Political, business leaders join RIT officials in applauding Debbie Stendardi’s stellar career

Retiring vice president lauded for tireless efforts on behalf of university, Greater Rochester region

Political and business leaders joined Rochester Institute of Technology officials in congratulating Debbie Stendardi, retiring vice president for Government and Community Relations, on an exceptional career as she prepares to step down at the end of the year.

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Debbie Stendardi, who retires as vice president of Government and Community Relations at the end of the year, leaves an indelible mark on both RIT and the Greater Rochester region. Read more.

Ann L. Burr, RIT Trustee, Chair of Government Relations Committee, and retired Chairman, Frontier Communications Rochester: “Debbie has been leading our Government and Community Relations efforts at RIT for many years and it has been my pleasure to work with her. I have served as chair of the Government Relations Committee of the RIT Board of Trustees for quite a number of years, working with Debbie on our government relations initiatives. She has been the strong steward of RIT’s programs to work with our trustees, staff and local, state, and federal officials to enhance awareness of our higher-education programs, university research opportunities, and how we could work together to strengthen RIT and the region’s health and vitality. She is an icon in the Rochester community, Albany, and Washington, D.C., for the relationships she has developed for us and for the many grants and awards for RIT that she has been able to obtain. We will miss her but wish her well as she retires after 41 years at RIT! The board recognizes her many achievements and wishes her well in her retirement.

Nabil Nasr, associate provost Academic Affairs, founding director of Golisano Institute for Sustainability, and CEO of The REMADE Institute, a national research initiative based at RIT: “Debbie has worked tirelessly for the good of RIT and has done magnificent things for the university over the years. Much of the important work that RIT has become known for could not have been accomplished without her. We all owe her a debt of gratitude.”

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer: Debbie Stendardi has long been an integral driver in so many vital initiatives that have moved RIT and the Rochester community forward over the past four decades. Since my earliest days in the Senate it’s been a joy to work with Debbie. Whether it was securing the Energy Department’s REMADE institute at RIT, bolstering federal remanufacturing work at Golisano Institute for Sustainability, or securing the funding to re-establish RIT’s downtown Rochester presence with the CUE (Center for Urban Entrepreneurship), Debbie, with her extraordinary skills and determination, has been a wonderful partner. I applaud her many achievements and thank her for her many contributions throughout her exceptional career.”

U.S. Rep. Joseph Morelle: “Congratulations to Debbie Stendardi on her well-deserved retirement following decades of dedicated service at RIT. Her tireless work on behalf of the university has touched the lives of countless students and had a profound, lasting impact on our community. I wish her all the best as she begins this new chapter.”

New York State Sen. Joseph Robach: “I greatly appreciate Debbie’s long-time beneficial relationship with myself and our entire New York state delegation. Her hard work on behalf of RIT paid great dividends to students and faculty alike. Debbie, you will be missed but I certainly wish you all the best in the next phase of your life.”

Stephen L. Shultz ’89 (computer science), Henrietta Town Supervisor: “I came to RIT as a student in 1980, so I’ve never known an RIT that did not have Debbie Stendardi as part of it. I’d known Debbie through my involvement in Student Government, later through my time on the Board of Trustees, and most recently, through my job as Henrietta Town Supervisor. In all phases, I’ve found Debbie a pleasure to work with and extremely responsive to requests for information or to work on changing for the positive the way something is done. I am glad to know that Debbie has decided to remain in the area and hope to see her at numerous campus events, once the pandemic has lifted.”

Matt Hurlbutt, President and CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise: “I have had the pleasure of working with Debbie for most of my career. She is a tireless advocate for RIT and the Greater Rochester region. Debbie has a passion for this community and is eager to connect the outstanding students, faculty, and researchers at RIT to support business growth throughout the region. I can’t thank her enough for her support and partnership.”