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David A. Page photographs

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: RITArc-0451

Scope and Contents

The David A. Page photographs consist of the following:

Twelve 70mm color slides, images taken from space looking back at Earth and one of an astronaut in the capsule. Note on the film in small canister reads: "RIT Profs Rickmers, Shoemaker, and Todd (RST Associates*) deeply involved in outer space image systems at that time." "Gemini VI & VII December 1965, GT-6: Schirra, Stafford; GT-7: Borman, Lovell.

Larger canister is labeled on the outside "David A Page, unexposed 70mm film strips, DO NOT OPEN". Note written on film reads: "RIT Photo Scientists: Keith Erb Ph '67, David Page Ph '66, Robert Studley Ph '67, David Kelch, Ph '67, Team Leader: Russell R. Zimmerman Ph '64. Also: Apollo 11 Moon Landing, Roll "A", 1st generation dup., David A. Page '66, QC Director.

Professors Rickmers, Todd and Shoemaker formed a consulting partnership, "RST Associates." Contacts made through such consulting brought equipment and course-updating concepts to the school. RST Associates was formed in the early sixties and was terminated when Professor Hollis Todd retired in 1976 after 29 years of outstanding teaching at RIT.

Also included:

3 - 8x10 images of "The Spirit of SPIRIT" a close up of the face of the RIT tiger pelt preserved from 1964, taken by Dave Page circa 2010.

1- contact sheet of 120 b& w negatives of the first tree planting session on RIT's new campus property. The event was a Alpha Phi Omega service project. Photos by Dave Page taken circa 1962-63. Some are labeled.

1 strip of 4 -120 b & w negatives of Dr. Ellingson announcing the move to the Henrietta campus and students in the courtyard on that day. Photos by Dave Page circa 1961.

Added in 2013 is a color print of David Page's photograph of "The Sentinal", an Albert Paley sculpture on the RIT campus.


  • Creation: circa 1961- 1966, 2006, 2010
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1961 - 1965

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

This is the story of the man who became one of RIT’s first tiger mascots and the live Bengal tiger he helped bring to campus, David A. Page. Before 1955, teams had been called “The Techmen” and “The Blue Gray.”

After the 1955-1956 undefeated men’s basketball season, coaches and teams wanted a fiercer, more collegiate mascot. Henry Watts, head of the RIT News Bureau, began sending out news releases using “Tigers” as the nickname, and the name stuck.

A handful of students came up with the idea of getting a live tiger to bring to campus. The cost was $1,000 and the Seneca Park Zoo agreed to house the animal. Students sold stock for $1 per share to raise the money.

The 8-week-old cub arrived on Oct. 30, 1963, and after a contest, he was named Spirit, for Student Pride in RIT.

David Page ’66 (photo science) was a member of the tiger committee and became a student handler of the animal. Student handlers were allowed to visit the cub when the zoo was closed and to take him to campus and community events. Most of the handlers, including Page, were members of Alpha Phi Omega, a national service fraternity.

Page and Spirit had a special bond. Page was among the first to wear a tiger costume for events. (Today, that mascot is known as Ritchie.) But four months after his arrival, Spirit became too big to bring to campus. Then on Sept. 28, 1964, he died from an incurable genetic defect.

After graduating, Page, who worked as a fine arts photographer at Duke University, remained an ardent supporter of RIT. He was a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, leader of the RIT Raleigh/Durham Alumni Chapter and supporter of the RIT Big Shot. Page died Aug. 13, 2011.

He and other members of the tiger committee returned to RIT in 2005 to record the story of Spirit, which can be found here:


0.5 Linear Feet (2 canisters containing 2 rolls film and 12-2 1/2" x 2 1/2" negatives)




David A. Page photographs contain images of SpiRIT, the RIT tiger; the day President Ellingson made the announcement that RIT would move from the downtown location to Henrietta; and images from a tree planting event at the Henrietta location taken by Dave Page when he was an RIT Photography student in the 1960's.There are also photographs taken on the Gemini VI and VII space missions and the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Physical Location

C.S. South, Shelf 337

Sentinal photograph added to the RIT color photograph collection, Box 18.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These collections were donated to the RIT Archives by Dave Page in 2007 and 2010. Accession number(s): 2007:068; 2010:022

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Jody Sidlauskas in February 2013.

David A. Page photographs
RIT Archives
Jody Sidlauskas
27 February 2013
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