Category Archives: Events

RIT presidential inauguration set for Sept. 28

Dr. Munson in navy jacket, light blue shirt and tan pants, sitting in brown leather chair. He is wearing glasses.

The inauguration of President David Munson as Rochester Institute of Technology’s 10th president will take place Sept. 28. For more information on the inauguration and a full schedule, go to

What: Inauguration of David Munson as RIT’s 10th president

  • Keynote speaker Philip Hanlon, president of Dartmouth College, will welcome Munson. A mathematician, computer scientist and educator, Hanlon came to Dartmouth from the University of Michigan, where he served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. At the inauguration, Hanlon will be joined by dozens of college and university presidents from across the country.
  • A video on Munson’s successes in higher education will also be a highlight of the ceremony.
  • Munson’s address will look toward the future of RIT and the role that higher education can play in solving complex issues around the world.

When: 3 to 4:30 p.m., with a reception to follow, Sept. 28

Where: Gordon Field House and Activities Center on the RIT campus

Who: Open to the entire RIT community

Munson facts:

  • Munson became RIT’s 10th president on July 1
  • Munson took the helm from retiring president Bill Destler, who served RIT for 10 years.
  • Munson was previously dean of the University of Michigan College of Engineering.
  • For a full biography of Munson, go to

RIT Quote: “With his terrific leadership experience at the University of Michigan and his success as a faculty member and as an entrepreneur, Dr. Munson is a perfect fit for RIT,” said Jeremy Haefner, RIT provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “I look forward to working with him as we enter an exciting new era for the university.”

RIT/NTID Dyer Arts Center presents Arte del Corazon exhibition

art of multi-colored faces looking a the moon that also has a face.

RIT/NTID's Dyer Arts Center presents "Arte del Corazon" -- the first exhibit of its kind to spotlight Deaf Latinx artists. The following events will mark the opening of the exhibition:

Friday, Sept. 15

4-5 p.m.: Meet the Artists in Dyer Arts Center

5-7 p.m.: Opening Reception in Dyer Arts Center

7-9 p.m.: NTID Presenter Series: Drago Renteria in Panara Theatre


Saturday, Sept. 16

2-5 p.m.: Art Workshop in Dyer Arts Center

7-8:30 p.m.: Gallaudet University's Latinx Student Union presents "The Glass Wall" in Panara Theatre

All events are free and open to the public. Dyer Arts Center and Panara Theatre are located on the first floor of Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall on the RIT campus. 

The "Arte del Corazon" exhibition runs through Dec. 16, 2017. 

Behind the Scenes: NTID’s 50th Anniversary Reunion

The logo of NTID's 50th Anniversary Reunion

Less than a year from now, NTID will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its founding with a three-day-long Reunion Weekend. You’ve seen the videos, you’ve seen the flyers, and you may even already have bought your tickets.

But you’re probably wondering the same thing everyone else is wondering: What will it be like?

On June 28, 2018, you’ll set foot on a campus where you once lived, played, worked and learned. It might look familiar, but subtly different: There’s a building where a parking lot used to be, apartments materializing out of thin air, even a shining new Campus Center with a fountain that looks an awful lot like where you used to sit during swim meets.

Some things might have moved around, and other things might have grown or changed, but make no mistake: You are coming home.

Much like your parents might have once worked feverishly to make sure you felt welcome and comfortable when you visited them during winter break, the staff and alumni volunteers of NTID are working hard on making sure the 50th Anniversary Reunion Weekend is the best welcome you’ve ever had.

But don’t take our word for it. Starting with this post, we’re pulling aside the curtain and giving you a backstage tour of all the work that’s going into celebrating this incredible milestone. Who are we and what have we been doing?


Welcome aboard

First, you should know that there are a lot of people working together on the 50th anniversary! Here’s a photo taken by Norma Moran (SVP ’95, ’00), showing a recent Core Team meeting:

A laptop monitors shows the faces of several people participating in a teleconference.

You can also check out the Core Team membership here to get an idea of how many people are involved. Keep scrolling to the bottom to check out our ambassadors. Why?

Because Mary Jo Ingraham (’72) has become the Ambassador representing alumni enrolled at NTID 1968-1969! NTID’s first classes are truly special, and to have them here to see the 50th anniversary of their school means a great deal to everyone. We’re pleased and proud to work with Mary Jo, along with all the other ambassadors.

