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Minority students collection

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: RITArc-0172

Scope and Contents

The Minority students collection contains documents related to programs and activities offered to minority students at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), as well as information about the university policies and relations. The correspondence in the collection covers a variety of topics from the services offered by the school to the formation of a Minority Task Force.

The collection also includes promotional materials geared toward minority students. For instance, there is "Minority Students Resources Directory and Handbook," information on specific scholarships, and materials distributed by the Office of Admissions.

Finally, the collection includes a clippings file. Again, the clippings cover a variety of topics such as programs sponsored by RIT and the state of race relations on RIT's campus.


  • Creation: 1906, 1961-1989


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Historical Information: Minority students at RIT

It is unclear when the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) first admitted minority students. However, it appears as though the first African American students entered the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (renamed RIT in 1944) during the early 1900s. For instance, in 1906 Fredericka Sprague, the granddaughter of Frederick Douglass, took classes at the Institute. There are several other instances of African American students attending the school during the early 20th century as well. In 1968, the Policy Committee began to look at the role of "disadvantaged students" on RIT's campus. Although this term did not specifically refer to minority students, many of these disadvantaged pupils were innercity students from minority populations.

Gradually more services were added for minority students on campus. In 1969, a black studies program was offered with courses such as "Afro-American History," "Nativism, Racism, and Anti-Semitism," "West African History," and "Sociology of Intergroup Relations." In 1980, a plan was developed to increase the number of minority and disadvantaged students in the RIT community, both faculty and students. Then, in 2000 the North Star Center for Academic Success and Cultural Affairs was established as part of an initiative to increase student retention at the college, particularly among minority students.

As of 2011, RIT's student body was made up of over 1,400 international students from 100 different countries. In addition, more than 2,000 of the university's students were non-white. As of 2011, the North Star Center, along with the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, still played an important role on RIT's campus.


.5 Linear Feet (3 folders in 1 document box with other collections)




Materials related to minority students at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). The collection includes correspondence, promotional materials, and clippings related to student activities, programs, and university relations.


The collection is arranged in three series: Correspondence, Promotional materials, and Clippings. Items are organized chronologically within each series.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in May 2011.

Minority students collection
RIT Archives
Lara Nicosia
25 May 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA