determining campus-wide priorities
of need, and meeting with hundreds of alumni, parents and friends
of RIT to request and attain their early support. In fall 2001,
the board officially approved the campaign goal and structure,
an anticipated public announcement in fall 2002, and a target
closure date of June 30, 2006.
|RIT kicked off the public phase of a $300-million
campaign at a special event in September. Seated, from left,
are: Catherine Carlson, a longtime supporter of the Chester
F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science; Trustee Bruce Bates,
who funded the Bruce and Nancy Bates Study Center in the College
of Science; and Rochester businesswoman and Trustee Christine
Whitman. Standing, from left, are students Jeffrey Dank and
David Fetzer, recipients of the Carlson Imaging Science Scholarship;
Ian Gatley, dean of the College of Science; Thomas Henthorn,
one of 30 Whitman Scholars; and Erick Littleford (at the podium),
president of student government.
The Campaign for RIT
is comprehensive with goals for both capital and special operating
needs. It seeks resources to propel the university to the next
level in terms of student and faculty recruitment and success,
campus facilities, and research opportunities.
is necessary to provide the funding for the current and future
growth of RIT, states Bruce James '64, chairman of
the board of trustees. It is imperative that we make significant
investments today in order to reap the rewards long into the future.
President Simone believes
that RIT's uniqueness makes the university a sound investment.
RIT is different because of its career focus and because
of its emphasis on the success of our undergraduate students.
Teaching is the most important thing we do and learning is the
most important outcome we have. We build our curriculum, our teaching
and our research around partnerships with industry and government
so that when our students graduate, they are fully aware
and prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities faced
by industry and government.
A terrific beginning
In 1998, in coordination
with the Gleason Foundation, James and Janis Gleason were among
the first to make a leadership gift to the campaign. In recognition
of their $12 million gift, the largest single gift ever received
by the university, RIT named the Kate Gleason College of Engineering
for Kate Gleason, former secretary-treasurer of Rochester's
Gleason Works and a pioneer in engineering. The first woman elected
a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Ms.
Gleason was also the first woman president of the First National
Bank of Rochester. The gift has been used to recruit more women
and minority students in engineering; to develop new graduate
and research programs; and to renovate the 30-year-old James E.
Gleason Building, home to the college.
By the September 2002
public announcement, RIT had recruited nearly 200 volunteers to
aid in the effort and raised more than $150 million, putting the
effort over the midpoint. In addition to Mr. and Mrs. Gleason,
major contributors included trustee B. Thomas Golisano, Chairman
and CEO of Paychex, Inc., whose $14-million gift established the
B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences,
the most comprehensive computing college in the nation; and Rochester
businessman Ernest J. DelMonte and the DelMonte Corporation who
gifted a hotel, valued at $14 million and now re-named the RIT
Inn and Conference Center.
of Technology is a real pillar of strength in our community,
commented Golisano, who is proud to serve as honorary chair of
The Campaign for RIT. The quality of the output of students,
the technical environment, the achievement level of the people
who have attended the university and now are out in the work force
is all terrific and we need to support institutions like RIT.
Setting the goals
Priority areas of
need for The Campaign for RIT and their fundraising goals are:
Investing in Students:
Recruiting and Retaining
Top Faculty: $50 million
Campus: $70 million
Research and Learning: $75 million
Fund for the Future:
|The Nathaniel Rochester Society Scholarship
Fund, established in 1991, has supported over 1,400 outstanding
More than one-third
of the $300 million goal is sought for endowment. Growing RIT's
endowment is critical to our ability to remain agile. The income
from endowment provides for RIT programs in perpetuity
supporting scholarships and faculty, equipment and the library,
for example. In June 2002, our endowment totaled $405 million
or $27,000 per student a figure that pales beside those
of our chief competitors. In order to recruit and retain the leaders
of tomorrow, we must increase current and endowed scholarship
aid that is based on need and merit.
A 1959 graduate of
the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, Charles Volpe wanted
to give back. Remembering the financial struggles he felt as a
student, he and his wife, Andrea, decided this past year to establish
a full-tuition engineering scholarship in their name. By
removing the financial concerns of even one student, I know that
I am promoting excellence in education and helping that young
person on the road to a successful career, he says.
With the rising cost
of tuition nearly $19,000 for the 2002-03 academic year
at RIT some of the country's best students are forced
to select their college or university based on the offer of financial
aid. By raising significant new scholarship funds, we will secure
RIT's share of these top students. Scholarship funds do more
than boost enrollment figures: they also strengthen the quality
of the student body, critical for recruiting top faculty.
The best teachers
are seeking the best students, observes Chairman James.
If we can demonstrate that RIT has been able to recruit
top-notch students into our programs, we will have no problems
finding the faculty for those programs.
is committed to excellence in teaching and the university is committed
to supporting the teaching and research needs of that faculty.
Through an estimated 20 endowed professorships, requiring $1.5
to $3 million each, the campaign will provide the resources necessary
to offer competitive faculty salaries in such cutting-edge areas
as bioinformatics, microsystems, and photonics. An additional
$10 million in funding will support graduate assistantships, start-up
funds for niche research, and specialized laboratory enhancements.
The academic world is in fierce competition for talented faculty,
and these resources are essential for RIT's continued leadership
in technological education.
Building for excellence
Consider this: RIT's
campus was built in 1968 for a student body comprising 4,000 students.
Today, enrollment exceeds 15,000. After almost 20 years of continual
growth, driven by the addition of programs, RIT must ensure that
our physical facilities keep pace. To do that, we are investing
$70 million in state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories, more
comfortable study spaces, and social venues.
Construction and renovation
will touch each of the university's eight college buildings,
specifically: increased space for the Colleges of Liberal Arts,
Science, Applied Science and Technology, and the College of Business;
further expansion of the Kate Gleason College of Engineering;
theater, laboratory, gallery and workspace enhancements for the
College of Imaging Arts and Sciences and the National Technical
Institute for the Deaf; and completion of the home for the B.
Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.
Among the exciting
new construction projects supported by The Campaign for RIT is
the Gordon Field House and Activities Center. The $25-million,
160,000 square-foot field house will seat more than 8,000 people
in a 60,000 square-foot venue that also will be an arena for indoor
sports year-round. In addition, the complex will include a new
fitness center, eight-lane competition pool, and recreation pool.
The Field House
is something we're really looking forward to, says
Erick Littleford '03, president of student government. It's
going to give us for the first time a venue where
8,000 students can come together in one space for big-name concerts
and special events. The students are excited about that, and it's
really going to do a lot for the campus.
The name for the facility,
which honors long-time friend and trustee Lucius R. Bob
Gordon, and his wife, Marie, was announced at the groundbreaking
in September. A supporter and champion of RIT's mission for
more than 60 years, Lucius Gordon became a key contributor to
the field house through gifts and commitments totaling $5 million.
|This rendering depicts the proposed renovations
of the Lowenthal Building, which houses the College of Business.
||The new building for the B. Thomas Golisano
College of Computing and Information Sciences is expected
to open in spring 2003.
The ability to keep
up with, even anticipate, emerging technologies makes RIT attractive
to both students and faculty. The opportunity for undergraduates,
particularly, to work shoulder to shoulder with faculty on breakthrough
research is rare among teaching universities but the norm at RIT.
Such activities depend on state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment
and keep RIT vital to industry. Joseph M. Lobozzo II '95,
president of JML Optical Industries Inc. and vice chair of The
Campaign for RIT, views RIT's research as an important means
of advancing the university's educational mission while furthering
Rochester's tradition of excellence in optics. It was this
commitment to RIT, to Rochester, and to industry
that prompted his leadership gift of $1.4 million to seed the
First in Class program in photonics.
Another example of
support for applied research and learning is the gift of a new
Sunday 2000 commercial web press from Heidelberg Digital L.L.C
valued at $7 to $10 million. We are pleased to expand a
partnership with RIT that benefits our entire industry,
says Wolfgang Pfizenmaier, president of Heidelberg Digital. In
addition to providing educational opportunities for students and
industry, RIT conducts extensive applied research on campus for
web offset printers and suppliers. The new Heidelberg Web Press
Laboratory incorporates state-of-the-art technology within RIT's
world-renowned graphic arts program to create the best possible
environment for advanced research and training.
Help from our friends
Tuition does not cover
the cost of providing a technological education today. To narrow
the gap between tuition and real cost, we depend on the support
of thousands of generous supporters. The Fund for the Future,
with a goal of $30 million in unrestricted monies, will enable
the university to direct funds wherever the need is greatest.
|At a groundbreaking in September, President
Albert Simone (center) announced that RIT's Field House
and Activities Center will be named for Lucius R. and Marie
Gordon, longtime supporters of the university.
funds directly support current needs and provide the fiscal flexibility
critical to maintaining cutting-edge curricula and facilities.
At RIT, we pride ourselves on what we call institutional
agility. What that means is the ability to respond quickly
to new student needs. It also means the ability to recognize new
opportunities early and to take advantage of them for the benefit
of our students.
During The Campaign
for RIT, we seek to increase alumni support of students through
greater participation in the annual fund. Other important sources
of unrestricted funds include bequests and other deferred gifts.
The new century will
bring unprecedented change. With the financial investment and
personal involvement of the entire RIT family students,
faculty, administrators, alumni, parents, and friends we
will raise the university to the next level of excellence. Join
us now in helping RIT to become the preeminent model of a technological
university committed to addressing the world's most critical
The RIT model
of education is not only desirable . . . it is critical to the
world, says President Simone. By securing personal
involvement and financial resources from our friends, and remaining
focused on the future, RIT will remain the world's leader
in delivering career-focused, technology-rich education.
For more about the
campaign, visit the Web at www.campaign.rit.edu.