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RIT Student Union building plaque

 Collection — Object: 1
Identifier: RITArc-0350

Scope and Contents

The RIT Student Union buidling plaque once hung outside the downtown campus Student Union in Rochester, NY. It is made of a silver metal frame, the background is a brick red color, and the lettering is silver metal. The sign is approximately 24 x 12 inches and rather heavy.


  • Creation: circa 1960's

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Historical Information

Jay Powell is a 1968 graduate of RIT. He took classes at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), when they were held on the downtown campus in Rochester, NY. When the Institute moved to the current Henrietta, NY location, some of the downtown buildings were demolished. One of those buildings was the RIT Student Union. Jay Powell heard the Student Union was going to be demolished, and decided to take the sign off the building before its' demise, appointing himself as protector. He kept the sign for close to 40 years until 2007 when he donated it to the RIT Archive Collections.

A former home located at 90 Troup Street, became the RIT Student Union. This converted dwelling, complete with a sweepng staircase (with a stained glass window) had been a glorious home at one time. The remnants of a servant call system and a back staircase to what had been rear bedrooms confirmed that the original owners had live in help.

When RIT used the building, the first floor rooms had been established for meetings and also housed the first color television set on campus. There was always coffee, hot chocolate and peanut butter cracker snacks available for students. The Religious Affairs offices and WITR radio occupied the second floor.

All the buildings associated with the school had display name signs made of machined alumunum letters on a framed background. Just as the bricks bring unity to the current campus, these signs, identical in style and presentation, identified and brought unity to the campus buildings.

Jay had spent many hours in the building as the General Manager of WITR, and met the woman he would end up marrying in the Student Union. The sign had extra special meaning to the pair. As they went through life it served as a reminder of the fun and joyous times they spent there.


2 Linear Feet (plaque)




The RIT Student Union building plaque is a large, metal framed sign which reads R.I.T. STUDENT UNION


Collection is one item.

Physical Location

C.S. South Shelf 228

Physical Description

Plaque is very heavy. Use caution when lifting.


Plaque measures 24 1/2" x 12 1/4".

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Jody Sidlauskas in December 2011.

RIT Student Union building plaque
RIT Archives
Jody Sidlauskas
2 December 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