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RIT Henrietta Campus Dedication records and plaque

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITArc-0523

Scope and Contents

RIT Henrietta Campus Dedication records is a collection of planning documents for the three day event held on October 18-20, 1968, schedule of events for the weekend, press releases and news clippings, guest lists, speeches, correspondence from dignitaries and information about the time capsule that was buried outside the Student Alumni Union.

In the RIT Audiocassette Tape collection are a set of tapes documenting different activities that took place over the weekend. Original cassette recordings were digitized on 2/20/2015.

  • Alumni Banquet - Dedication Weekend audiotape
  • Academic Convocation by Dr. Eliers;
  • Dedication Ceremony audiotape;
  • Trustee's Banquet - Dedication Weekend 10/18/68;
  • Dates

    • Creation: 1961-1968

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open to researchers. Audio files are available in RIT Archive Collections.

    Biographical / Historical

    The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) was originally located in the city of Rochester, NY. In 1961, the university's Board of Trustees voted to relocate the campus to Henrietta, a suburb south of the city. The decision was several years in the making. Following World War II, the Institute had seen a rapid growth in enrollment figures and new programs were being added. The school had gone from a unique institute of higher learning to one that granted associate, bachelor, and master degrees, as well as seeking accreditation. It was becoming increasingly clear that the school would need to expand, the question was whether it would rebuild its current campus or relocate to a different part of the metropolitan area.

    In 1951, RIT committed $30 million toward building up the campus as part of a neighborhood renewal project. For years, the City of Rochester had been trying to revitalizing the city's Third Ward and RIT was a key component of this project. Then, in 1959 the New York State Department of Public Works announced that the Rochester Inner Loop expressway would be built through the heart of RIT's campus. The Eastman Building, which was constructed with funds donated by George Eastman in 1901, was to be destroyed in the process. The anticipated result was that the college would be split in half by the new thoroughfare.

    After considering several options, the board voted on November 20, 1961 to relocate the campus to a new area. The vote passed with 32 in favor, 2 against, and 1 abstention. The City of Rochester was unhappy with the decision given that RIT was seen as important to the Third Ward's eventual revitalization. However, given the state of the neighborhood and restrictions present in a city environment, it seemed to the administrators that staying in the city would not be in the Institute's best interest. Additionally, a Rochester resident, Grace Watson, had unexpectedly left over $3 million to the Institute. The largest gift in the university's history, it helped address the financial burden of relocating the entire school.

    Emil Muller, an RIT graduate, helped the university obtain 1300 acres of farmland in the suburb of Henrietta. Henrietta - named for the daughter of Sir William Johnstone Pulteney, a prominent New York landowner - was established in 1817. Although most of the area was farmland, Mark Ellingson shared in a letter that the university's administrators believed that Henrietta would be the "center of the Rochester Metropolitan area within the next few years." Ground was broken on November 2, 1964 and by September 1968 the first classes were held. The total cost of the project was around $60 million and included residence halls, lecture halls, a library, a student union, and a gymnasium. Most importantly, the new campus included space. RIT's city campus had consisted of 13 acres. The new 1300 acre campus was meant to sustain the college 100 years into the future.


    1 Linear Feet (1 document box 5 audiotapes 1 18 x 12 inch plaque)




    Materials related to the planning and dedication of Rochester Institute of Technology’s new campus in Henrietta, N.Y. The dedication of the new campus occurred October 18-20, 1968. The collection includes advertising and press releases for the dedication, planning of the weekend events, convocation, convocation luncheon, trustee’s dinner and time capsule. Samples of invitations, event programs, folders, brochures, audiotapes and newspaper supplements are also included. In addition, the dedication capsule plaque was added in 2005.


    The collection is arranged by subject and series.

    Physical Location

    For access to audio recordings, contact RIT Archive Collections.

    Other Finding Aids

    In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

    RIT Henrietta Campus Dedication records

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    These records came from the Office of the President. The plaque was deposited to the RIt Archives in 2005 by the Facilities Management Office.

    Processing Information

    Finding aid created by Jody Sidlauskas in July 2014.

    RIT Henrietta Campus Dedication records
    RIT Archives
    Jody Sidlauskas
    29 July 2014
    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