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The University Magazine

Celebrate innovation and creativity on May 3

Bill Destler
Bill Destler chats with Formula SAE project manager Lawrence Litchfield, a fifth-year mechanical engineering major.

In my first few months on campus, I have discovered a university of artists and designers on the one hand, and scientists, engineers and business leaders on the other. Blend in the National Technical Institute for the Deaf and you have the makings of what could be the nation’s first “Innovation University.” Indeed, RIT has an unfair advantage in this area with its unique program mix and diverse student body.

Now we need to show off this extraordinary place to the world. Please accept this invitation to the inaugural Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival. Save the date: Saturday, May 3.

We want to attract 30,000 people to this distinctive festival and expose them to hundreds of examples of student, faculty and staff creativity and innovation. The festival will showcase new ideas for products and services, creative arts and crafts, faculty and student research, and more.

We will showcase prototypes, engineering design projects and products, new companies at our incubator, and unique productions in NTID's Panara Theatre. We'll show off the baja team and the formula car. We'll display work from the School for American Crafts. And we will have interactive experiences for visitors of all ages.

This hotbed of innovation and creativity will be free and open to the public. More than 30,000 of our 100,000 alumni live in Greater Rochester, and many more live within a few hours' drive of RIT. We urge you to bring your families and invite your friends.

The festival's mission goes beyond bringing you back to the thriving RIT campus. We see it as a call to national service. Innovation is one of our country's last competitive advantages. Young Americans want to walk to the beat of their own drummer, and their desire to be different is an innate American characteristic. Channeling that passion in constructive ways will foster the United States' leadership in technical innovation and creative ideas for new products and services.

As I've said before, RIT has an unfair advantage. Let's exploit it! Help us on our quest to become the nation's first "Innovation University." I look forward to seeing you - rain or shine - on May 3.


Bill Destler