NTID AlumniNews

NTID Alumni Relations Assistant Director to Reunite with Tigers Alumni in Hoosier State

More than 100 people attended the alumni gathering in Indianapolis
Photo of a large group of people in a sports bar. Two people in front are holding an orange banner that reads "RIT Tigers."
Marissa Woodruff
Alumni gathered at a sports pub to watch their favorite NFL teams.

On November 21, Marissa Woodruff, assistant director of RIT/NTID Alumni Relations, made a stop at Indianapolis-based tavern District Tap, where she hosted a fun-filled alumni gathering in Hoosier State. More than 100 people attended the event, which turned out to be a great success. 

“It went beyond what I expected! To this day, I am still in awe every time I look back to the event because we have over 100 attendees, which was mind-blowing for me,” said Woodruff. “I had the opportunity to meet so many great RIT/NTID alumni, and the event was full of laughs, exchanging NTID stories, and having priceless conversations.”

The RIT/NTID Alumni Relations Department anticipated about 20 people would register to attend, but the registration has exceeded the maximum number of attendees for the event. 

Woodruff organized the gathering as part of the goal to increase the alumni engagement and build relationships by connecting and networking with former RIT/NTID graduates. It was a success, thanks to RIT/NTID alumnus Jason Wagner for helping Woodruff to make this event possible and his tireless efforts to bring alumni, family, and friends together to the gathering. 

“Over the last two years, I was unable to see everyone due to the COVID-19 pandemic that restricted social activities everywhere in Indianapolis,” said Wagner. “Now that things get back to reality, I was happy to be able to help Marissa organize the event and see everyone again.”

A 2008 RIT graduate with a passion for giving back to the community since his college days, Wagner was excited about the opportunity to attend the event, network with alumni, and engage the community. He also had the chance to meet and greet RIT/NTID alumni of different generations. 

“Looking back in college, I have always loved being involved in and giving back to the community,” he said. “This event is an excellent opportunity for me to be part of the alumni community and meet new generations of people.” 

Wagner, the regional sales manager at Sorenson Communications, recently became a member of the NTID Alumni Association Board of Directors. 

Alumni also gathered at a sports pub watching the NFL games on television, which made this experience fun and enjoyable for Woodruff. The atmosphere at District Tap was electrifying, with enthusiastic fans rooting for their own favorite teams like the Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers. Woodruff is an avid fan of the Minnesota Vikings. 

“It was so nice to have multiple TVs at the event as several people, including myself, watched their favorite team playing on TV,” She added. “Everyone enjoyed their time by socializing and watching the NFL game. Before the game started, I took some time to give out some of the statements then ended my lecture with, “Go Vikings!”

“While chatting with various alumni throughout the event, the alumni cheered for me every time the Vikings scored! I got the opportunity to be with the Green Bay Packers fans to watch the last few minutes of the game. It was a close one!”

While Rochester is approximately 600 miles away, a small group of alumni felt Indianapolis is the appropriate choice for hosting an event, since most RIT/NTID graduates currently live in Indiana. 

“I had a chat with a small group of people across America during the pandemic, and they felt Indianapolis is a great place to host an alumni event,” Woodruff said. “They mentioned how the deaf community in Indianapolis has rapidly grown in the last several years, and there were a good number of alumni attending the event in Indianapolis.”


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