Loriann Macko (left) and Mary Jo Ingraham (right) smile at the camera while sitting at a small table in a coffeeshop.

What does working with the ambassadors look like? Take a peek into an Ambassadors meeting:

Loriann Macko, Mary Jo Ingraham, and Carmen Sciandra sit at a table, looking at a television screen showing themselves, Christopher and Staci Wagner, and Angela Officer, during an ambassadors' meeting.

Second, another alum working behind the scenes is Claire Bernard (’15).  Claire has been working closely with Loriann Macko, director of alumni and constituent relations, to do research needed to make sure that the history of NTID is front and center in our celebrations!

Claire Bernard smiles at the camera while working at a desk.

For example, she’s responsible for finding the photos you’ll see on the history displays that will line the entrance to each and every one of our Roadshow events! Here’s one possible example:

An example poster for the Reunion Roadshow, depicting several black-and-white photos tiled together under the Reunion logo and an orange header that says

Welcome to the 50th Anniversary Reunion Weekend team, Mary Jo and Claire!


Student innovation

Check this out: 

Tiandre Turner (left) demonstrates an app on a smartphone to Loriann Macko (center right) and James McCarthy (right).

What’s happening? Tiandre Turner, left, a student in RIT’s Web and Mobile Computing program, is showing an app to Loriann and James McCarthy, NTID marketing communication specialist.

What’s the app? The official 50th Anniversary Reunion Weekend app, of course! This is a very, very early preview, but by the time the Reunion Weekend rolls around, you’ll be able to see the entire weekend’s schedule at a glance, put together your own calendar, and share that calendar with your friends so you can spend time together.

The app will help you find your way around, keep track of event updates—sometimes rooms need to change, after all—and stay notified of important information, such as lost items that need to be claimed and special events at vendor exhibits.

All of these cool new features come courtesy of Tiandre, who is currently working at the Center on Access Technology on a co-op. Talk about #deaftalent!


What to watch next

Over the next 10 months, NTID will be releasing vlogs on a regular basis. They’ll cover lots of things—what to look forward to, what’s happening at Roadshow events, and the Alumni Museum. Most importantly, they’ll also communicate information you need to know about the Reunion Weekend.

For example, here are Rick Postl (SVP ’90, ’95) and Elena Shapiro (’95, ’96) in NTID’s state-of-the-art video studio in LBJ Hall, supervised by Loriann.

Elena Shapiro (left) and Rick Postl (center left) stand on a small stage in front of a green screen in a studio; Loriann Macko (far right) looks at the camera.

They’re busy recording a video for vendors and exhibitors, to be released next month. They’ll explain how to apply for a space in the exhibit hall, what amenities are available for vendors, and how to find out more information. Keep an eye on the Reunion website and RIT/NTID’s Facebook page for more information!


Coming up

For the next 10 months, we’ll be releasing regular updates, keeping you up to date on the latest details and taking you behind the scenes at the biggest celebration in the history of NTID!

As always, you can also like the Facebook pages for RIT/NTID and the NTID Alumni Association for faster updates, as well as news for your specific part of the world.

If you have any questions, please contact Loriann Macko at

NTID Performing Arts presents “Out of the Box” with Patrick Graybill

Black background with a brown box open with various clippings and words coming out, with the words

RIT/NTID Performing Arts presents  "Out of the Box" -- a multimedia performance featuring the life stories of legendary RIT/NTID Professor Emeritus Patrick Graybill at 7:30 p.m. Sat., Sept. 9 in Panara Theatre. Written by Karen Christie and Patrick Graybill and directed by Aaron Kelstone, tickets are $35 for the performance and a reception, and $25 for the performance only. Tickets are available a the RIT University Arena Box Office or online

An overlooked aspect of history uncovered

Harry Lang with light skin, short light hair, light beard wearing black golf shirt and brown tweed jacket.

For Harry Lang, there is always much to be learned from the past. Throughout his 41 years of teaching at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf and into the present-day, he has researched and authored numerous books on Deaf Americans throughout history.

Lang’s newest book, “Fighting in the Shadows: The Untold Story of Deaf People in the Civil War,” provides insight into this little-known aspect of the country’s history. The book, which includes 160 photos, sells for $39.95. 

Deaf and hard-of-hearing people were extensively involved in the American Civil War, yet no detailed summary has previously been published on their participation. Supporting both sides of the conflict, they participated as soldiers, writers, doctors, nurses, spies and assumed a variety of other roles. They emerged from the shadows to gain further control of their own destiny as American citizens.

