RIT is a university full of innovation, creativity, a thriving entrepreneurial spirit, and heart. This environment is due in large part to the work of President Bill Destler and Dr. Rebecca Johnson. Through their leadership, RIT has risen to the ranks of the nation’s great universities, while maintaining focus on students and a sustainable world.
Best Wishes
Dear Dr. Destler and Dr. Johnson, I have had the opportunity to meet with students from the Rochester City Scholars program who came to our office so they could apply for study abroad programs. This opportunity has truly been life changing for these students and would not have been possible without your vision. Thank you for all you have done for RIT and best wishes in your retirement!
Maureen Shannon, RIT Global Office
Dear Dr. Destler, When I think of you and your impact on RIT - I think of IMAGINE, Rochester City Scholars, your commitment to diversity, entrepreneurship, sustainability and students, faculty and staff. You have positioned RIT for future generations and your GREATness will be remembered every time anyone ever steps onto this campus. May you and Rebecca be blessed to enjoy many happy and healthy years of retirement together. Sincerely, Molly Johnson 2012 Staff Council Chair
Thank you for all you have done for the RIT Community! <3
Dimple Joseph
Thank you both for being allies to the LGBTQIA+ community at RIT.
Christopher Henry Hinesley
Thank you so much for all you have done for RIT. I will never forget how you gave a Wegman's gift card to Margaret's House employees. Dr Johnson, I appreciate so much your environmental/political activism and look to your Facebook posts as trusted sources of important ideas. Best wishes in retirement! So glad you have chosen to stay in Rochester.
Denise Speicher
Thank you Bill and Rebecca for your continued support and advocacy! We could always count on you to be our greatest cheerleaders. You will be missed-and we wish you the very best as you "level up". Enjoy your retirement!
RIT MAGIC Center
Bill and Rebecca -- Kudos on your epic run at RIT! The strong community you have created and the steep upward trajectory you have established are truly impressive. We are privileged to be joining a campus that is so full of energy and alive with possibility. For that, we sincerely thank you!
Dave and Nancy Munson
Thank you for your courageous leadership, especially starting the Imagine RIT Festival, and focusing on innovation. I retired in 2011 and had the privilege of serving in the first Imagine Festival. Promoting innovation gives people hope; I know it has touched everyone who has ever participated or attended. All the best!
Ramona Akpo-Sani
Rebecca and Bill... well done. Be comforted by knowing that you both made a positive difference in the lives of many, some yet to be born. I add my voice to the echoes of "thank you's" that hopefully you never get tired of hearing. Fulljoy the endeavors to come; your accomplishments here will be discussed for a years to come. Much Respect!
Jerome Underwood
Thank you for your support for students. The establishment of the Rochester City Scholars program is just one of many examples of that support, and a legacy you can continue to view with pride. Scholarship support creates life-changing opportunities for students. I enjoyed working with you to see those opportunities provided, and the changes they are making to so many lives.
Verna Hazen
HEOP thanks you for your support and for making RIT both more diverse and more inclusive!
HEOP
Thank you for being so loyal and dedicated in everything you do for sake of the RIT's success. Your dedication and loyalty will be forever cherished. And, you will be missed, but we know your retirement is the right thing at this time. May the next phase of your life bring you all that you seek and more. I sincerely wish you lots of joyous time with your family.
Lenoxa Hall
Dear Dr. Destler and Dr. Johnson, Thank you so much for all the wonderful service you offered to our RIT community. The legacy you leave behind will be cherished for ages to come. Lots of love and reverence.
Pranesh Das Purandaradoss, '18 MBA
Appreciate the positive influence he has had campus-wide and on myself over the last three years. His excitement @ Orientation and random luncheons in the SAU, he is my role model. Thank you!
Nick Commisso
Good luck & thank you for all you've done especially with the work in community building.
Karen Aranha
Bill and Rebecca - your leadership, innovation and dedication to RIT - where they were, where they are now and where they are headed has been simply amazing. Hope you take time to bask in the glory that surrounds you if only to amplify that power to others.
Becky Brubaker
Dr. Destler, Monroe Community College and the Monroe Community College Foundation are grateful for your many years of support and partnership. Best wishes for the next chapter!
Monroe Community College and the Monroe Community College Foundation
Thank you both for your wonderful contributions to RIT. You are a dynamic duo! And I wouldn't have a Volt if it weren't for you Dr. Destler.
Lori Marra, Senior Lecturer, School of Communication, COLA
Thank you both for your service these past 10 years. I am so fortunate to have met you both. Your legacy will live on for many years to come. You will be missed.
Maria Vega, HEOP
Bill and Rebecca - thank you for a fabulous ten years (with more to come!). Bill, it's been a pleasure serving the university under your leadership. Rebecca, I've enjoyed our 'tea time catch ups' and look forward to many more. Best wishes and RIT for Life!
Kelly Redder, Executive Director of RIT Alumni House
Just a little bit of history...this is Bill and I at the end of a 'campus exploration achievement' in 'game of banjos' (and guitar) pose; a part of the Just Press Play initiative out of IGM. I've had so much fun building things with both Bill and Rebecca. Best wishes.
Andy and Ashley
We first met you at Liberty Hill at Christmas in your first year. You made us so welcome and continued to keep in touch with us through the years. We appreciated your thoughtfulness and kindness through the 10 years we have known you. You have done a remarkable job at RIT/NTID and you will be long remembered. We are going to miss you at the RIT events.
Dr. and Mrs. Robert Menchel
Dr. Destler, we met at the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Award event but I feel I've known you since 2007! I've seen how you brought "FUN" and leadership to the campus. I just wanted to congratulate you on a job well done! Enjoy your retirement!
Barbara "BJ" Wood '75 (NTID)
Dr. Destler, As always, I am very proud of your leadership, commitment and dedication that you have given to our RIT. Your time has been valuable and much appreciated. Wishing you all the best as you enter into a new phase of your life. May all your retirement dreams come true.
Tuan Luong
Dr. Destler, I had the occasion to meet you during the 2012 Brick City Reunion. I was greatly impressed with the way you interact with students and alumni as well. Thank you for the leadership that you have given to RIT. Best wishes for the future.
Edward J. Amos, Jr. '73 (ProPhoto)
Wishing you health and happiness in your retirement! Thank you for all that both of you have done to advance RIT.
Sue Grace, Better Me Wellness
Thanks for a great 10 years! Go TIGERS! Bonnie Brennan Murphy '91
Bonnie Murphy
Congratulations Dr. Destler! Andrew Miller '18 Caleb DeSmith '19
Andrew Miller '18 Caleb DeSmith '19
We first met you on Isaac's first day at RIT. I remember wondering who the white-haired fellow was in the golf cart. We had a lovely conversation with you later in the day. Isaac is now a fourth-year student in BME and has had a fantastic experience at RIT. Thank you for your leadership and caring.
Lisa Buck
Thank you so much for all of your TLC! You have helped usher in a whole new generation of world leaders! I am so honored to have been a small piece of your greater legacy! #TigersForever #ForeverGrateful
Bernard Rodgers '17
Dr. Destler and Dr. Johnson, You have been a wonderful force on this campus and have made a massive impact. I was giving a tour to a potential student in KGCOE yesterday and they said how highly ranked we were and how impressive the campus was. And that is 100% because of your commitment to the campus and your loving candor to it's students, faculty and staff. You will be missed immensely!
Alyssa Recinella
Thank you both for enriching RIT and our community. Cheers to a successful tenure. 1ove and Jah Bless
André Hudson
You have been an amazing president and student-athlete advocate. Your ever present spirit at numerous athletic events has been a boost to the RIT Athletics program, our staff and student-athletes. Under your leadership we took a quantum leap forward. We'll never forget what you have done here at RIT and how you added value and esteem to Intercollegiate Athletics. You'll always be #1 to us! Best always to you and Rebecca.
Lou Spiotti, Jr. Executive Director, Intercollegiate Athletics
Thank you for making a transformational impact at RIT during your service. Best wishes in your retirement!
Kandice King, Corporate Relations Officer
Dr. Destler, I am a parent of an RIT freshman this year. The grace, interest in students and passion for curiousity that marked the remarks you made to parents of accepted and new students went a long way in persuading us that RIT was the best choice for our son. It is not difficult to recognize that your leadership has made its mark on the institution. Best of wishes to you Dr. Destler and Dr. Johnson in a well deserved, very fun retirement ahead.
Eveline Ferretti, RIT parent
The MDC/Dangerous Signs students and I will miss Dr.s Destler and Johnson - Working with Dr. Johnson on the Women's Center production of Vagina Monologues, our morning runs with Wednesday's Children and seeing you both in the audiences of our shows on campus, at the Fringe and at RIT Imagine gave us a sense of support and validation of Deaf/hearing collaboration through theater. you have been true friends to the Deaf theater community here, at NTID and in the Rochester community. Many thanks!
Dr. Luane Davis Haggerty
I am glad you are staying local so that we can rock mustaches every November!
Darci Lane-Williams
Dr. Destler: You have given this Institution a new life and a bright future. I am particularly happy with the direction you have taken us and, under your leadership, along with Jeremy's, am the most satisfied with my work that I have ever been.
Jeannette C. Mitchell, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Economics Undergraduate Program Director
Dr. Destler, Thank you for your great work as President of RIT. You did so much in ten years to expand the school's profile and desirability. All alumni should be proud! I wish you happiness in the next chapter of your life.
Mark Kulzer, CAST '87
Dr. Destler and Dr. Johnson, as an employee it is truly a wonderful feeling to like and respect the people that guide our collective futures here at RIT. I am proud of the vision and direction you have both contributed and it makes me a better representative of this school. Thank you, and best wishes for your next adventures. Visit often!
David Wivell
Dr. Destler – You breathed a new attitude and thinking into RIT – what it is, what it represents. You were always willing to help (see the image for the RIT Bow Tie Kickstarter that I ran and you graciously supported). You were on the sidelines at so many sporting events. You launched the wonderful Imagine RIT event. You fought for Rochester students to come to RIT. You did so much that it will be truly hard to say goodbye. For now all we can say is a big thank you - you will be missed.
Mike Johansson
Dr. Destler and Dr. Johnson- I just wanted to take a moment to say 'Thank You'. You have made RIT known world wide and increased our visibility to the world in a wonderful positive way. I know we will continue to do great things here thanks to your visions.
Jeannette Giagios NTID Cultural and Creative Studies
Thank you for all that you have done for RIT. You have made yourself so incredibly visible and involved in RIT. Truly an amazing and commendable performance. Enjoy your retirement.
Robert Amsler P'12
Phillip Amsler '12
Bill, you have been a terrific President, and Rebecca a great First Lady. Carolie and I, and the entire RIT and greater community, will miss you both. Thanks for all you have contributed to bringing RIT forward so fast and so far.
Al Simone
Thank you for your support, vision and leadership over the past decade!
Lisa Cauda
Thank you for your constant support of all of our on-going projects throughout the years. We will miss you and are thrilled you are staying local!
The Alumni, Parent and Annual Giving Programs Team at RIT
Bill and Rebecca, I have enjoyed working with both of you over this past decade. Your collective wisdom has helped guide me over the years. RIT's momentum has accelerated under your leadership. We are all so excited that you are staying in Rochester and making this your home!
Bob Finnerty
Jaymee Pride - Rochester City Scholar 2016
Kaleigh Sweeney
Shared by Julee Martin
Joe Hunt
Freshman Orientation - Fall 2016
Dimple Joseph
Shared by Sean Scannel
Shared by Taylor Rose Perez
Shared by Tom Skudlarek
Shared by Tyler Becker
Shared by Yeh Kim
Simone Sawyers
Sandra Malinowski
Samixcha Raut
Quinton Mauldin
Nora Manzella
Marissa Apollonio
Best wishes to the both of you in your retirement. Cheers!
Cindy Sobieraj Development & Alumni Relations
Radha Mendapra
Jesse James
Feteemah Saleem
Elizabeth Ritels and Megan Owens
Efmajackson Rosario
Dideolu Badmus
Denisse Aquino
Asian Culture Dance
Antony Sansidro
Anna Jensen
Angela Krieg
Andrea Shaver
Alexis Emma
Dear Dr. Destler and Dr. Johnson, I have had the opportunity to meet with students from the Rochester City Scholars program who came to our office so they could apply for study abroad programs. This opportunity has truly been life changing for these students and would not have been possible without your vision. Thank you for all you have done for RIT and best wishes in your retirement!
Maureen Shannon, RIT Global Office
Thank you for all you have done for the RIT Community! <3
Dimple Joseph
Thank you so much for all you have done for RIT. I will never forget how you gave a Wegman's gift card to Margaret's House employees. Dr Johnson, I appreciate so much your environmental/political activism and look to your Facebook posts as trusted sources of important ideas. Best wishes in retirement! So glad you have chosen to stay in Rochester.
Denise Speicher
Bill and Rebecca -- Kudos on your epic run at RIT! The strong community you have created and the steep upward trajectory you have established are truly impressive. We are privileged to be joining a campus that is so full of energy and alive with possibility. For that, we sincerely thank you!
Dave and Nancy Munson
Rebecca and Bill... well done. Be comforted by knowing that you both made a positive difference in the lives of many, some yet to be born. I add my voice to the echoes of "thank you's" that hopefully you never get tired of hearing. Fulljoy the endeavors to come; your accomplishments here will be discussed for a years to come. Much Respect!
Jerome Underwood
HEOP thanks you for your support and for making RIT both more diverse and more inclusive!
HEOP
Dear Dr. Destler and Dr. Johnson, Thank you so much for all the wonderful service you offered to our RIT community. The legacy you leave behind will be cherished for ages to come. Lots of love and reverence.
Pranesh Das Purandaradoss, '18 MBA
Good luck & thank you for all you've done especially with the work in community building.
Karen Aranha
Dr. Destler, Monroe Community College and the Monroe Community College Foundation are grateful for your many years of support and partnership. Best wishes for the next chapter!
Monroe Community College and the Monroe Community College Foundation
Thank you both for your service these past 10 years. I am so fortunate to have met you both. Your legacy will live on for many years to come. You will be missed.
Maria Vega, HEOP
Just a little bit of history...this is Bill and I at the end of a 'campus exploration achievement' in 'game of banjos' (and guitar) pose; a part of the Just Press Play initiative out of IGM. I've had so much fun building things with both Bill and Rebecca. Best wishes.
Andy and Ashley
Dr. Destler, we met at the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Award event but I feel I've known you since 2007! I've seen how you brought "FUN" and leadership to the campus. I just wanted to congratulate you on a job well done! Enjoy your retirement!
Barbara "BJ" Wood '75 (NTID)
Dr. Destler, I had the occasion to meet you during the 2012 Brick City Reunion. I was greatly impressed with the way you interact with students and alumni as well. Thank you for the leadership that you have given to RIT. Best wishes for the future.
Edward J. Amos, Jr. '73 (ProPhoto)
Thanks for a great 10 years! Go TIGERS! Bonnie Brennan Murphy '91
Bonnie Murphy
We first met you on Isaac's first day at RIT. I remember wondering who the white-haired fellow was in the golf cart. We had a lovely conversation with you later in the day. Isaac is now a fourth-year student in BME and has had a fantastic experience at RIT. Thank you for your leadership and caring.
Lisa Buck
Dr. Destler and Dr. Johnson, You have been a wonderful force on this campus and have made a massive impact. I was giving a tour to a potential student in KGCOE yesterday and they said how highly ranked we were and how impressive the campus was. And that is 100% because of your commitment to the campus and your loving candor to it's students, faculty and staff. You will be missed immensely!
Alyssa Recinella
You have been an amazing president and student-athlete advocate. Your ever present spirit at numerous athletic events has been a boost to the RIT Athletics program, our staff and student-athletes. Under your leadership we took a quantum leap forward. We'll never forget what you have done here at RIT and how you added value and esteem to Intercollegiate Athletics. You'll always be #1 to us! Best always to you and Rebecca.
Lou Spiotti, Jr. Executive Director, Intercollegiate Athletics
Dr. Destler, I am a parent of an RIT freshman this year. The grace, interest in students and passion for curiousity that marked the remarks you made to parents of accepted and new students went a long way in persuading us that RIT was the best choice for our son. It is not difficult to recognize that your leadership has made its mark on the institution. Best of wishes to you Dr. Destler and Dr. Johnson in a well deserved, very fun retirement ahead.
Eveline Ferretti, RIT parent
I am glad you are staying local so that we can rock mustaches every November!
Darci Lane-Williams
Dr. Destler, Thank you for your great work as President of RIT. You did so much in ten years to expand the school's profile and desirability. All alumni should be proud! I wish you happiness in the next chapter of your life.
Mark Kulzer, CAST '87
Dr. Destler – You breathed a new attitude and thinking into RIT – what it is, what it represents. You were always willing to help (see the image for the RIT Bow Tie Kickstarter that I ran and you graciously supported). You were on the sidelines at so many sporting events. You launched the wonderful Imagine RIT event. You fought for Rochester students to come to RIT. You did so much that it will be truly hard to say goodbye. For now all we can say is a big thank you - you will be missed.
Mike Johansson
Thank you for all that you have done for RIT. You have made yourself so incredibly visible and involved in RIT. Truly an amazing and commendable performance. Enjoy your retirement.
Robert Amsler P'12
Bill, you have been a terrific President, and Rebecca a great First Lady. Carolie and I, and the entire RIT and greater community, will miss you both. Thanks for all you have contributed to bringing RIT forward so fast and so far.
Al Simone
Thank you for your constant support of all of our on-going projects throughout the years. We will miss you and are thrilled you are staying local!
The Alumni, Parent and Annual Giving Programs Team at RIT
