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RIT campus ministries collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITArc-0061

Scope and Contents

The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) campus ministries collection contains documents related to the religious activities of RIT students, faculty, and staff. Most of the collection is made up of fliers for specific programs and events. These include events hosted by specific campus religious groups such as the Muslim Students Association and Hillel, as well as more general fliers such as those advertising Lenten services on campus. Additionally, there are fliers for RIT's annual interfaith Thanksgiving prayer service, started in 1984.

The collection also contains information on the Center for Religious Life. This includes planning documents for an interfaith center; such as a square footage and estimated cost proposal and a campus land use map; correspondence related to the interfaith center; and a record book of pledged donations.

In addition, the collection contains a few pieces of correspondence. Most of the correspondence is in regard to upcoming programs, such as an on-campus Bible study. There is also some correspondence about new altar furnishings given to RIT's Department of Ministries by the Women's Council in 1970. Finally, the collection contains a few miscellaneous documents describing the religious services on campus prior to 1985, as well as a clippings file.


  • Creation: 1956-2009

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Historical Information: RIT campus ministries

In 1956, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) President Mark Ellingson explained,

We believe religion is one of the great forces of the world and that our students should continue and strengthen the religious ties they have made in their homes and in their communities. Although we believe the churches have the prime responsibility in promoting religious activities, we are deeply interested in the growth of the students' spiritual life and encourage and promote regular programs on campus.

At RIT, groups such as the Religious Activities Council and the school chaplaincy helped arrange programs and address the spiritual needs of the student body. Yet by the 1980s, the campus ministry program was in need of expansion.

During the early 1980s, a new religious center was proposed. Father Gerald Appelby, Coordinator of Campus Ministries, explained that the current facilities at RIT were inadequate for accommodating the needs of the 800-900 students, faculty, and staff members looking to worship on campus. Appelby spoke of the need for a "Sacred Place," where people could gather, talk, worship, and reflect on spiritual issues. With the help of Alfred Davis, Vice President for Development and Public Relations, RIT was able to secure the funds to build a new interfaith center. Named for its donors, the Kilian J. and Caroline F. Schmitt Interfaith Center was dedicated in 1985. In addition to the Allen Chapel, the center's primary worship space, the center included the Jones Chapel that could be used for meditation and an ablution station for "ritual washing."

As of 2011, the Center for Religious Life continues to support the spiritual needs of the RIT community by organizing events and providing access to the interfaith center, college chaplains, and various student groups and organizations.


0.8 Linear Feet (1 document box and 1 half document box)




Materials related to the religious activities, programs, and organizations on the Rochester Institute of Technology's campus. The collection includes fliers for programs and events, clippings, correspondence, and student groups. There is also information on the school's Center for Religious Life, dedicated in 1985.


Materials are arranged alphabetically by subject. Subjects include: files related to the Rochester Institute of Technology's (RIT) religious activities prior to 1985, correspondence – arranged chronologically, program and event fliers, student organizations, and clippings.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in January 2011.

RIT campus ministries collection
RIT Archives
Lara Nicosia
18 January 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