Category Archives: Events

Banquet and Celebration Friday, Nov. 10

Poster with brown frame. Image of Abbe de l'Eppe in religious garb on left and two sugar skull costumes on right.

The 6th Annual Deaf-Mute* Banquet celebrating the 305th birthday of Abbe de l'Eppe is combining with a Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Latin American cultural celebration 5-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, in the Dyer Arts Center. Download the form to purchase tickets. 

*The idea of an international annual Deaf celebration arose within the Comite' des Sourds-Muets (the Deaf-Mute committee headed by Ferdinand Berthier) in Paris, France, to honor the birth of Abbe de l'Eppe, the hearing founder of the first free Deaf school, and supporter of sign language instruction (Gulliver, 2013). Since 1834 at the Parisian traditional annual banquets, they also noted accomplishments of Deaf indivduals in various fields. In keeping with this tradition, reenactments will happen at this banquet. 

RIT/NTID Performing Arts presents dance and music adaptation of ‘The Story of Beauty and the Beast,’ Nov. 9–12

Dark skinned male in blue jacket with red trip hugs a medium skinned female in white dress.

The Performing Arts program at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf will present a dance and music adaptation of The Story of Beauty and the Beast, conceived by Thomas Warfield, director of NTID’s dance department. The performance—an adaptation of the traditional fairy tale written in 1740 by French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villenueve—will be performed at NTID’s Panara Theatre in Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9–11, and 2 p.m. Nov. 12. 

The show, co-directed and co-choreographed by Warfield and Nicole Hood-Cruz, tells the story of an arrogant young prince and his servants who fall under the spell of a wicked enchantress, turning the prince into a hideous beast until he learns to love and be loved in return. A spirited village girl, Belle, enters the beast’s castle in search of her father who has been imprisoned there and begins to draw the cold-hearted beast out of isolation with the help of the enchanted servants. The take is freshly told through non-verbal expressions in a variety of dance styles, sign language and melody.

“This uniquely creative production of The Story of Beauty and the Beast showcases the outstanding talent of RIT’s deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing actors and dancers,” said Warfield. “And while this ‘tale as old as time’ is one that many people are familiar with, the innovative fusion of dance and music is certain to mesmerize audiences, young and old. One of the underlying messages in our production is there’s beauty in our differences. Music and dance help to express and communicate that understanding for the deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing communities coming together to present this beautiful show.”

Tickets can be purchased through RIT University Arenas and are $5 for students, senior citizens and children; $10 for RIT faculty/staff/alumni; and $12 for everyone else. Tickets will also be sold at the door on performance days. For more information, call 585-475-4121.

RIT/NTID Dyer Arts Center exhibit celebrates milestone anniversary of artist William ‘Lee’ Hoag

Platform with green container with orange spout and silver flexible hose and black piece with metal discs and the end.

The 25th anniversary of William “Lee” Hoag’s first art show is being celebrated this fall with a new show in the Ohringer Gallery of the Dyer Arts Center at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf through Nov. 18. “HOAG/25 Years” is a collection of works spanning the past 25 years, across multiple media, along with 11 new pieces. An artist’s reception will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, in the gallery.

Hoag’s first exhibit, “ELEVEN: Recent Mixed-Media Sculptures from Bill Hoag,” debuted in 1992 in what was the White Room Gallery at the downtown Rochester nightclub Carpe Diem. Today, it’s the location of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.

Hoag is the son of Ralph Hoag, who worked in the U.S. Department of Education under former presidents Kennedy and Johnson and played an instrumental role in the establishment of NTID. The elder Hoag was also a former superintendent of the Rochester School for the Deaf.

William “Lee” Hoag, who lives and works in Rochester, is a 1992 graduate of RIT’s Master of Science for Teachers in visual arts-all grades (art education) program and recently retired after a long career as a sign-language interpreter. He was formerly artist-in-residence at Freiluftgalerie Stotteritz in Germany and his artwork has been featured in solo and group exhibitions throughout Rochester and the region. He lectures locally and has been featured in several publications including City NewspaperLake Effect Magazine, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and Chenango Valley News. He has also had commissioned artwork displayed at Highland Park and Village Gate Square and he has won several grants and awards for his pieces.

“My first passion is art making, and when my proposed 25-year, multimedia retrospective exhibition was accepted by Tabitha Jacques, director of the Dyer Arts Center, I was ecstatic to say the least, given what it means to me not only as an alumnus, but mostly for my late father’s legacy and life’s work in deaf education,” said Hoag. “Both of my parents wholeheartedly supported my pursuit of art and being an artist. This important career exhibition at this time in my life at the Ohringer Gallery at the RIT/NTID Dyer Arts Center is truly special indeed.”

The gallery is located in Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall, RIT/NTID, 52 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester. For more information, go to

RIT/NTID job fair connects deaf students with employers across the country

Light skinned man on left with cochlear implant wearing suit chats with darker skinned man on right in red golf shirt, tan pants

Representatives from more than 40 local and national corporations, federal agencies and nonprofit organizations will meet with hundreds of deaf and hard-of-hearing students at the 17th annual job fair, 12:30–4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The event will be held in Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall on the RIT campus.

“Employers will have the opportunity to recruit talented deaf and hard-of-hearing students in associate and bachelor’s degree programs such as business, finance, graphic design, engineering, computing and more,” said John Macko, director of NTID’s Center on Employment.

Interpreters will be available, and in many cases, the company recruiters are RIT/NTID alumni. Companies registered to attend the fair include Caterpillar, Communication Service for the Deaf, Defense Finance and Accounting Service, FDIC, Ingalls Shipbuilding, Merck, Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support, Prudential and Texas Instruments, among others. 

“Employers continue to want highly qualified employees who bring the necessary skills and who will fit into the company culture and contribute to the company’s success,” added Macko. “Our students are well-trained and can hit the ground running at companies right here in Rochester and all over the country.”

There are a few openings available for employers who want to participate. For more information, email Mary Ellen Tait or call 585-475-6426. 

What: 17th annual NTID Job Fair
Where: Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall, Rochester Institute of Technology

When: 12:30-4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18

Details: More than 40 local and national corporations, federal agencies and nonprofit organizations will be on campus to recruit deaf and hard-of-hearing students and graduates for co-op and full-time positions.

Meet NTID’s Distinguished Alumni

Light-skinned woman and man. She is in pink shirt and glasses, he is in orange shirt and glasses. there are palm trees behind.

Even though retired NTID faculty members and alumni Barbara Ray ’74, ’84 and Samuel ’77 Holcomb now live across the country in Arizona, it does not mean RIT and NTID are far from their hearts.

“Our favorite color is orange, our golf cart is orange, and our house has different colored orange paint,” said Samuel. “It keeps our minds on RIT every day.”

The couple, with a combined 75 years of service to the university, is also keeping their connection to NTID alive in another important way by helping to preserve NTID’s history. Both are involved in efforts for an NTID Alumni Museum.

“Since celebrating 50 years of NTID, we’ve been thinking about establishing a museum for our future generations so the deaf can appreciate and learn about NTID,” said Barbara Ray. “It’s important to preserve the unique culture here at RIT.”

Throughout their long careers with RIT and NTID, the Holcombs amassed a trove of memorabilia, from old textbooks to video phones, which they hope will be featured in the museum one day. Many items from their collection are already featured in the Deaf Studies Archive in The Wallace Center, which they were instrumental in helping to create.

For these efforts, Barbara Ray and Samuel will be honored as the NTID 2017 Distinguished Alumni on Oct. 13 at the RIT Presidents’ Alumni Ball.

Along with their work to preserve NTID’s historic materials, the former instructors have brought another of their passions from RIT to their new community—teaching. They conduct workshops for their local deaf community on subjects like technology and teach American Sign Language to the senior citizens in their area.

“We’ll always have the itch to teach,” said Samuel. “And RIT is always in our hearts, until we are buried.”

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to a certified alumnus/a who has performed with distinction at the highest levels of his or her chosen profession or who has contributed significantly to the advancement and leadership of noteworthy civic, philanthropic or service organizations over the course of many years. Those honored have brought distinction to their colleges and RIT through their professional, community and/or philanthropic achievements.

Barbara Ray and Samuel Holcomb


50th Anniversary Reunion Weekend Golf Tournament Registration Opens

A group of golfers line up for a putt at an anniversary reunion golf tournament.

The 50th Anniversary Reunion Weekend Core Team is happy to announce that registration is now open for the golf tournament that will take place on Thursday, June 28, 2018!

Located at the Mill Creek Golf Club, the tournament is a convenient 10-minute drive from campus, which means it’s a great way to kick off your reunion weekend!

You can register here:

In case you have any questions, the organizers—Jamie Munro and Mark Pfuntner, both of whom are alumni working at NTID—have put together an FAQ; keep reading for more details.


How many people can register?

The maximum is 144 golfers or 36 teams of four.


How will teams be set up?

If you already have a team, you can add your fellow players as “guests” on the registration form. If you don’t have a team, you can register on your own, and we will assign you to a team that has space for you.


Will there be a waiting list in case of cancellations or no-shows?

Yes. If you are unable to register because the tournament has accepted the maximum number of players, contact Jamie and Mark at


I’m new to this golf tournament. What’s the format like?

We’ll be playing a Scramble, which will allow everyone at all levels to play. For more information on the format:


What time do I need to be at the course?

Registration will open at the course at 8 a.m., and everyone should be in their carts and ready to play by 8:45, rain or shine!


What kind of prizes will be awarded?

There’ll be prizes for both men and women for: Longest Drive, Closest to the Pin, and Straightest Drive. There’ll also be drawings for other prizes, so please bring cash if you plan to participate.


What’s included in the $80 registration fee?

A continental breakfast will be available for players, including breakfast sandwiches, whole fruit, orange juice, and coffee. Also, range balls will be provided, and of course lunch is included!


What’s for lunch?

For lunch, the options are: Slow-cooked pulled pork, BBQ chicken, creamy coleslaw, salt potatoes, cornbread, cookies, iced tea, and lemonade.

By the way, if you’re not playing, but want to join for lunch, it’s only $25!


What else should I know?

It’s fun! There’s always some joking around among players because it’s a friendly competition. And of course, it’s always nice to win some prizes, and the camaraderie can’t be beat!


If you have any more questions:

50th Anniversary Alumni Reunion Roadshow: Rochester, Oct. 12!

image of La Luna restaurant brick front with green awning with orange gray and tan background using 50th reunion logo.

Join your fellow alumni 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12 at La Luna, 60 Browns Race, Rochester, in the historic High Falls district, for an evening of fun as we celebrate 50 years of education excellence at RIT/NTID. President Gerry Buckley, reunion co-chairs Chris and Staci Wagner, and this year's NTID Distinguished Alumni award winners Sam and Barbara Ray Holcomb will be joining the fun. There will be a performance by Sunshine 2.0 along with delicious food and a cash bar. 

Don't miss a minute of the fun! Register today at!