Norm Wironen BS '71

Your support allows RIT to provide life-changing learning opportunities for students who will transform the world around them.

Make a Gift

Norm Wironen BS '71, a photography graduate and member of RIT’s Sentinel Society has enjoyed two successful careers—one in photography and a second in finance after earning an MBA. A legacy student, Norm's RIT education proved to be a pivotal experience. He reflected, "My RIT education empowered me to bridge communication between technical and artistic individuals, a skill which proved invaluable in my career. Additionally, I honed essential business and sales skills during my time at RIT."

Norm’s scholarship support, both from his hometown of Gardner, Massachusetts and RIT, alleviated the financial constraints of pursuing higher education, enabling him to focus on his studies.

A cherished memory for Norm was his recent visit to RIT accompanied by his curious, young grandson. The journey through time, from the streets of downtown Rochester, where he had spent a year at the city campus, to the transformed Henrietta campus, left a lasting impression. Witnessing the growth of RIT was both impressive and heartening.

Norm's commitment to giving back to RIT began to take shape approximately four to five years after his graduation. He explained, "My initial contributions were modest, but I've consistently donated to RIT for nearly five decades now. It's my way of expressing my heartfelt appreciation for the education I received and the doors it opened for me."

While Norm has long been an annual supporter of RIT, his decision to make a more substantial contribution was significantly influenced by tax considerations.

Norm's vision for his gift is clear and heartfelt: "I hope that RIT can use my contribution to alleviate the financial burdens on students, enabling them to focus more on their education and less on work, just as financial aid once made my own education possible."

In closing, Norm offered valuable advice to RIT alumni considering philanthropy. He advised, "Start small, but be consistent in your giving over the years. You don't need to make substantial donations right away; even modest contributions can accumulate and have a meaningful impact. Giving back to RIT is a way of paying forward the opportunities that the university has provided to countless students like me."
Open configuration options

Norm's journey exemplifies the profound and lasting impact that a commitment to philanthropy can have on the future of higher education and the lives of students. His philanthropic commitment inspires future generations of RIT alumni considering ways to give back to RIT.

Read more stories from other donors like Norm

P.S. Norm promised to make an impact on future students by giving RIT a life insurance policy, which afforded him an immediate tax deduction in the year of the gift.  Additionally, Norm pays his Sentinel Society commitment each year with a gift of appreciated stock, which eliminates the capital gains tax he would have paid while allowing him to take an annual income tax deduction. 

To create a legacy of your own visit Planned Giving Resources or contact:

Hal Burrall and
Tamra Werner BS ’91, MM ’20, MS ’21
RIT Office of Planned Giving
585-475-3106 |