The Women's Council was the inspiration of Aileen Vanderbilt Webb, RIT's first woman trustee. Through the motiviation of Marcia Ellingson, wife of former RIT president Mark Ellingson, the Woman's Council was founded from a small group of friends of the Institute who were eager to volunteer their time and talents to advance RIT.
As a measure of the Council's value to RIT, one of our members represents the Council on the Institute's Board of Trustees and serves on Board committees.
The Women's Council of RIT 2018-19 Officers & Committee Chairs
The purpose of the Women's Council of RIT is to stimulate interest and promote understanding of the Institute within the community, to provide an educational program about the Institute to its members, and to be of service to the Institute. The council is committed to participating in a variety of projects that advance the interest in and support of the Institute.
We have been described as "key ambassadors for RIT" and we are proud to serve as a significant link between RIT and the community. As goodwill ambassadors, we can promote a better understanding of the University and its quality career programs. In addition, through a variety of special projects, we are able to increase the circle of friends for RIT and many worthwhile Institute activities. By simulating interest in and supporting the value of an RIT education, we offer opportunities that are satisfying experiences to our members. The Council's meetings acquaint members with RIT programs, faculty, staff, students and the broad array of campus activities that enrich both the RIT education and the community.
Established in 1955, The Women’s Council of RIT (WCRIT) has celebrated over 60 years of women helping women students. With over 120 members, the Council hosts seven educational programs annually highlighting RIT initiatives.
WCRIT’s main purpose is to award scholarships to RIT women students who earn high academic achievement as well as community and RIT involvement in light of extenuating circumstances. Over $10K has been awarded in recent years to students who achieve successful academics together with campus involvement. WCRIT also provides financial support to Margaret’s House, the Wallace Center, and the RIT Ambulance.
WCRIT’s main fundraisers are the annual Glass Pumpkin Patch sale and Council membership dues. Students create the pumpkins and the Council coordinates the sale. The proceeds are then used to provide a scholarship for a glass student, classroom enrichment opportunities such as conferences or guest speakers and support for WCRIT’s multiple scholarship awards. The Glass Pumpkin sale has grown steadily over the past several years and has become so popular that the event has sold out in under two hours.
One of the ways WCRITworks to make an impact is to aid RIT women students through our relationship with the RIT Center for Women & Gender. WCRIT has established an endowed fund in a mere two years called the “Bridging the Gap Fund” which assists RIT students who find themselves in emergency situations. The Council is currently working on reaching their goal to grow the endowment to $60K. This fund is already providing an annual disbursement to the RIT Center for Women & Gender to assist RIT students with costs associated with emergency medical appointments, emergency groceries, etc. We are half way to our target. Please consider making a donation to help us reach this goal.
WCRIT is a dynamic and growing organization of women. Perhaps WCRIT would be good place for you as well so please think about joining us! You can find a membership form on our website.