Congratulating NTID on 50 Years of Education Excellence

Portrait of Senator Charles Schumer

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

Congratulations to the entire RIT/NTID community as you celebrate 50 years since the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) opened its doors at Rochester Institute of Technology in 1968. NTID has produced more than 8,000 graduates and established itself as one of the nation’s best schools providing an outstanding state-of-the-art education for its students. With its extensive program offerings, NTID prepares graduates with the skills they need to excel in their careers and thrive in our communities. The Rochester region, in particular, has been enriched thanks to NTID’s contributions and graduates, many of whom have remained in Rochester to live, work and create new businesses that are today propelling the region’s economy and community forward. NTID also extends beyond the classroom, combining research and outreach to prepare students and professionals alike to work in fields related to deafness and to enhance the overall social, economic and educational success of deaf people.

The success NTID has brought to its students and the global community is remarkable, and I hold it as a top priority to encourage this progress by protecting and increasing federal support for this institution. NTID’s many achievements over the past five decades is a testament to how access, affordability and resources can change communities and lives over many generations. I applaud the work and effort of the NTID faculty and students who continue to move our country forward with their commitment to education and success in the workplace. Once again, let me offer my warmest appreciation for NTID’s longstanding work in providing world-class higher education. I commend you for 50 years of great success and look forward to continuing to work together to encourage the growth of this institution and the future success it will bring to students and our global community.

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Portrait of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand

United States Senator

It is my great pleasure to congratulate NTID on its 50th anniversary.

For half a century, NTID has been the standard bearer for postsecondary technical and professional education for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. I am honored to celebrate this remarkable anniversary, and I applaud the ways in which NTID has changed many people’s lives. I am immensely proud of RIT/NTID and its uniquely important role in making sure deaf and hard-of-hearing students receive equal education and opportunities.

I fight for NTID’s federal funding to ensure that this institute can continue to be one of the world’s great destinations for deaf and hard-of­ hearing students. With new outreach initiatives, new programs like the Rochester Bridges to the Doctorate, and new opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship provided at RIT, I know NTID will educate, employ and empower deaf and hard-of-hearing leaders for years to come. Once again, congratulations on 50 years of history-making. Here’s to the next 50 and beyond.

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Portrait of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

Honoring Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter

The RIT/NTID community was saddened by the passing of Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter earlier this year. Congresswoman Slaughter was a scientist, a legislator and a steadfast supporter of NTID and the deaf community in Rochester and throughout the country. She was an honorary member of NTID’s National Advisory Group, helped launch NTID’s Task Force on Health Care Careers for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Community, worked in support of the Americans with Disabilities Act, supported legislation that requires closed-captioning on TV programs and more.

Upon receipt of the RIT Presidential Medallion in 2010, the Congresswoman said, “Over time this partnership [between RIT and NTID], which began as an experiment, has highlighted two of the most distinctive characteristics of the Rochester community: a dedication to technological innovation and a commitment to include and promote the needs of citizens from all walks of life. Here at NTID, students and faculty do not only teach and acquire skills in highly technical fields that are rapidly changing with every new innovation, but with every endeavor and success, they blaze new trails and expand the boundaries of what the deaf and hard-of-hearing can accomplish…The work that you’ve done here at NTID for the deaf community continues in the fine tradition of RIT and Rochester, which we know to be a welcoming community that thrives on knowledge, innovation, and culture…I consider it a great privilege to represent Rochester and serve the people of Western New York. And it’s been an honor to do everything I can to support RIT, NTID, and the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, who’ve played such an important and unique role in making Rochester what it is today, and charting a path for the future.”

“FOCUS” extends our deepest sympathies to Congresswoman Slaughter's family, colleagues, constituents and friends. She will be missed.

Portrait of Governor Andrew Cuomo

Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor of New York State

It is a pleasure to send greetings to everyone gathered at the Rochester Institute of Technology/National Technical Institute for the Deaf 50th Anniversary Reunion.

Since 1968, NTID, a college of RIT and the first and largest technological college in the world for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, has provided an outstanding technical and professional education program, complemented by a strong liberal arts and sciences curriculum. This solid foundation of learning enables deaf and hard-of-hearing students to live and work in the mainstream of a rapidly changing global society as successful leaders in their communities.

As you come together to enjoy a milestone 50th anniversary celebration commemorating five decades of NTID’s innovation and educational excellence with a variety of fun and memorable activities, know that we are proud of all of your accomplishments. Reunions are wonderful opportunities to rekindle friendships and take time to remember your college days, looking back on the many changes you have experienced since your graduation day. In sharing this milestone anniversary with former classmates and teachers, you can take pride in RIT/NTID and in the personal and professional achievements that will contribute to New York and to future generations.

