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Mark Ellingson Printing Alumni Awards

 Collection — Carton: 1
Identifier: RITArc-0308

Scope and Contents

There is no historical information on the Mark Ellingson Printing Alumni Award at this time. The awards may have been given out at the RIT School of Printing Alumni annual luncheons.


  • Creation: circa 1965

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Historical Information: The School of Printing

The roots of RIT's School of Printing lies with the Empire School of Printing in Ithaca, New York. Founded in 1922, the Empire School of Printing was the fourth institution of its kind, and created to train both men and women in the printing industry. Up until that time, most printers trained through a five-year apprenticeship program. After completing the program, the new printers expected to be hired at union wages. Many local newspapers could not afford these rates, thus an alternative training program was created. Additionally, the new program helped to ensure that printers in New York State could keep up with the changing technology of the field.

The school was established by the New York State Publishers Association (NYSPA). The association had formed an education committee in 1921 to address the needs of the industry. Chaired by John W. Baker of the Ithaca News, the committee decided that NYSPA would support the school for three years. In February 1922, Frank E. Gannett, President of NYSPA, announced that the school would be opened that spring.

On May 1, 1922, the Empire State School of Printing opened its doors to its first three students under the direction of Ross William Kellogg. Curriculum at the time included English, history of printing, elementary composition, management, and advertising typography. The program was six months and focused on composition rather than presswork. Although it never expanded its class size to more than about 20 per year, the school did increase its offerings, adding a linotype and intertype operations program and an engraving section.

Enrollment at the school began to decline, especially during the Depression. In 1937, Gannett reached an agreement with the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (now the Rochester Institute of Technology) whereby the Institute would absorb the printing school. Under the direction of Dr. Mark Ellingson, the Institute's president, the School of Printing was transferred to RAMI with its first class starting in the Fall of 1937. The program was changed to a two year format and the Institute was given complete administrative control. This merger was one of several acquisitions by the Institute over the next few decades; some of the other being the School for American Craftsmen in 1950, the McKechnie-Lunger School of Commerce in 1952, and Eisenhower College in 1979.


2 Item(s) (1 File box)




Two Mark Ellingson Printing Alumni Award medals. Ellingson was RIT President from 1936 to 1969 and was instrumental in bringing the Empire School of Printing to RIT in 1937.


Collection consists of two items.

Physical Location

C.S. South, East wall, Shelf E82

Related Materials


Medals measure 3 x 3 inches.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Amy Vilz in November 2011.

Mark Ellingson Printing Alumni Awards
RIT Archives
Amy Vilz
16 November 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA