RIT has always prided itself in being a vibrant, innovative, and diverse university, but it is ultimately our students who determine how the world sees us. From 1953-1956 Mary Anne Cross-Ehasz worked hard to make her mark. Mary Anne, a student just like you and me, took on the mission to create RIT’s new logo. In her second year as an Art and Design student she designed and hand-painted the logo that took her three years to fully complete. Even though there were dozens of logos made in the past, this one was especially unique. While she created the three layers to include the lettering of “Rochester Institute of Technology,” she decided to create a circle that contained a square and a white triangle with the RIT acronym. According to the RIT Archive Collections website, “although this design was a departure from previous logos, it retains an association with the past by including the founding date of the earliest institution from which RIT was born (The Rochester Athenaeum, 1829). With this logo, Mary Anne set a trend.” She made her mark by becoming the first designer to include those elements, as well as incorporated dots between each letter in the acronym, which quickly became an adopted design that we still use to this day.
Mary Anne’s design was used as used as RIT’s Official Seal from 1956-1966. Within a year of submitting her final design, mugs, ashtrays and official stamps were already created and widespread, showing the approval of the RIT faculty and community. When she graduated in 1957, she was gifted a customized mug with the logo that she gave back to RIT later on to preserve in the Archives Collections exhibit as a notable part of our history.