Thank you to those who were able to join in the celebration on June 10, 2017 to pay tribute to President Bill Destler and Dr. Rebecca Johnson. The community came together in joyous celebration to honor their 10 years of leadership, dedication, and service to RIT and the Greater Rochester area.
We gratefully acknowledge our generous sponsors who made the celebration of this remarkable team such a success. Thank you for your support and your partnership.
You can demonstrate your appreciation for this record of leadership and hard work. By supporting key areas at RIT, you will help to build their legacy while advancing critical components of RIT’s strategic plan.
Your gift to honor Bill Destler and Rebecca Johnson will be deeply meaningful to them, and will help to advance the university to which they’ve grown so connected. Please join us in honoring the tremendous work of these two RIT leaders by making your commitment by June 1, 2017, so we can celebrate as a community later that month as Bill and Rebecca finish their tenure at RIT.
Your tribute gift can be directed in one of the following ways:
Give to the Destler/Johnson Rochester City Scholars Program now »
Give to the Dr. Rebecca Johnson Endowed Sustainability Champion Award now »
Give to an area of RIT that means the most to you »
- A gift to any academic program of interest to you
- Support for the Wallace Center
- A gift to the RIT Alumni House, recognizing Bill’s personal commitment to connect with alumni
- A gift to student innovation projects
Executive Director of University Campaigns
As we near the end of their tenure, we remember the tremendous impact they’ve had on the university community:
The Imagine RIT Festival now welcomes nearly 30,000 visitors each year, and showcases RIT’s incredibly innovative and creative students.
Hundreds of companies find assistance with sustainability issues at the Golisano Institute for Sustainability, and the Institute has helped make RIT a national model for campus sustainability.
The RIT/Rochester Regional Health partnership has yielded research, clinical experience, and academic benefits.
RIT has become the third largest producer of undergraduate STEM degrees among U.S. private universities, and ranks in the top 10 for several visual art and design programs.
The College of Health Sciences & Technology, the School for Interactive Media & Gaming, Rosica Hall at NTID, three Ph.D. programs, and the MAGIC Center all came to life.
RIT rose to the ranks of national research universities in the Carnegie Classification, while keeping a unique focus on student-centered research.
- RIT opens a campus in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
- The first Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival draws more than 15,000 visitors to campus to see interactive exhibits and displays, including new ideas for products and services, creative arts and crafts, and faculty and student research.
- RIT and Rochester Regional Health begin a strategic alliance.
- The College of Science launches RIT's fifth doctoral degree program in astrophysical sciences and technology, paving the way for RIT’s connections to the gravitational waves announcement in 2016.
- The Golisano Institute for Sustainability creates the world’s first Ph.D. program focused on sustainable production.
- The University Services Center, which includes the glass-enclosed, circular Center for Student Innovation, opens.
- The men’s hockey team catapults into the national spotlight by earning a trip to the NCAA’s prestigious Frozen Four.
- The iconic work of international designers Massimo and Lella Vignelli is permanently archived at RIT in a new design center, the Vignelli Center for Design Studies.
- The College of Health Sciences and Technology—RIT’s ninth college—opens.
- B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences unveils the School of Interactive Games and Media to foster continued growth of popular undergraduate and graduate programs in game design and development.
- RIT moves its Division III Intercollegiate Athletics program from the Empire 8 Conference to the Liberty League.
- RIT opens a second branch of its RIT Croatia in the capital city of Zagreb. The new campus joins the college’s existing campus in Dubrovnik.
- Institute Hall, which houses programs in biomedical and chemical engineering, opens. The building is the final element of a quadrangle located on the northwest side of the campus.
- The women’s hockey team wins the Division III NCAA national championship and also announces it will move up to the Division I level.
- RIT announces the new Center for Urban Entrepreneurship located in the heart of downtown.
- The Carnegie Foundation names Professor Todd Pagano, who teaches chemistry in the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, U.S. Professor of the Year.
- RIT is among the first universities to create a department dedicated to computing security.
- RIT becomes home to New York State’s Center of Excellence in Sustainable Manufacturing.
- RIT converts from the quarter academic calendar to the semester academic calendar.
- Golisano Institute for Sustainability, which houses one of the world’s first Ph.D. programs in sustainability, opens its doors to a new home.
- Sebastian and Lenore Rosica Hall, an innovation and research hub for NTID, opens.
- RIT creates the Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity (MAGIC), a research center devoted to the field of digital media. The Center bridges the gap between university research and commercial production.
- The Gene Polisseni Center, home to men’s and women’s hockey, opens with a roar.
- RIT launches its seventh doctoral program, a Ph.D. in engineering.
- RIT launches the 2015-2025 strategic plan “Greatness through Difference.” For the first time in RIT history, the word “research” is incorporated into the vision statement.
- MAGIC Spell Studios, a university program that will link RIT’s internationally ranked academic programs with high-tech facilities needed to commercialize computer gaming, film and animation, graphic design and imaging science projects, is created.
- The College of Health Sciences and Technology opens the Clinical Health Sciences Center, a 45,000-square-foot addition at the north end of Louise Slaughter Hall. The addition includes the Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition and Rochester Regional Health Family Medicine.
- RIT announces plans to create its first Alumni House on campus, which will serve as a welcome center for graduates when it opens in 2017.
- Six RIT researchers are among the authors of a paper announcing what may be the most important scientific discovery in a century—findings that confirm the existence of gravitational waves predicted in Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
- RIT is considered a “doctoral university” by the leading national classification of U.S. colleges and universities — The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
- A consortium of universities and corporations led by RIT is chosen to receive a state grant to establish a New York State Center for Advanced Technology in Additive Manufacturing and Functional Printing.
- President Destler and RIT board chairperson Chris Whitman lead a delegation of RIT leaders to Silicon Valley to engage RIT’s 4,000+ alumni in the region and connect with current and aspirational corporate partners.
- Under Bill Destler’s leadership, RIT’s enrollment has reached record levels, selectivity and diversity have improved, the value of research awards has skyrocketed and geographic draw continues to widen. But his strong relationship with students is the key piece of his legacy. The RIT community looks back on the last 10 years and prepares to say goodbye to RIT’s No. 1 and his No. 1.
- Destler-Johnson Quadrangle dedicated to honor 10 years of leadership and service to RIT.
- A grateful university says thank you to a dynamic leadership team and best wishes on your next chapter.