Lang has published 10 books and numerous book chapters and articles. He was the senior history adviser on the production team of the award-winning documentary “Through Deaf Eyes,” which aired on PBS stations in 2007.

From 12:20 to 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6, in RIT/NTID’s CSD Student Development Center, room 1300/1310, Lang will discuss the book as part of the college’s ASL Lecture Series, with a book signing after the presentation. The event is free, and sign language interpreters have been requested.

“My plan for the RIT/NTID ASL Lecture Series presentation is to focus on Deaf History/Deaf Heritage as they relate to the Civil War,” Lang said. “I will have numerous stories, but more emphasis on sign language, graduates of schools for the deaf like Laura Redden, Edmund Booth and many others and how they put aside the oppression and discrimination they faced in order to join the greater conflict that was dividing the nation.”

At 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7, Writers and Books will sponsor a lecture and book signing at Rochester Academy of Medicine auditorium, 1441 East Ave., Rochester. A Q & A and book signing will follow. The event is $5, and tickets can be bought in advance by calling 585.473.2590 ext. 107 or online at This event will be sign language interpreted.

This presentation will have a stronger emphasis on community aspects, such as deaf people being involved in both the nascent Deaf community at that time, and their involvement in the hearing communities in support of the Union and Confederate armies. 

“I’ll also talk a bit about the tens of thousands of hearing soldiers who were deafened in the war and what they experienced during the years following the war,” Lang said.

RIT/NTID selects Holcombs for Distinguished Alumni Award

Barbara Ray, short blonde hair, glasses in pink collared shirt, and Sam,brown hair, beard, glasses in orange RIT shirt.

Samuel (SVP ’74, ’77) and Barbara Ray (SVP ’71, ’74, ’84) Holcomb have been selected as recipients of the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf. They are only the second couple to be selected for the award, which recognizes alumni who have brought distinction to the institution through their professional, community and philanthropic activities.

For virtually anyone who has worked with them since their arrival on campus in the mid-1970s, their selection comes as no surprise; the Holcomb’s have made their names, both individually and together, as tireless advocates for relationship-building, both on campus and elsewhere.

“We’ve always enjoyed giving back to the community that’s supported us,” said Barbara Ray, a graduate of NTID’s associate degree program in medical records technology. She also earned a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Brockport in interdisciplinary arts for children and a master’s degree from RIT in career and human resources development. She has held various instructional positions at RIT, NTID, and other area colleges since 1979.

Her most recent position was as an associate professor and the coordinator of the Faculty/Staff Sign Language Program in RIT/NTID’s American Sign Language and Interpreting Education Department.

Sam Holcomb is a 1977 graduate of NTID’s ophthalmic optical finishing technology program. In the early 1990s he taught sign language to former RIT President Albert J. Simone, who became the first president of RIT to regularly use ASL in his remarks at commencement and other campus-wide events, thanks to Sam’s tutelage.

The Holcomb’s are co-authors of ASL at Work, a teacher manual and student text intended to teach effective communication in the classroom and the workplace. They also have individually authored various books, films and curricular materials devoted to surmounting language barriers.

The Holcomb’s retired from NTID in 2013 and now live in Surprise, Arizona. They are active in their retirement community, which contains a high number of deaf senior citizens.

“We have weekly gatherings where I share information about resources and host workshops,” said Sam. “Barbara also shares information about communication or assistive devices, like where to get voice carry-over phones and flashing lights for doorbells and fire alarms. Many of our neighbors are hungry to learn new things through sign language, and since [Barbara Ray and I] come from a technical institution, we’re ahead of the game in many ways.”

“We also educate them about their rights,” said Barbara Ray. “Some of our deaf neighbors have spent years keeping quiet about their need for communication access, so we teach them how to request an interpreter and other things that they’re entitled to by law.”

Although Sam and Barbara Ray have left Rochester, they still feel a strong connection to NTID as well as a need to provide future generations with a sense of connection to the past. Their advocacy helped spur the establishment of the Deaf Studies Archive at RIT’s Wallace Memorial Center, and both are working towards the development of an NTID Alumni Museum. The museum is slated to open during the college’s 50th Anniversary Reunion Weekend, which will take place June 28-July 1, 2018.

The Holcomb’s will be recognized during the Distinguished Alumni Award ceremony during the RIT Presidents’ Alumni Ball on October 13, 2017.