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RIT Alumni Association records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITArc-0040

Scope and Contents

The RIT Alumni Association records consist of a variety of documents related to the association and its operations. The financial documents in the collection include records, ledgers, and dues ledgers from 1913-1949. Other financial items include fundraising information, budget proposals, and development brochures. The collection also includes a series of materials related to the Alumni Fund, established in 1942. This series predominantly includes correspondence and letters of solicitation, but also contains several brochures and clippings.

The collection also contains administrative documents such as meeting minutes and committee reports. The meeting minutes (1944-1970) are mostly for the Executive Council. Also included are governance documents such as the group's constitution and by-laws, and goals and objectives.

Another large part of the collection is made-up of documents related to specific chapters or clubs (e.g. Alumni Club of Dayton, Ohio). These files contain charters, correspondence, and various other administrative documents. There is also information on events sponsored by these clubs such as reunions, banquets, and conferences. Additionally, the collection includes documents for art exhibits, lectures, and other activities that featured RIT alumni.

The collection includes several publications such as the Alumni Mirror, Alumni News & Views, and other alumni newsletters. Also included are brochures and pamphlets put out by the organization.

In addition, the collection contains a variety of miscellaneous documents including correspondence, ephemera, planning documents, special committee work, awards, lists of alumni, notes, questionnaires and surveys, and alumni census information. The collection also contains two film reels used by the Alumni Association for recruitment and several novelty items such as lapel pins and Executive Council ribbons.

In 2014, brochures from the Distinguished Alumni Awards celebration in 2012, 2013 were added.


  • Creation: 1913-2007
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1913 - 1979


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

The RIT Alumni Association was formed in 1912 during a formal dinner held at the Powers Hotel. Students of the newly formed Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (now the Rochester Institute of Technology or RIT) began discussing the creation of an alumni association as early as 1907. During a dinner held that year, alumni of the mechanic arts program mentioned the idea of forming such a group, but wanted to wait until more alumni could provide input. On June 14, 1912, the Alumni Association was officially announced, with Osborne F. Gurney serving as its first president.

Although the college did not have a formal alumni group until 1912, graduates of RAMI did plan reunion activities prior to this date. At the time of the Alumni Association's founding, it was common for individual departments to organize reunion dinners and events or coordinate their own alumni organizations. Carleton B. Gibson, RAMI's President from 1910-1916, suggested that a more formal association be created. When the Alumni Association was formed in 1912, the June dinner was set to be an annual reunion event and meeting for members of the association. The group's stated objectives were:

To promote in every way the interests of the graduates, to become a means through which they may offer a united moral support to the Institute, and to encourage industrious and enthusiastic school life among the under-graduates.

The Alumni Association grew vastly over the years. When the organization was founded in 1912, it had 200 members. By 1966 the group had 18,000 members and by 2007 the organization had reached the 100,000 member mark. Part of this growth can be attributed to the fact that the association initially charged membership dues. The elimination of these dues, along with the automatic enrollment of eligible members and changed eligibility requirements undoubtedly contributed to the association's growth. However, this dramatic increase is also a testament to the expanding presence of the Institute as a whole.

In addition to annual gatherings, the Alumni Association provided many opportunities to its members and the college. All members received a copy of the official Alumni Association publication, News & Views. Additionally, alumni received invitations to special events including Homecoming; on-campus privileges such as access to the library and athletic facility; free admission to events such as Alumni Basketball Night and Ice Night; and discounts on a variety of services such as travel tours and insurance. The Alumni Association also provided graduates with access to RIT's Central [Job] Placement Services.

In 1942, an Alumni Development Fund was established. Since this time, the association has served as one of RIT's largest contributors. The group helped fund the college's move to a new campus in Henrietta in 1968 and contributed to the various Anniversary campaign funds. Additionally, the Alumni Association provided scholarships to students starting in 1967.

The Alumni Association is still an active force in the RIT community. The organization continues to serve RIT's alumni population, while helping to support the college and its mission.


12 Linear Feet (20 documents boxes, 1 clamshell box, 1 magazine file, 1 folder, 2 reels)




Materials related to the Rochester Institute of Technology's (RIT) Alumni Association and its operations. The collection includes a variety of administrative and financial documents including meeting minutes, committee reports, governance materials, and financial statements, along with publications, surveys, photographs, and other miscellaneous items. Also included are several alumni novelty items such as lapel pins and ribbons.


Materials in the collection are loosely grouped by content. For instance, financial records, meeting minutes, and committee reports are each housed together. Most publications, such as the Alumni Mirror and RIT News & Views are located at the end of the collection.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in January 2011.

RIT Alumni Association records
RIT Archives
Lara Nicosia
07 January 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • January 2021: multilevel description added from inventory by Gigi Ye

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA