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Kate Gleason College of Engineering dedication key fob and card holder

 Collection — Carton: 1
Identifier: RITArc-0330

Scope and Contents

The collection contains two items. The first is a business card holder commemorating the naming of the Kate Gleason College of Engineering. The second is a key fob marking the opening of the James E. Gleason building which houses much of the College of Engineering.


  • Creation: 1999-2000

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

In 1998, the Kate Gleason College of Engineering at RIT became the first engineering school in the country named for a woman. Kate Gleason (1865-1933), an engineering and business pioneer, was a member of a Rochester family that has been associated with RIT since the late 1800s. Much of the College of Engineering is housed in the James E. Gleason building, named for Kate's brother.

Kate Gleason began working in her father's machine tool plant at a very early age. In 1888, she became the first woman to enroll in Cornell University's Engineering program. She left school before the end of her first year to take a more active part in her father's business. Later, she also studied part-time at the Mechanics Institute.

From 1890-1913 she served as Secretary-Treasurer to the Gleason Works. Her role as a sales representative allowed her frequent travel throughout the United States and Europe. Upon leaving the Gleason Works in 1913, she acquired a bankrupt machine and tool company. She returned it to profitability and became active with several business ventures in the village of East Rochester, New York.

She was the only woman member of the American Concrete Institute. In 1914, she became the first woman elected to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. In 1916, she became the first woman member of the Rochester Engineering Society.

The programs offered by the Kate Gleason College of Engineering prepare students for careers in industry or for graduate study in engineering or related fields. The undergraduate curricula emphasize fundamentals and, in the fourth and fifth years, provide courses that allow students to specialize in their chosen fields of study. To help ready students for life in the larger community, a balance among humanistic-social subjects, the physical sciences and professional studies is maintained.


2 Item(s) (1 File box)




Collection contains a key fob and business card holder marking the naming of the Kate Gleason College of Education and the opening of the James E. Gleason building.


Collection consists of two items.

Physical Location

C.S. South, East wall, Shelf E82

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Amy Vilz in November 2011.

Kate Gleason College of Engineering dedication key fob and card holder
RIT Archives
Amy Vilz
28 November 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