Pillar 2

Enhance the Student Experience

The creative energies of our students are not always contained within traditional academic structures, so we will increase the number of ways they can exercise their curiosity and innovative spirit.

Current pillar totals:

$156M

of $280M pillar goal
$156M Raised
$124M Left

Current Initiatives

Broaden opportunities for experiential education
Build innovative maker and learning facilities
Strengthen the performing arts

Broaden opportunities for experiential education

Broaden opportunities for experiential education

Our students receive the richest benefit when their education is fully lived, not just observed. A wide spectrum of experiential learning opportunities help to make learning relatable while increasing overall learning effectiveness. Programs and services like co-op, internships, global work and study, student project teams, community service, entrepreneurship, athletics, and student groups and societies increase student engagement as well as promote development of skills, knowledge and abilities. Help broaden and enrich the opportunities our students have to apply their knowledge in a variety of situations and experiences, support experiential education. Learn more about how you can put student learning into action.

Build innovative maker and learning facilities
By creating an infrastructure to transform learning and engagement, we will attract, retain, and graduate students who will shape the future and improve the world through creativity, innovation, and collaboration at the intersection of technology, the arts, and design.

Build innovative maker and learning facilities

To enable transformational learning, which will ultimately transform the world, students and faculty must have a space where learning accelerates through deep engagement across disciplines, pushing students to take ownership of their learning and develop competencies of resilience, growth, curiosity, creativity and optimism.

The Student Hall for Exploration and Development (SHED) will be the signature space located at the heart of RIT’s Henrietta campus. It is designed to enable students, faculty, and the full RIT community to bring powerful experiences found in nine colleges and countless student-driven activities together into one space. This uniquely designed structure will enable Tigers to bond by coming together and putting the RIT experience into practice. Its hands-on design includes a variety of spaces for deep exploration that will allow students to master team and individual excellence. This multi-purpose complex that extends into and connects with Wallace Library and the Student Alumni Union includes numerous flexible teaching spaces, several largescale lecture spaces, a glass box theater, dance studio, music rehearsal space, new makerspaces, workspaces for student project teams, and a host of collaborative and informal meeting spaces.

Take a virtual tour of the SHED at rit.edu/theSHED to explore all that it has to offer the RIT community or download our brochure for more information.
"By creating an infrastructure to transform learning and engagement, we will attract, retain, and graduate students who will shape the future and improve the world through creativity, innovation, and collaboration at the intersection of technology, the arts, and design."


Strengthen the performing arts
Participating in the performing arts uses both sides of the brain. It’s creative and fluid, and involves a high degree of technical ability and concentration. It’s both a craft and a science.

Strengthen the performing arts

At RIT, we know that students are interested in more than just their majors. They are diverse, multi-dimensional people with wide-ranging interests who come to campus focused on academics and bring with them a love and talent for singing, acting, dancing, and playing music. We also know that students enrolled in STEM courses of study who also pursue the arts tend to achieve greater success. A robust performing arts program and state-of-the-art facilities ensure our students can pursue their artistic passions while on campus, setting us apart from competing universities, both in academics and the student experience. This additional focus will help secure RIT’s future as a premier university that prepares future professionals and leaders to be creative, innovative, and committed to excellence.

In order to achieve our goal to be the leading performing arts program in the nation for non-majors, we need new, updated spaces to support the program. Design is underway on phase one of the complex – a 40,000+ square-foot, 750-seat music performance theater that will address a variety of needs associated with growing the performing arts program at RIT. The three-story theater is expected to have two balconies and feature an historic, restored theater pipe organ. It will provide essential space for solo and ensemble music groups at RIT, as well as provide the Rochester area with an important mid-size theater venue. Rochester currently has numerous theaters that can seat a few hundred audience members, but there are few options for venues that seat between 700 and 1,500 people. With your help, RIT can provide a state-of-the-art theater for our students and for the larger Rochester community.
"Participating in the performing arts uses both sides of the brain. It’s creative and fluid, and involves a high degree of technical ability and concentration. It’s both a craft and a science."