RIT to Induct First Class to its Innovation Hall of Fame

Ten innovators will be honored during Friday’s ceremony

A. Sue Weisler

Rochester Institute of Technology has long been a hotbed of innovation and creativity. On April 30, 10 members of the RIT family will be immortalized as members of the first class of inductees to the RIT Innovation Hall of Fame.

Each inductee and their work will be incorporated into a multimedia presentation that will be on display in RIT’s Center for Student Innovation. These individuals are alumni, faculty, staff or affiliates of RIT who have had a positive impact on society through their innovative works. The induction ceremony is held in conjunction with the Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival, which takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The following individuals will be inducted into the Innovation Hall of Fame during an hour-long ceremony that begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Center for Student Innovation:

  • George Eastman (1854-1932): Eastman founded the world-renowned Eastman Kodak Co. and invented roll film, which made photography affordable and accessible to the mainstream public. Eastman was also a leading philanthropist of his era. Among his gifts were contributions to the Mechanics Institute, the precursor to RIT.
  • John Jacob Bausch (1830-1926): Bausch discovered that vulcanized rubber could be used to make eye glass frames, eventually becoming a pioneer in manufacturing plastics and optical instruments. His discoveries led to the establishment of the largest optical company in the world, Bausch and Lomb. Bausch is also a co-founder of the Mechanics Institute.
  • Henry C. Lomb (1828-1908): Co-founded the Mechanics Institute to train skilled workers and replace the cumbersome apprenticeship system. His personal donations kept the school operating during its early years. He was the president of the Board of Trustees from 1885-1891.
  • Chester F. Carlson (1906-1968): Carlson created electrophotography, which became known as xerography and is the foundation of the worldwide copying industry. Carlson’s invention eventually brought Xerox Corp. to life.
  • Kate Gleason (1865-1933): Gleason was a business leader, inventor and the first woman member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. She serves as a role model for the engineering students studying within the RIT college named in her honor.
  • John F. Hamilton: Created the image processing algorithms that have been used in virtually every Kodak digital camera. He is currently a professor in RIT’s College of Science.
  • John Resig: Resig, an RIT alumnus, is the creator and lead developer of jQuery, a new kind of JavaScript library that has revolutionized the way JavaScript is written. It is fast, concise and simplifies JavaScript development for rapid Web development.
  • Wendell Castle: An American furniture artist who is often credited with being the father of the art furniture movement. Castle taught at RIT from 1962-1969 and is now an artist in residence.
  • N. Katherine Hayles: A postmodern literary critic and RIT alumna who is one of the country’s foremost authorities on digital media and literary theory that encompasses new technologies.
  • James J. DeCaro: The visionary and director of the Postsecondary Education Network International (PEN-International), a multi-million dollar collaborative network of universities around the world that educate students who are deaf. He currently serves as interim president for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at RIT.

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