Former RIT provost donates $300K to College of Liberal Arts

Gift would create speaker series and help beautify college common area

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Stan McKenzie

Stanley McKenzie, provost emeritus and literature professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, has pledged $300,000 to the College of Liberal Arts that will help the college make significant strides in two ways.

The Stan McKenzie Salon Endowed Fund will allow faculty, staff and students to gather to discuss research and current events, provide an honorarium to featured speakers, help with event marketing and provide released time for up to one course for a faculty coordinator each academic year. In addition, extensive renovations will create The Stan McKenzie Commons to “provide a comfortable, intellectual and social environment for faculty, staff and students.” The renovation will include new equipment, furniture, technology upgrades and hospitality services, as well as renovations to the entrances and exits to the College of Liberal Arts building.

“While I thoroughly enjoyed my years serving as provost and earlier in student affairs as director of judicial affairs dealing with student misconduct, my heart always remained in the College of Liberal Arts as a professor of English,” McKenzie says. “The highlight of academic life for me is talking with colleagues about what we are teaching and the scholarship we are all doing; hopefully this gift will enhance that environment even more.”

James Winebrake, dean of RIT’s College of Liberal Arts, is pleased to be able to continue providing a forum for faculty and student gatherings.

“Stan is an icon at RIT,” Winebrake says. “While provost, he put his heart and his soul into making this institute the vibrant, successful learning community it is today. As a teacher, he brought out the best in his students by leading provocative classroom discussions that always left students feeling a little smarter, a little more aware that their intellectual potential had no bounds. He did the same with his faculty colleagues through his legendary ‘Friday salon’ gatherings. This gift allows the College of Liberal Arts to continue the salon tradition in Stan’s name, and we are exceedingly pleased to be able to do that.”

McKenzie joined the RIT English department in 1967 and taught for 34 years before assuming his role as provost and vice president for academic affairs in 1994. His prior administrative roles include director of judicial affairs, assistant to the provost and acting dean of the College of Liberal Arts. McKenzie also presented the keynote address at RIT’s Academic Convocation in 2008. He retired from RIT in 2011.