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Portrait of State Senator Patrick Gallivan

Patrick M. Gallivan

New York State Senator – 59th District

Congratulations to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf for 50 years of remarkable service to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. As the first and largest technological college of its kind anywhere in the world, NTID and Rochester Institute of Technology have led the way in educating deaf students and preparing them for rewarding careers.

More than 8,000 NTID alumni share their knowledge, expertise and passion for lifelong learning to enhance their lives and their community. I am confident this proud tradition will continue for many years to come.

To administrators, faculty, staff members, alumni and current students, congratulations on NTID’s 50th Anniversary, and I wish you continued success.

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Portrait of State Assemblyman Harry Bronson

Harry B. Bronson

New York State Assembly member – 138th District

I welcome you to the 50th Anniversary of the creation of National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology, and thank you for your support of Rochester, the state of New York and the NTID campus and community. As a nation, we have made great strides forward in the education and equality of those who are deaf or hard of hearing and have many reasons to celebrate.

In the words of Peter Peterson, a Deaf teacher at the Minnesota School for the Deaf, who wrote in 1930 that: “A national technical institute for the deaf located in a large manufacturing city, is what deaf young America needs more than anything else…”

Starting with the first graduating class of 54 students, I believe that you have been able to accomplish that and so much more.

Today’s campus proudly educates more than 17,000 students, including more than 1,200 deaf and hard-of-hearing students enrolled in programs that are unmatched by any university in the world. RIT provides one of the most accessible education communities in the nation for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

There is no doubt in my mind that NTID has played a significant role in educating so many, both nationally and internationally, so they may live full and honest lives with dignity, equality and respect.

You have enriched our nation, celebrated our diversity and brought visibility to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community through academic and technical education.

Thank you to the alumni, current students, faculty and staff, both past and present, for your strong dedication and commitment to make NTID an internationally recognized institution of higher education.

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County Executive Cheryl DiNolfo

Cheryl Dinolfo

Monroe County Executive

It is an honor to congratulate all of you at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) on providing 50 years of unparalleled education to students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Students have come from all 50 states and more than 60 countries to be a part of this singular institution at the heart of Rochester Institute of Technology.

We are fortunate that many NTID alumni have made Monroe County their permanent home. In doing so, NTID alumni and students contribute to the vibrancy of our community. By developing access technologies for people with disabilities, as well as cultivating deaf poetry, theater, dance, painting and supporting start-ups by or for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, NTID helps make Monroe County a community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs.

As County Executive, I am proud of our mentor partnership with NTID, which has led to collaborations with our Medical Examiner’s Office, and I am honored to count NTID alumni as part of our staff. All of us in Monroe County pause to celebrate this milestone of 50 years of excellence in education, research, access, and outreach. You have transformed this community in many ways and made the whole world a brighter place because of your dedication to encouraging, educating and helping others.

On behalf of all of us in Monroe County, Happy 50th anniversary, NTID!

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Town Supervisor Stephen Schultz

Stephen L. Schultz

Henrietta Town Supervisor, RIT Computer Science ’89

I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to the students, faculty, staff and alumni of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf on the 50th anniversary of its founding. As a freshman, I lived on a Deaf-Hearing floor and quickly became multilingual for the first time in my life, learning American Sign Language in order to converse directly with my deaf and hard-of-hearing friends. And now, my son is taking ASL in middle school as his second language. NTID has had a profound impact, not only on those who have come through its programs or used its services to help them complete an RIT education, but on the entire RIT community as well as the Henrietta community at large. I am proud to have been a part of it for 38 out of the 50 years and look forward to more years of partnership as your Town Supervisor.

Mayor Lovely Warren

Lovely A. Warren

Mayor of Rochester

Congratulations on the 50th anniversary of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at Rochester Institute of Technology.

In the City of Rochester, we make it our mission to ensure that every resident can enjoy safer and more vibrant neighborhoods, access to jobs and better educational opportunities. In addition, we want Rochester City Hall to be as accessible as possible for Rochester’s Deaf community, with resources readily available to meet their needs. We are grateful to call NTID an instrumental partner in this effort.

This year, Rochester is celebrating the bicentennial year of the birth of the great abolitionist and freedom fighter, Frederick Douglass. As we reflect upon his legacy, I am confident that he would be proud to see us using our talents to create engaging events and activities such as this to build bridges and foster bonds throughout the community.

I would like to thank the faculty, staff, students, alumni, families and friends of NTID who have worked so hard to make this 50th anniversary an outstanding success.

RIT President David Munson

Dr. David C. Munson

President of Rochester Institute of Technology

I’m excited to wish RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf a happy 50th anniversary. When Nancy and I first arrived on the RIT campus, we knew this was a place like no other. And NTID is one of the main reasons why.

Just 50 short years ago, NTID was a concept in the minds of a handful of dedicated educators and public servants. Today, it is an international leader in the education of deaf and hard-of-hearing young people, and serves as a model for others to emulate. From cutting-edge pedagogy to groundbreaking research and the development of access technology, NTID will continue to lead through the 21st century and beyond.

RIT is richer for the presence of NTID on this campus. As we celebrate 50 years of RIT’s home in Henrietta, we all can take great pride in the contributions of NTID students, alumni, faculty, staff and administrators to making the entire university such an outstanding place to learn, work and grow.

Portrait of RIT Board Chairperson Christine Whitman

Christine Whitman

RIT Board of Trustees Chairperson

On behalf of the RIT Board of Trustees, it is my pleasure to congratulate NTID on the 50th anniversary of the first entering class.

NTID holds a unique place in RIT’s history, and it is exciting to witness the ways the college continues to grow and lead the world in educating deaf and hard-of-hearing young people.

Several of our trustees trace their roots to NTID, and their contributions to our work on behalf of the greater university is valued and appreciated.

I look forward to seeing what NTID has in store for its next 50 years.

Congratulations and happy anniversary!

Portrait of WFD President Colin Allen

Colin Allen

President of World Federation of the Deaf

On behalf of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), I would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations on the 50th anniversary of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID).

As an International Member of the WFD, it is with great pride that the WFD has maintained long-standing cooperation with the National Technical Institute for the Deaf after this educational institution became a full Associate member of the WFD in 1980 and then changed to its membership status, International Membership in 2014.

Over the years, this close collaboration has yielded to support WFD in many ways, such as to sponsor materials for the past WFD Congresses. We are very grateful to have such on-going relationships and look forward to strengthen this connection.  

NTID is a highly respected international educational institute for the Deaf Community. I believe that NTID will continue to bring about meaningful changes to many deaf and hard-of-hearing students from over the world.

I wish NTID every success and congratulations once again on the 50th anniversary of foundation.

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Portraits of NAD's Melissa Draganac-Hawk and Howard Rosenblum

Melissa Draganac-Hawk

Board President, National Association of the Deaf

Howard A. Rosenblum

Chief Executive Officer, National Association of the Deaf

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) congratulates the National Technical Institute for the Deaf on its 50th anniversary! This is an amazing milestone representing an amazing advancement for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

NTID has made possible quality education and top-notch employment to five decades of deaf and hard-of-hearing graduates. In today’s fast-paced technological world, NTID has given these graduates a fighting chance to compete for jobs and promotions. NTID has also been a place for highly trained deaf and hard-of-hearing professionals to shine as professors, researchers, staff, technicians, administrators and deans.

The NAD is grateful to NTID for being a pillar of higher education excellence that elevates the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, and wishes NTID much success in the decades to come.

I wish NTID every success and congratulations once again on the 50th anniversary of foundation.

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Portrait of ESAD Chairperson Sean Gerlis

Sean Gerlis

Chairperson, Empire State Association of the Deaf

It has been 50 years since this fine institution was founded in Rochester, New York, under the declaration when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Public Law 89-36, The National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) Act. Much has progressed since 1965 that leads to this prestigious institution that continues services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students across the world.

Empire State Association for the Deaf (ESAD) is proud to continue our partnership with NTID as we continue to strive for the betterment of the civil rights and quality in education for deaf, hard-of-hearing, and deaf-blind students in New York state. ESAD wishes to extend their congratulations to the continuation of long tradition in providing an excellent education resource for deaf, hard-of-hearing, and deaf-blind students. Congratulations!

Portrait of AG Bell CEO Emilio Alonso-Mendoza

Emilio Alonso-Mendoza

Chief Executive Officer, The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

A national technical institute for the deaf was not just “a dream,” which Minnesota School for the Deaf teacher Peter Peterson acknowledged in 1930, but also “a possibility.” Thirty-eight years later, President Lyndon Baines Johnson realized this hope by creating the National Technical Institute of the Deaf (NTID). Seventy students (44 male/26 female) arrived on the RIT campus in 1968 to become NTID’s charter class and begin its semi-centennial legacy.

Over its subsequent 50 years, NTID has helped prepare more than 8,000 deaf and hard-of-hearing students from 17 different countries to live and work in the mainstream of a rapidly changing global community. The outstanding modern technical, professional, liberal arts and sciences education here enhances the social, economic and educational accommodations of deaf people in a variety of fields. Last year, in fact, 94 percent of deaf and hard of hearing graduates received a job within one year.

