President Destler announced this week that he’ll be retiring June 2017, which will mark his 10 years as president of RIT. RIT has grown and improved immensely over his tenure. Enrollment has increased, totaling 18, 606 this past fall, ranking us as one of the ten largest private universities in the U.S. RIT was reclassified as a doctoral university because of the increased number of Ph.D. degrees that have been awarded. Admissions applications have hit record levels, giving the impression that RIT is doing something right for the future. As president, Dr. Destler pushed for innovation and creativity at RIT and combined the left and right brain practices of our university, like he has done with his own life.
President Destler is a published author in electrical engineering, an authority on high power microwave sources and advanced accelerator concepts, and a championed environmentalist. But, he is known for some very artistic outlets as well. In his free time, President Destler plays the banjo and is one the foremost antique banjo collectors in the world— he has more than 160 banjos! Dr. Destler sold an album in 1973 when he was a graduate student, and currently has a YouTube channel to showcase his musical talents. He has performed publicly performed a handful of times in the Rochester area, including several performances at the First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival in 2014. Many of us hope President Destler will perform at least one more concert for us before he ends his time at RIT.