Jaymee Pride - Rochester City Scholar 2016
Shared by Julee Martin
Freshman Orientation - Fall 2016
Shared by Sean Scannel
Shared by Tom Skudlarek
Shared by Yeh Kim
Sandra Malinowski
Quinton Mauldin
Marissa Apollonio
Radha Mendapra
Feteemah Saleem
Efmajackson Rosario
Denisse Aquino
Antony Sansidro
Angela Krieg
Alexis Emma
Dear Dr. Destler, When I think of you and your impact on RIT - I think of IMAGINE, Rochester City Scholars, your commitment to diversity, entrepreneurship, sustainability and students, faculty and staff. You have positioned RIT for future generations and your GREATness will be remembered every time anyone ever steps onto this campus. May you and Rebecca be blessed to enjoy many happy and healthy years of retirement together. Sincerely, Molly Johnson 2012 Staff Council Chair
Thank you both for being allies to the LGBTQIA+ community at RIT.
Christopher Henry Hinesley
Thank you Bill and Rebecca for your continued support and advocacy! We could always count on you to be our greatest cheerleaders. You will be missed-and we wish you the very best as you "level up". Enjoy your retirement!
RIT MAGIC Center
Thank you for your courageous leadership, especially starting the Imagine RIT Festival, and focusing on innovation. I retired in 2011 and had the privilege of serving in the first Imagine Festival. Promoting innovation gives people hope; I know it has touched everyone who has ever participated or attended. All the best!
Ramona Akpo-Sani
Thank you for your support for students. The establishment of the Rochester City Scholars program is just one of many examples of that support, and a legacy you can continue to view with pride. Scholarship support creates life-changing opportunities for students. I enjoyed working with you to see those opportunities provided, and the changes they are making to so many lives.
Verna Hazen
Thank you for being so loyal and dedicated in everything you do for sake of the RIT's success. Your dedication and loyalty will be forever cherished. And, you will be missed, but we know your retirement is the right thing at this time. May the next phase of your life bring you all that you seek and more. I sincerely wish you lots of joyous time with your family.
Lenoxa Hall
Appreciate the positive influence he has had campus-wide and on myself over the last three years. His excitement @ Orientation and random luncheons in the SAU, he is my role model. Thank you!
Nick Commisso
Bill and Rebecca - your leadership, innovation and dedication to RIT - where they were, where they are now and where they are headed has been simply amazing. Hope you take time to bask in the glory that surrounds you if only to amplify that power to others.
Becky Brubaker
Thank you both for your wonderful contributions to RIT. You are a dynamic duo! And I wouldn't have a Volt if it weren't for you Dr. Destler.
Lori Marra, Senior Lecturer, School of Communication, COLA
Bill and Rebecca - thank you for a fabulous ten years (with more to come!). Bill, it's been a pleasure serving the university under your leadership. Rebecca, I've enjoyed our 'tea time catch ups' and look forward to many more. Best wishes and RIT for Life!
Kelly Redder, Executive Director of RIT Alumni House
We first met you at Liberty Hill at Christmas in your first year. You made us so welcome and continued to keep in touch with us through the years. We appreciated your thoughtfulness and kindness through the 10 years we have known you. You have done a remarkable job at RIT/NTID and you will be long remembered. We are going to miss you at the RIT events.
Dr. and Mrs. Robert Menchel
Dr. Destler, As always, I am very proud of your leadership, commitment and dedication that you have given to our RIT. Your time has been valuable and much appreciated. Wishing you all the best as you enter into a new phase of your life. May all your retirement dreams come true.
Tuan Luong
Wishing you health and happiness in your retirement! Thank you for all that both of you have done to advance RIT.
Sue Grace, Better Me Wellness
Congratulations Dr. Destler! Andrew Miller '18 Caleb DeSmith '19
Andrew Miller '18 Caleb DeSmith '19
Thank you so much for all of your TLC! You have helped usher in a whole new generation of world leaders! I am so honored to have been a small piece of your greater legacy! #TigersForever #ForeverGrateful
Bernard Rodgers '17
Thank you both for enriching RIT and our community. Cheers to a successful tenure. 1ove and Jah Bless
André Hudson
Thank you for making a transformational impact at RIT during your service. Best wishes in your retirement!
Kandice King, Corporate Relations Officer
The MDC/Dangerous Signs students and I will miss Dr.s Destler and Johnson - Working with Dr. Johnson on the Women's Center production of Vagina Monologues, our morning runs with Wednesday's Children and seeing you both in the audiences of our shows on campus, at the Fringe and at RIT Imagine gave us a sense of support and validation of Deaf/hearing collaboration through theater. you have been true friends to the Deaf theater community here, at NTID and in the Rochester community. Many thanks!
Dr. Luane Davis Haggerty
Dr. Destler: You have given this Institution a new life and a bright future. I am particularly happy with the direction you have taken us and, under your leadership, along with Jeremy's, am the most satisfied with my work that I have ever been.
Jeannette C. Mitchell, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Economics Undergraduate Program Director
Dr. Destler and Dr. Johnson, as an employee it is truly a wonderful feeling to like and respect the people that guide our collective futures here at RIT. I am proud of the vision and direction you have both contributed and it makes me a better representative of this school. Thank you, and best wishes for your next adventures. Visit often!
David Wivell
Dr. Destler and Dr. Johnson- I just wanted to take a moment to say 'Thank You'. You have made RIT known world wide and increased our visibility to the world in a wonderful positive way. I know we will continue to do great things here thanks to your visions.
Jeannette Giagios NTID Cultural and Creative Studies
Phillip Amsler '12
Thank you for your support, vision and leadership over the past decade!
Lisa Cauda
Bill and Rebecca, I have enjoyed working with both of you over this past decade. Your collective wisdom has helped guide me over the years. RIT's momentum has accelerated under your leadership. We are all so excited that you are staying in Rochester and making this your home!
Bob Finnerty
Kaleigh Sweeney
Joe Hunt
Dimple Joseph
Shared by Taylor Rose Perez
Shared by Tyler Becker
Simone Sawyers
Samixcha Raut
Nora Manzella
Best wishes to the both of you in your retirement. Cheers!
Cindy Sobieraj Development & Alumni Relations
Jesse James
Elizabeth Ritels and Megan Owens
Dideolu Badmus
Asian Culture Dance
Anna Jensen
Andrea Shaver
Dear Dr. Destler and Dr. Johnson, I have had the opportunity to meet with students from the Rochester City Scholars program who came to our office so they could apply for study abroad programs. This opportunity has truly been life changing for these students and would not have been possible without your vision. Thank you for all you have done for RIT and best wishes in your retirement!
Maureen Shannon, RIT Global Office
Thank you both for being allies to the LGBTQIA+ community at RIT.
Christopher Henry Hinesley
Bill and Rebecca -- Kudos on your epic run at RIT! The strong community you have created and the steep upward trajectory you have established are truly impressive. We are privileged to be joining a campus that is so full of energy and alive with possibility. For that, we sincerely thank you!
Dave and Nancy Munson
Thank you for your support for students. The establishment of the Rochester City Scholars program is just one of many examples of that support, and a legacy you can continue to view with pride. Scholarship support creates life-changing opportunities for students. I enjoyed working with you to see those opportunities provided, and the changes they are making to so many lives.
Verna Hazen
Dear Dr. Destler and Dr. Johnson, Thank you so much for all the wonderful service you offered to our RIT community. The legacy you leave behind will be cherished for ages to come. Lots of love and reverence.
Pranesh Das Purandaradoss, '18 MBA
Bill and Rebecca - your leadership, innovation and dedication to RIT - where they were, where they are now and where they are headed has been simply amazing. Hope you take time to bask in the glory that surrounds you if only to amplify that power to others.
Becky Brubaker
Thank you both for your service these past 10 years. I am so fortunate to have met you both. Your legacy will live on for many years to come. You will be missed.
Maria Vega, HEOP
We first met you at Liberty Hill at Christmas in your first year. You made us so welcome and continued to keep in touch with us through the years. We appreciated your thoughtfulness and kindness through the 10 years we have known you. You have done a remarkable job at RIT/NTID and you will be long remembered. We are going to miss you at the RIT events.
Dr. and Mrs. Robert Menchel
Dr. Destler, I had the occasion to meet you during the 2012 Brick City Reunion. I was greatly impressed with the way you interact with students and alumni as well. Thank you for the leadership that you have given to RIT. Best wishes for the future.
Edward J. Amos, Jr. '73 (ProPhoto)
Congratulations Dr. Destler! Andrew Miller '18 Caleb DeSmith '19
Andrew Miller '18 Caleb DeSmith '19
Dr. Destler and Dr. Johnson, You have been a wonderful force on this campus and have made a massive impact. I was giving a tour to a potential student in KGCOE yesterday and they said how highly ranked we were and how impressive the campus was. And that is 100% because of your commitment to the campus and your loving candor to it's students, faculty and staff. You will be missed immensely!
Alyssa Recinella
Thank you for making a transformational impact at RIT during your service. Best wishes in your retirement!
Kandice King, Corporate Relations Officer
I am glad you are staying local so that we can rock mustaches every November!
Darci Lane-Williams
Dr. Destler and Dr. Johnson, as an employee it is truly a wonderful feeling to like and respect the people that guide our collective futures here at RIT. I am proud of the vision and direction you have both contributed and it makes me a better representative of this school. Thank you, and best wishes for your next adventures. Visit often!
David Wivell
Thank you for all that you have done for RIT. You have made yourself so incredibly visible and involved in RIT. Truly an amazing and commendable performance. Enjoy your retirement.
Robert Amsler P'12
Thank you for your support, vision and leadership over the past decade!
Lisa Cauda
Jaymee Pride - Rochester City Scholar 2016
Joe Hunt
Shared by Sean Scannel
Shared by Tyler Becker
Sandra Malinowski
Nora Manzella
Radha Mendapra
Elizabeth Ritels and Megan Owens
Denisse Aquino
Anna Jensen
Alexis Emma
Dear Dr. Destler, When I think of you and your impact on RIT - I think of IMAGINE, Rochester City Scholars, your commitment to diversity, entrepreneurship, sustainability and students, faculty and staff. You have positioned RIT for future generations and your GREATness will be remembered every time anyone ever steps onto this campus. May you and Rebecca be blessed to enjoy many happy and healthy years of retirement together. Sincerely, Molly Johnson 2012 Staff Council Chair
Thank you so much for all you have done for RIT. I will never forget how you gave a Wegman's gift card to Margaret's House employees. Dr Johnson, I appreciate so much your environmental/political activism and look to your Facebook posts as trusted sources of important ideas. Best wishes in retirement! So glad you have chosen to stay in Rochester.
Denise Speicher
Thank you for your courageous leadership, especially starting the Imagine RIT Festival, and focusing on innovation. I retired in 2011 and had the privilege of serving in the first Imagine Festival. Promoting innovation gives people hope; I know it has touched everyone who has ever participated or attended. All the best!
Ramona Akpo-Sani
HEOP thanks you for your support and for making RIT both more diverse and more inclusive!
HEOP
Appreciate the positive influence he has had campus-wide and on myself over the last three years. His excitement @ Orientation and random luncheons in the SAU, he is my role model. Thank you!
Nick Commisso
Dr. Destler, Monroe Community College and the Monroe Community College Foundation are grateful for your many years of support and partnership. Best wishes for the next chapter!
Monroe Community College and the Monroe Community College Foundation
Bill and Rebecca - thank you for a fabulous ten years (with more to come!). Bill, it's been a pleasure serving the university under your leadership. Rebecca, I've enjoyed our 'tea time catch ups' and look forward to many more. Best wishes and RIT for Life!
Kelly Redder, Executive Director of RIT Alumni House
Dr. Destler, we met at the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Award event but I feel I've known you since 2007! I've seen how you brought "FUN" and leadership to the campus. I just wanted to congratulate you on a job well done! Enjoy your retirement!
Barbara "BJ" Wood '75 (NTID)
Wishing you health and happiness in your retirement! Thank you for all that both of you have done to advance RIT.
Sue Grace, Better Me Wellness