This year, the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) recognizes the class of 1968 for their bravery and courage and celebrates the 2018 NTID graduating class. We are honored to have a rich history that has assisted NTID in ensuring that deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals have equal access to employment and success in life. Indicative of NTID’s roots, this class is the world’s latest chance to construct a society where one’s life matches the marvels of one’s labors.

Good luck to this year’s graduates, and I look forward to many more years of collaboration with NTID.

Portrait of NAG Chairperson Christopher Lehfeldt

Christopher Lehfeldt

Chairperson, National Advisory Group

I’m pleased to join with my fellow members of NTID’s National Advisory Group to congratulate NTID on 50 years of excellence in teaching and learning.

The NAG was established in the earliest days of the college’s beginning to provide direction and guidance. Throughout our history, the NAG has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the leaders of RIT and NTID to fulfill the mission of the college: to prepare deaf and hard-of-hearing students with the best possible education to prepare them to live and work in an ever-changing global society.

Through the years, NAG members have come from every walk of life and have proudly enjoyed meeting on campus, watching the growth, change and progress of the physical space, academic offerings and talented students, faculty, staff and alumni.

It is also exciting to bear witness to the growth in awareness of NTID throughout the country and around the world. From Rochester to Japan, China, the Philippines, United Arab Emerites and more, NTID stands as a model for successfully educating deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

Thanks to the hard work of many who have come before us, there is much to be proud of—and much to celebrate. Here’s to 50 years more and beyond!

Portrait of Foundation Board President Chris Wagner

Chris Wagner, ’94

NTID Foundation Board President

On behalf of the NTID Foundation Board of Directors, I’m pleased to add to those congratulating RIT/NTID on this 50-year milestone.

As Foundation board chair, it is important for me to note that this anniversary also signifies the maturation of our college, and the willingness of those who have given of their time, talent and resources to continue us on our path of providing outstanding educational opportunities for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Our board members have been leaders in helping to ensure that the vision of NTID’s leadership is carried out, and I thank them for all they do.

As a proud alumnus, I take great pride in the accomplishments of my 8,000+ fellow alumni. For the past 50 years, you have been the greatest “advertisement” of what an RIT/NTID education can do. You are in every business and industry throughout the country and around the world, and I salute you! I have watched with pride the positive growth and impact by our alumni to this institution.

And, finally, as co-chair of NTID’s 50th Anniversary Reunion committee along with my wife, Staci, I am thrilled that so many have made time to ‘come home’ to NTID this summer and celebrate with us.

As we move on to the next 50 years and beyond, let us all take the spirit of NTID with us into our own communities and continue to make the world a better place, one Tiger at a time. I join my Foundation Board colleagues in extending congratulations to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf on reaching this important milestone.

Happy 50 years, NTID! Go Tigers!

Portrait of Alumni Assoc. Board President Joseph Riggio

Joseph Riggio, SVP ’88, ’92, ’01

NTID Alumni Association Board President

On behalf of my fellow alumni, I’m pleased and proud to congratulate NTID on its 50th anniversary.

I came to NTID with the SVP ’88 group, graduated with an associate degree in printing production technology in 1992, and earned a bachelor’s degree in applied arts technology from the College of Applied Science and Technology in 2000. NTID is where I learned to be a leader, to advocate for myself, and where I developed lifelong friendships.

Today, I’m fortunate to visit campus frequently both for work and as president of the NTID Alumni Association Board of Directors. It is always a thrill for me to return to our old ‘stomping grounds’ that we still call home and walk through the doors of LBJ Hall and see all of the exciting changes that have taken place on our campus. But one thing that never changes is the feeling of family that exists with my fellow alumni, and those faculty and staff who are such an important part of our lives.

So congratulations, NTID! May you continue leading the way in deaf education for many decades to come!

Portrait of CEASD President David Geeslin

Dr. David Geeslin

President, Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf, Inc.

On behalf of the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD), I congratulate you on the 50th anniversary of NTID. In 1964, NTID was nothing more than a dream, yet it opened four years later with an enrollment of 70 and ambitious goals for the future. With more than 1200 students today, NTID has experienced remarkable growth and achieved – and exceeded – its vision.

NTID offers a wealth of majors both within NTID and with RIT, it provides limitless opportunities for growth inside and outside the classroom, and its network of programs and alumni has extended its reach around the globe. NTID provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to be a citizen of the world in the 21st century. Its innovative initiatives not only prepare students for the future, but help create the future. NTID clearly has made its mark in the realm of higher education.

CEASD is grateful for the educational opportunities NTID has provided. We look forward to watching NTID evolve over the next 50 years and beyond! Again, my warmest congratulations!

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