Featured Events

Saunders provides students a full calendar of events to complement their studies and personal business interests.

Saunders featured events highlight the top speakers and highest attended, in-demand events on our calendar. Learn about all the upcoming featured events that Saunders College of Business has to offer by visiting our Saunders Events Calendar to see upcoming events. Or, contact us today at communications@saunders.rit.edu to inquire about Saunders Event Series sponsorship opportunities.

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J. Warren McClure Lecture Series

J. Warren McClure was a World War II Navy veteran and former publisher and owner of the Burlington Free Press. He sold the newspaper to Gannett Co., where he later became the first president of marketing. McClure, who turned to philanthropy in retirement, and his wife, Lois, were important members of the RIT community. McClure served on the RIT board of trustees from 1973 until 1986, was an advisor to Saunders College of Business, and allowed marketing experts to teach lectures by establishing the McClure Professorship in Marketing.

Power Your Potential

Power Your Potential is a half-day women’s leadership conference that celebrates National Women’s History Month. The event invites area businesswomen to gain insights from their peers and engage in educational activities geared at helping women succeed. 

Across industries and communities, women are navigating monumental change to spark movements and opportunities for future generations. This event gathers communities of innovative and inspiring women who lead boldly, challenge norms, and change their organizations.

Vanden Brul Awards

Herbert W. Vanden Brul Entrepreneurial Award

The Herbert W. Vanden Brul Entrepreneurial Award was created in 1984 through an endowment fund established by Mr. Vanden Brul in conjunction with RIT’s Saunders College of Business. 

This annual award is given to an individual or business that has improved the economic life of Greater Rochester or whose innovation management skills have changed the course of an existing business. The award’s recipient is selected by a committee of area civic leaders, business leaders, and RIT faculty. 

The Herbert W. Vanden Brul Award symbolizes the connection between RIT and the Rochester Business community.

Vanden Brul Entrepreneurial Student Award

Cash Prizes. Deadline December 9.

Students! Apply Today!

Saunders College of Business is proud to introduce the Herbert W. Vanden Brul Entrepreneurial Student Award. This new award will be presented to an RIT student who has proven their potential to become a successful entrepreneur.

The student award is being offered in conjunction with the Herbert W. Vanden Brul Entrepreneurial Award, which is presented annually to a business leader in the community who has successfully managed the development of an “emerging” business. These community recipients are intended to become an inspiration for local students.

About Herbert W. Vanden Brul

Following his military service and earning a juris doctor degree from St. John’s School of Law, Rochester native Herbert W. Vanden Brul returned to his hometown in 1951 to begin his new career practicing law. 

An entrepreneurial visionary in Rochester, Mr. Vanden Brul co-founded several business ventures in the region. One of his most successful, RF Communications, Inc., has since become a division of Harris Corporation. Another, the Culver Management Corporation, acquired nearly one million square feet of local industrial space to become the home of many small start-up companies who have improved the local economic climate.

Mr. Vanden Brul continued to pursue his business interests until his passing in 2003. He served on the boards of Ormec Systems, Inc. and the Genesee Valley Trust Company, Inc., and was active in the cultural and educational life of the Rochester community. Mr. Vanden Brul and his wife Joan, who passed away in 2007, had a long association with RIT and were active members of the Nathaniel Rochester Society. Sons Bill H. ‘88 (business administration) and Don J. ‘76.

Visiting Dean’s Distinguished Faculty Speakers

Collage of past speakers

The Dean’s Distinguished Speaker Series invites internationally recognized faculty experts to speak at Saunders College of Business to discuss and advance research topics in their fields. Attendance is reserved for faculty and graduate students only. Inquiries should be sent by email to Archana Jain.

A list of upcoming and past visiting professors can be found here

Beta Gamma Sigma

The International Honor Society in Business Management

The International Honor Society, Beta Gamma Sigma's mission is to encourage and honor academic achievement in the study of business, cultivate and celebrate leadership and professional excellence, advance the society's values, and serve its lifelong members.

More on Beta Gamma Sigma

Sharpen the Saw (EMBA)

Saunders College of Business hosts an annual professional development event, Sharpen the Saw. This event is specifically for alumni who have graduated from the EMBA program. This speaker series provides former students opportunities to brush up on emerging trends and network with former classmates.

Previous speakers at the events have included Kitty Van Bortel, owner of Van Bortel Subaru, Van Bortel Ford and Van Bortel Chevrolet, David Cay Johnson, New York Times columnist, and Pulitzer Prize winner, Joseph M. Lobozzo II, founder of JML Optical Industries Inc., and Jim Salzano, former President of The Clarks Companies.

View videos and photo albums from past years: 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2021.

RIT Entrepreneurs Conference (Simone Center)

The RIT Entrepreneurs Conference is an inspirational hub and day of learning focused on one topic: How to start a business. The annual event is for anyone who believes that creativity and bold thinking are vital to success. Guest panelists - academic and real-world practitioners - will link theory and practice in spirited dialogue with participants as they share their innovation stories, techniques, and ideas that have established them as leaders in their respective fields and industries.

Tiger Tank (Simone Center)

RIT's Tiger Tank, sponsored by Saunders College of Business, is hosted by the Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Inspired by ABC's Shark Tank, RIT's Tiger Tank gives students the opportunity to pitch their business idea to "Tiger Shark" judges with the chance to win cash prizes.

The biannual Tiger Tank competition challenges entrepreneurs to formulate an early-stage business concept and submit a proposal that seeks to solve a problem or gap in the marketplace. Submissions are open to the general public and evaluated based upon their uniqueness, feasibility, and ability to impact people. Five teams are selected to compete in the Tiger Tank competition for the chance to win. 

Check out our archive page for a history of past Tiger Tank winners

RIT Student Accelerator (Simone Center)

RIT Student Accelerator is one-semester initiative at Rochester Institute of Technology, in conjunction with the Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The Saunders supported program is aimed at assisting entrepreneurs develop their business concepts to a point where they are ready to begin seeking angel investment. Student teams from all majors and disciplines are invited to apply. 

Teams receive a designated workspace, mentoring from faculty and alumni, guidance on business development, and financial resources, including a stipend and the opportunity to earn grants to sustain their plans.

Learn more