We first met you on Isaac's first day at RIT. I remember wondering who the white-haired fellow was in the golf cart. We had a lovely conversation with you later in the day. Isaac is now a fourth-year student in BME and has had a fantastic experience at RIT. Thank you for your leadership and caring.
Lisa Buck
Thank you both for enriching RIT and our community. Cheers to a successful tenure. 1ove and Jah Bless
André Hudson
Dr. Destler, I am a parent of an RIT freshman this year. The grace, interest in students and passion for curiousity that marked the remarks you made to parents of accepted and new students went a long way in persuading us that RIT was the best choice for our son. It is not difficult to recognize that your leadership has made its mark on the institution. Best of wishes to you Dr. Destler and Dr. Johnson in a well deserved, very fun retirement ahead.
Eveline Ferretti, RIT parent
Dr. Destler: You have given this Institution a new life and a bright future. I am particularly happy with the direction you have taken us and, under your leadership, along with Jeremy's, am the most satisfied with my work that I have ever been.
Jeannette C. Mitchell, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Economics Undergraduate Program Director
Dr. Destler – You breathed a new attitude and thinking into RIT – what it is, what it represents. You were always willing to help (see the image for the RIT Bow Tie Kickstarter that I ran and you graciously supported). You were on the sidelines at so many sporting events. You launched the wonderful Imagine RIT event. You fought for Rochester students to come to RIT. You did so much that it will be truly hard to say goodbye. For now all we can say is a big thank you - you will be missed.
Mike Johansson
Phillip Amsler '12
Thank you for your constant support of all of our on-going projects throughout the years. We will miss you and are thrilled you are staying local!
The Alumni, Parent and Annual Giving Programs Team at RIT
Kaleigh Sweeney
Freshman Orientation - Fall 2016
Shared by Taylor Rose Perez
Shared by Yeh Kim
Samixcha Raut
Marissa Apollonio
Jesse James
Efmajackson Rosario
Asian Culture Dance
Angela Krieg
Thank you for all you have done for the RIT Community! <3
Dimple Joseph
Thank you Bill and Rebecca for your continued support and advocacy! We could always count on you to be our greatest cheerleaders. You will be missed-and we wish you the very best as you "level up". Enjoy your retirement!
RIT MAGIC Center
Rebecca and Bill... well done. Be comforted by knowing that you both made a positive difference in the lives of many, some yet to be born. I add my voice to the echoes of "thank you's" that hopefully you never get tired of hearing. Fulljoy the endeavors to come; your accomplishments here will be discussed for a years to come. Much Respect!
Jerome Underwood
Thank you for being so loyal and dedicated in everything you do for sake of the RIT's success. Your dedication and loyalty will be forever cherished. And, you will be missed, but we know your retirement is the right thing at this time. May the next phase of your life bring you all that you seek and more. I sincerely wish you lots of joyous time with your family.
Lenoxa Hall
Good luck & thank you for all you've done especially with the work in community building.
Karen Aranha
Thank you both for your wonderful contributions to RIT. You are a dynamic duo! And I wouldn't have a Volt if it weren't for you Dr. Destler.
Lori Marra, Senior Lecturer, School of Communication, COLA
Just a little bit of history...this is Bill and I at the end of a 'campus exploration achievement' in 'game of banjos' (and guitar) pose; a part of the Just Press Play initiative out of IGM. I've had so much fun building things with both Bill and Rebecca. Best wishes.
Andy and Ashley
Dr. Destler, As always, I am very proud of your leadership, commitment and dedication that you have given to our RIT. Your time has been valuable and much appreciated. Wishing you all the best as you enter into a new phase of your life. May all your retirement dreams come true.
Tuan Luong
Thanks for a great 10 years! Go TIGERS! Bonnie Brennan Murphy '91
Bonnie Murphy
Thank you so much for all of your TLC! You have helped usher in a whole new generation of world leaders! I am so honored to have been a small piece of your greater legacy! #TigersForever #ForeverGrateful
Bernard Rodgers '17
You have been an amazing president and student-athlete advocate. Your ever present spirit at numerous athletic events has been a boost to the RIT Athletics program, our staff and student-athletes. Under your leadership we took a quantum leap forward. We'll never forget what you have done here at RIT and how you added value and esteem to Intercollegiate Athletics. You'll always be #1 to us! Best always to you and Rebecca.
Lou Spiotti, Jr. Executive Director, Intercollegiate Athletics
The MDC/Dangerous Signs students and I will miss Dr.s Destler and Johnson - Working with Dr. Johnson on the Women's Center production of Vagina Monologues, our morning runs with Wednesday's Children and seeing you both in the audiences of our shows on campus, at the Fringe and at RIT Imagine gave us a sense of support and validation of Deaf/hearing collaboration through theater. you have been true friends to the Deaf theater community here, at NTID and in the Rochester community. Many thanks!
Dr. Luane Davis Haggerty
Dr. Destler, Thank you for your great work as President of RIT. You did so much in ten years to expand the school's profile and desirability. All alumni should be proud! I wish you happiness in the next chapter of your life.
Mark Kulzer, CAST '87
Dr. Destler and Dr. Johnson- I just wanted to take a moment to say 'Thank You'. You have made RIT known world wide and increased our visibility to the world in a wonderful positive way. I know we will continue to do great things here thanks to your visions.
Jeannette Giagios NTID Cultural and Creative Studies
Bill, you have been a terrific President, and Rebecca a great First Lady. Carolie and I, and the entire RIT and greater community, will miss you both. Thanks for all you have contributed to bringing RIT forward so fast and so far.
Al Simone
Bill and Rebecca, I have enjoyed working with both of you over this past decade. Your collective wisdom has helped guide me over the years. RIT's momentum has accelerated under your leadership. We are all so excited that you are staying in Rochester and making this your home!
Bob Finnerty
Shared by Julee Martin
Dimple Joseph
Shared by Tom Skudlarek
Simone Sawyers
Quinton Mauldin
Best wishes to the both of you in your retirement. Cheers!
Cindy Sobieraj Development & Alumni Relations
Feteemah Saleem
Dideolu Badmus
Antony Sansidro
Andrea Shaver



