Sentinel Society

The Sentinel Society recognizes a community of leadership donors who make a meaningful annual investment in the university. Together, these donors play a pivotal role in providing gifts that provide financial aid scholarships and fund RIT’s most pressing and immediate needs across campus. Endowment spending only covers about four percent of the annual operating budget but truly unrestricted support provides university leadership the flexibility to prioritize the needs of our students. Unrestricted gifts provide resources that allow the university to take advantage of unanticipated academic and student life opportunities, make life-changing international experiences accessible, offer powerful career-building and research programs, and react to numerous unforeseen challenges our students face. 

Sentinel members receive invitations to exclusive in-person and virtual experiences, early registration to select events, and recognition in our online Sentinel Honor Roll. They also receive exclusive membership communications, opportunities to engage with faculty and university leadership, and access to a community of like-minded philanthropists. 

You can complete your pledge online or download a form and mail it to the address provided.

Read the latest Sentinel Society news:

                February 2023 e-newsletter

                September 2022 e-newsletter


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Membership Levels

We invite you to join the Sentinel Society and start making an impact today.  Membership is granted to those supporters who make a five-year commitment to a Sentinel Society eligible fund, in an area of the university they feel most passionate about. Members are recognized in our online honor roll at the following annual gift levels:

$50,000+ Visionaries
$25,000-$49,999 Innovators
$10,000-$24,999 Collaborators
$5,000-$9,999 Investors
$2,500-$4,999 Champions
$1,000-$2,499 Members
$500-$999 Entrepreneurs*
  *Current students and graduates of the last decade.

To learn more about how you can make a difference in a specific area of the university, please read the impact area descriptions below.

You can complete your pledge online or download a form and mail it to the address provided.

Create a Sentinel Scholarship

By pledging $5,000 or more annually for five years, you can create a scholarship in your name or in the name of someone you wish to honor. A full 100% of your gift will benefit the student scholarship awardee.

By creating a Sentinel Scholarship, you will have the opportunity to:

Support one or more students over five years

Assist a student in your choice of college

Learn about your student awardee(s)

Download the scholarship pledge form to create a named Sentinel Scholarship at the $25,000 level or higher.

Impact Areas

Sentinel members play a critical role in the lives of RIT students through gifts that provide direct scholarship support and fund RIT’s most pressing and immediate needs across campus. By giving to one of the areas below, your investment goes to work immediately, providing bright and deserving students access to a transformative educational experience.

Sentinel gifts to the RIT Fund provide the critical resources necessary for RIT to meet its most immediate needs. Endowment spending only covers about four percent of the annual operating budget but truly unrestricted support provides university leadership the flexibility to prioritize the needs of our students. Unrestricted gifts provide resources that allow university leadership to take advantage of unanticipated academic and student life opportunities, make life-changing international experiences accessible, offer powerful career building and research programs, and react to numerous unforeseen challenges our students face.
The promise of a scholarship can literally change someone’s life. RIT’s commitment to affordability and accessibility helps us attract the best and brightest minds, regardless of their socioeconomic status. Each year, 94% of full-time undergraduate students receive over $340 million in financial assistance. Gifts from Sentinel members help transform aspirations into achievements, enabling current students and the next generation of Tigers to benefit from the life-changing experience of an RIT education.
The College of Art and Design provides countless opportunities that extend the educational experience outside the classroom. Annual gifts to the college support students as they pursue cooperative education and internships, international experiences, and help fund multi-disciplinary projects and travel to conferences and workshops. Thesis and capstone exhibitions in RIT Galleries provide students the ability to present their work in dynamic, professional settings. Faculty and students from various departments collaborate on sponsored research and independent study projects in a wide variety of disciplines, from typography and film, to interactive gaming, 3D design and the preservation of images and cultural heritage.
Students in the College of Engineering Technology learn to lead, create, innovate, and apply technology to resolve problems. Annual donor support funds capstone and senior design projects, enabling the hands-on learning that allows students to adapt, grow and succeed as they immediately apply what they are learning in the classroom to the real world. Student clubs and teams extend the opportunities for experiential learning, and support for study abroad experiences enrich the academic experience. Stipends give students the opportunity to conduct research in robotics, electronics, materials and metrology. The opportunities provided to CET students through donor support offer a strong foundation for their future and help them to transform the world around them.
Experiential learning in the College of Health Sciences and Technology comes in many forms, including clinical rotations, co-ops, internships, study abroad, faculty-led excursions, and research. Mandatory internships give students hands-on clinical experience in hospital-based and ambulatory patient care settings. Gifts from Sentinel members give students the ability to pursue experiences outside of the classroom by providing stipends and material support. Putting theory into practice gives undergraduate students a strong foundation for their future.
Annual leadership gifts to the College of Liberal Arts provide support for student research and travel awards for conferences and global experiences. By funding innovative and experiential learning opportunities, donors help ensure that students benefit from a rigorous liberal arts education that encourages innovative approaches to learning, active scholarship and research, the highest ethical standards, and the educational and social benefits of diversity and global awareness.
Students in the College of Science have regular hands-on experiences in class and labs, access to internships and co-op opportunities with employers, and year-round research opportunities. Annual donor support provides funding for students to participate in active research areas like virology, genomics, plant biology, biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, material science, photonics, astronomy, remote sensing, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), and color perception. Faculty invite students to be part of their research groups, providing unparalleled opportunities to gain hands-on experience solving exciting problems. Summer undergraduate research fellowships provide students a stipend to work on targeted research projects.
Gifts from Sentinel members to Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences (GCCIS) provide support for student research, entrepreneurship activities, and student teams involved in community service initiatives and competitions. Annual gifts support student projects in disciplines ranging from game design to interactive online platforms to groundbreaking cybersecurity research. Unrestricted support gives GCCIS students the opportunity to participate in professional international conferences like the Game Developers Conference or the ASSETS Conference, a premier forum for presenting research on the design, evaluation, use, and education related to computing for people with disabilities and older adults.
Students enrolled in degree programs in the Golisano Institute for Sustainability obtain the foundational knowledge and hands-on, problem-solving experience they need to make a difference in any career. Annual donor support provides stipends for travel and research, experiential learning opportunities, and fees for conferences and workshops. Students learn in more than 84,000 square feet of labs and testbeds alongside expert technicians and faculty, with the shared goal of creating a better, more sustainable, future for the world around us.
In the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, experiential learning takes many forms. Through cooperative education, international study, undergraduate research, service learning, and multidisciplinary senior design projects, students are equipped to join the work force as skilled, competent, and experienced engineers. Annual donor support provides material support for student projects and competitive teams, as well as research and travel stipends for students conducting groundbreaking research in their fields of interest.
Annual Sentinel gifts help the National Technical Institute for the Deaf provide a college experience unlike anywhere else. No other university in the world provides better support for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, with 90% of students receiving financial assistance. NTID scholarship recipients express gratitude for being able to attend a university with a national reputation, while being part of an inclusive community that nurtures and guides their journey.
Saunders College of Business offers its students educational experiences beyond the classroom, giving them the foundation they need to become the leaders of tomorrow. Annual Sentinel support funds student clubs and research projects. Gifts help students travel to visit companies in the Silicon Valley or attend conferences like the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. Funds also support Student Accelerator and Tiger Tank teams, nurturing entrepreneurial thinking and providing real-world opportunities for students to develop solutions and creative enterprises. The experiences made possible by annual leadership donors allow Saunders graduates the ability to differentiate themselves successfully, and stand out within a crowded job market.
The School of Individualized Study incorporates learning that takes place outside of the classroom. Sentinel gifts support students’ ability to study abroad, attend conferences, and conduct research projects domestically and internationally. These experiential learning opportunities are key to a well-rounded education and being prepared for the global workplace. Donor support funds material costs associated with required senior capstone and research projects, providing students the ability to use their creativity and expertise to develop unique projects that align with their academic and professional goals.
Annual donor support helps RIT attract and retain the best student-athletes, while meeting the growing demands of the intercollegiate athletic program. Gifts help fund post-game meals for teams, training equipment for the Tiger Power Den, training apparel for all athletes, team travel, athletic training services, and facility enhancements. RIT’s unrivaled intercollegiate athletic programs play an essential role in teaching students to conduct themselves with honesty and integrity, make sacrifices, strive for excellence, and persevere through adversity, while developing a commitment to teamwork and service to the community. Each year, 675 student-athletes participate on 24 varsity athletic teams, over 2,300 students participate in intramurals, and thousands attend sporting events and wellness classes.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs enhance access and success for historically underrepresented students, faculty and staff.  Along with supporting education and scholarship, donor support helps RIT ensure a welcoming, inclusive, vibrant and accessible environment for everyone. Annual gifts to support Diversity, Equity and Inclusion provide funding for educational programming that helps students, staff, and faculty work toward cultural humility. Students are able to participate in a variety of clubs and activities that foster academic success, increase retention, and develop successful leaders of tomorrow.
Annual donor support provides opportunities for graduate students to enhance their course of study with creative and entrepreneurial endeavors. Gifts help fund the annual Graduate Education Week and Showcase, allowing students to share their intellectual achievements with the world. Donor support provides students the opportunity to present scholarly or creative work at a juried conference, purchase lab materials for research projects, or support a public exhibition of their work. Graduate students are able to develop lasting partnerships within the RIT and Rochester communities through campus programming, professional workshops, and social events.
Wallace Library provides a creative environment for learning and is a space of constant discovery. Sentinel gifts allow RIT Libraries to continue as an essential resource for empowering student success and knowledge. Annual support enables the Library to establish new programs, acquire new materials, renovate spaces, and respond to emerging needs of students and academic programs. Each year, the library offers over 700 workshops and instructional sessions and lends over 21,000 books and media and 14,000 laptops to students. It is a hub for the RIT community, welcoming 2,800 visitors per day for study and research and logging over 147,000 hours of public computer usage. The library functions as a living laboratory where students can practically apply what they learn in the classroom to solve real-world problems.
The MAGIC Center promotes the academic mission of the university, capitalizing on the energy, synergy, and convergence of multiple academic programs through project-based curriculum. With a focus on Media, Arts, Games, Interaction, and Creativity, MAGIC blurs the lines between art and technology. Gifts to MAGIC provide funding to host and mentor individual students and teams pursuing their unique entrepreneurial interests. Students learn from world-class curriculum and use cutting edge technologies to create new solutions amid the convergence of digital media disciplines.
By combining the constantly innovative nature of technology with traditional art and performance, RIT is breaking new ground in the realm of artistic experience. With musical theater, classical orchestra, jazz, pep band, dancing, and singing, there’s a wide array of performing arts opportunities for students at RIT. Students also get involved behind the scenes, with set design, sound, and lighting crews. Each year, roughly 2,000 students participate in performance groups and activities, and student performers come from all nine RIT colleges. Donor gifts provide program support for an ever-growing variety of performing arts groups, including a Gospel ensemble and seven a cappella groups. Performing arts scholarships and student support funds give students the opportunity to hone their skills while pursuing a multitude of degree programs across campus.
The Simone Center offers an interdisciplinary curriculum that helps students learn as they advance and realize their own ideas and projects. Donor funding supports coaching, mentorship and incubator programs, team and individual project support, and access to The Construct student makerspace. Events and competitions like IdeaLab and Tiger Tank provide students the ability to advance their business ideas through teamwork, coaching, and real-world experiences.
Student Life programs build a sense of community on campus, providing an atmosphere where students feel supported, respected, challenged, and empowered to meet their academic and personal goals. Each year, annual donor support creates opportunities for thousands of students to participate in intramural activities and clubs, attend movies and guest lectures, join volunteer efforts on campus and in the Rochester community, participate in wellness classes, and receive academic support services. Students often cite the wide variety of campus activities and the inclusive community as their favorite things about attending RIT.


You can complete your pledge online or download a form and mail it to the address provided.

For more information, please contact us at 585-475-5500 or