Send your best wishes to
Dr. Bill Destler and
Dr. Rebecca Johnson.



Thanks & Gratitude

Thank you to those who were able to join in the celebration on June 10, 2017 to pay tribute to President Bill Destler and Dr. Rebecca Johnson. The community came together in joyous celebration to honor their 10 years of leadership, dedication, and service to RIT and the Greater Rochester area.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

We gratefully acknowledge our generous sponsors who made the celebration of this remarkable team such a success. Thank you for your support and your partnership.

Reception Sponsor
Rochester Regional Health
Academic Excellence Sponsors
Constellation Brands, Inc.
The Pike Company
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.
Tiger Pride Sponsors
Complemar Partners, Inc.
Dave and Margaret Burns
Eastman Kodak Company
Flaum Management Company, Inc.
Harris Corporation
Jeff Harris ʼ75
M&T Bank
O' Connell Electric Company, Inc.
Supporting Sponsors
Advantage Federal Credit Union
Al Sigl Community of Agencies
Bartholomew Health Care Group
Century Mold Co.
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
Frontier Communications Corp.
Greater Rochester Enterprise
Monroe Community College
M/E Engineering, P.C.
QCI Asset Management
Rochester Area Community Foundation
Steelcase Inc.
SWBR Architects & Engineers, P.C.
Vince Versage
Patron Table Sponsors
DelMonte Hotel Group
Dixon Schwabl Advertising
Golisano Foundation
Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce
Lisa Cauda
Palmer Foods
Postler & Jaeckle Corporation
PriceWaterhouseCooper
Rochester Business Journal
Rochester Museum & Science Center
Sandy Parker
St. John Fisher College
The Strong National Museum of Play
Additional Sponsors
Essie Calhoun McDavid
Harris "Bud" Rusitzky '56, '91
Make a Tribute Gift

You can demonstrate your appreciation for this record of leadership and hard work. By supporting key areas at RIT, you will help to build their legacy while advancing critical components of RIT’s strategic plan.

Your gift to honor Bill Destler and Rebecca Johnson will be deeply meaningful to them, and will help to advance the university to which they’ve grown so connected. Please join us in honoring the tremendous work of these two RIT leaders by making your commitment by June 1, 2017, so we can celebrate as a community later that month as Bill and Rebecca finish their tenure at RIT.

Your tribute gift can be directed in one of the following ways:

Destler/Johnson Rochester City Scholars Program
This important scholarship program is one of the most meaningful areas of giving to Bill and Rebecca, and your gift will help us name it in their honor! The Rochester City Scholars program reflects their deep commitment to diversity, and their firm belief that higher education must be affordable for students from all backgrounds. Your gift will be critical to helping RIT meet the annual demands for tuition of all students applying for the program. Learn more » about the Destler/Johnson Rochester City Scholars Program

Give to the Destler/Johnson Rochester City Scholars Program now »
Dr. Rebecca Johnson Endowed Sustainability Champion Award
RIT is one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. From research, to academics, to operations, RIT is a model for environmental and community sustainability in higher education. Since 2007, Dr. Rebecca Johnson has been one of the greatest advocates for RIT’s sustainable practices, and a fitting tribute is to establish an award that recognizes commitment and innovation in this area.
This award will recognize the highest level of accomplishment, innovation, and achievement in sustainability on the RIT campus. The award will be given annually to faculty, adjunct faculty, RIT staff, or a team of faculty or staff, whose research, project, or campus initiative advances sustainability at RIT. Nominations will be reviewed by an award committee that includes Dr. Johnson using the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for selection. Special priority will be given to those initiatives positively impacting RIT students.

Give to the Dr. Rebecca Johnson Endowed Sustainability Champion Award now »
Any Area of Your Choice
As strong advocates for RIT and the unique educational institution that it is, Bill and Rebecca are equally touched by your gift to another area of RIT that is meaningful to you. You may choose to pay tribute to their dedication to RIT by making an honorary gift to a designated fund, to the general scholarship fund, or to RIT’s general institute fund. In all cases, Bill and Rebecca will be made aware of your generous support, and your appreciation for their commitment to RIT.

Give to an area of RIT that means the most to you »

Here are just a few areas you might consider:
  • A gift to any academic program of interest to you
  • Support for the Wallace Center
  • A gift to the RIT Alumni House, recognizing Bill’s personal commitment to connect with alumni
  • A gift to student innovation projects
How You Can Honor Bill and Rebecca With a Gift
For more information on how you can honor the impact of Bill and Rebecca with your gift, or to make a gift through estate plans, stocks, or other non-cash assets, please contact:
Eileen Thrall
Executive Director of University Campaigns
eileen.thrall@rit.edu
585.475.5328
Or connect with development officers from RIT’s many colleges and divisions.
Their Impact

As we near the end of their tenure, we remember the tremendous impact they’ve had on the university community:

The Imagine RIT Festival now welcomes nearly 30,000 visitors each year, and showcases RIT’s incredibly innovative and creative students.

Hundreds of companies find assistance with sustainability issues at the Golisano Institute for Sustainability, and the Institute has helped make RIT a national model for campus sustainability.

The RIT/Rochester Regional Health partnership has yielded research, clinical experience, and academic benefits.
 
 

RIT has become the third largest producer of undergraduate STEM degrees among U.S. private universities, and ranks in the top 10 for several visual art and design programs.

The College of Health Sciences & Technology, the School for Interactive Media & Gaming, Rosica Hall at NTID, three Ph.D. programs, and the MAGIC Center all came to life.

RIT rose to the ranks of national research universities in the Carnegie Classification, while keeping a unique focus on student-centered research.

Milestones Under the Leadership of President Destler

2008

  • RIT opens a campus in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
  • The first Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival draws more than 15,000 visitors to campus to see interactive exhibits and displays, including new ideas for products and services, creative arts and crafts, and faculty and student research.
  • RIT and Rochester Regional Health begin a strategic alliance.
  • The College of Science launches RIT's fifth doctoral degree program in astrophysical sciences and technology, paving the way for RIT’s connections to the gravitational waves announcement in 2016.
  • The Golisano Institute for Sustainability creates the world’s first Ph.D. program focused on sustainable production.

2009

  • The University Services Center, which includes the glass-enclosed, circular Center for Student Innovation, opens.

2010

  • The men’s hockey team catapults into the national spotlight by earning a trip to the NCAA’s prestigious Frozen Four.
  • The iconic work of international designers Massimo and Lella Vignelli is permanently archived at RIT in a new design center, the Vignelli Center for Design Studies.

2011

  • The College of Health Sciences and Technology—RIT’s ninth college—opens.
  • B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences unveils the School of Interactive Games and Media to foster continued growth of popular undergraduate and graduate programs in game design and development.
  • RIT moves its Division III Intercollegiate Athletics program from the Empire 8 Conference to the Liberty League.
  • RIT opens a second branch of its RIT Croatia in the capital city of Zagreb. The new campus joins the college’s existing campus in Dubrovnik.
  • Institute Hall, which houses programs in biomedical and chemical engineering, opens. The building is the final element of a quadrangle located on the northwest side of the campus.


2012

  • The women’s hockey team wins the Division III NCAA national championship and also announces it will move up to the Division I level.
  • RIT announces the new Center for Urban Entrepreneurship located in the heart of downtown.
  • The Carnegie Foundation names Professor Todd Pagano, who teaches chemistry in the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, U.S. Professor of the Year.
  • RIT is among the first universities to create a department dedicated to computing security.
  • RIT becomes home to New York State’s Center of Excellence in Sustainable Manufacturing.

2013

  • RIT converts from the quarter academic calendar to the semester academic calendar.
  • Golisano Institute for Sustainability, which houses one of the world’s first Ph.D. programs in sustainability, opens its doors to a new home.
  • Sebastian and Lenore Rosica Hall, an innovation and research hub for NTID, opens.
  • RIT creates the Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity (MAGIC), a research center devoted to the field of digital media. The Center bridges the gap between university research and commercial production.


2014

  • The Gene Polisseni Center, home to men’s and women’s hockey, opens with a roar.
  • RIT launches its seventh doctoral program, a Ph.D. in engineering.

2015

  • RIT launches the 2015-2025 strategic plan “Greatness through Difference.” For the first time in RIT history, the word “research” is incorporated into the vision statement.
  • MAGIC Spell Studios, a university program that will link RIT’s internationally ranked academic programs with high-tech facilities needed to commercialize computer gaming, film and animation, graphic design and imaging science projects, is created.
  • The College of Health Sciences and Technology opens the Clinical Health Sciences Center, a 45,000-square-foot addition at the north end of Louise Slaughter Hall. The addition includes the Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition and Rochester Regional Health Family Medicine.
  • RIT announces plans to create its first Alumni House on campus, which will serve as a welcome center for graduates when it opens in 2017.


2016

  • Six RIT researchers are among the authors of a paper announcing what may be the most important scientific discovery in a century—findings that confirm the existence of gravitational waves predicted in Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
  • RIT is considered a “doctoral university” by the leading national classification of U.S. colleges and universities — The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
  • A consortium of universities and corporations led by RIT is chosen to receive a state grant to establish a New York State Center for Advanced Technology in Additive Manufacturing and Functional Printing.
  • President Destler and RIT board chairperson Chris Whitman lead a delegation of RIT leaders to Silicon Valley to engage RIT’s 4,000+ alumni in the region and connect with current and aspirational corporate partners.


2017

  • Under Bill Destler’s leadership, RIT’s enrollment has reached record levels, selectivity and diversity have improved, the value of research awards has skyrocketed and geographic draw continues to widen. But his strong relationship with students is the key piece of his legacy. The RIT community looks back on the last 10 years and prepares to say goodbye to RIT’s No. 1 and his No. 1.
  • Destler-Johnson Quadrangle dedicated to honor 10 years of leadership and service to RIT.
  • A grateful university says thank you to a dynamic leadership team and best wishes on your next chapter.