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Nathaniel Rochester Society records and photographs

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITArc-0065

Scope and Contents

The Nathaniel Rochester Society records consist of a variety of materials related to the organization and its activities. A large portion of the collection includes programs and invitations from different events. For instance, there are programs from the Society's annual awards dinner/gala from 1973-2005 as well as programs for specific events such as the 25th Anniversary Ball, an RIT Dance Company performance, and a dinner honoring M. Richard and Clarice Rose. Programs, souvenirs, correspondence, and other items related to "A Magical Visit to RIT's New Age Wallace Library" are contained in a separate folder.

The collection also includes membership rosters from 1967-1997, as well as brochures, pledge forms, and invitations to potential future members. There is a folder of correspondence from 1971-1981 and a folder or organizational materials

Additionally, the collection contains a series of publications such as newspaper clippings, copies of the Society's newsletter (NRS Accents), and a published scrapbook commemorating 30 years of service.

There are also several oversize items located at the end of the collection. These include several photographs, a cloth dinner menu for the "International Fiesta" in 1987, a calendar given to Society members by RIT President Simone, and a sketch by Leonard Urso of the Nathaniel Rochester Society Award (designed by Hans Christensen).

In 2014 and 2017, a number of color and black-and-white snapshots from NRS events between the years 1990-2007 was added. Some are identified, but most are not. Additionally, there are three VHS videotapes. One is titled "Share the RIT Experience," one is of the 1995 NRS Award winner, Charles Cala, and the last is of the 1996 NRS Award winner Bruce Bates.

A DVD contains a 24:19 video of the Nathaniel Rochester Society Gala on August 9, 2015.


  • Creation: 1959, 1967-2005, 2015-2017


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

In 1961, the Rochester Institute of Technology's (RIT) Board of Trustees voted in favor of relocating the school's campus from the city of Rochester to the suburbs of Henrietta. A New Campus Fund was established to help raise money for the project. As the campaign drew to a close, many contributors wanted to continue to give to the college on an annual basis. Alfred L. Davis, a vice president of the college, proposed the formation of the Nathaniel Rochester Society. Along with the support of several other individuals, including Board of Trustees member Gaylord Whitaker, the initiative became a reality.

The Nathaniel Rochester Society was officially established on October 29, 1967. Individuals who donated $500 or more to the college each year were admitted to the Society for the respective year. The purpose of the Society was to not only provide financial assistance to the school, but to "develop friends and ambassadors to promote and support RIT."

In addition to recognizing RIT's generous donors, the Society provided members with a means to become more involved in the Institute. Named after Nathaniel Rochester, the founder of the city of Rochester and the first president of the Rochester Athenaeum (RIT's predecessor), the official purpose of the society was:

  • To offer active participation and stimulate interest in the challenges that face RIT as an international leader in technological education
  • To familiarize members with the multi-faceted programs, resources, leadership, and people of RIT
  • To increase contributions to the Nathaniel Rochester Scholars, a scholarship fund for exemplary RIT students
  • To provide a number of significant programs where members may enjoy one another's sociability and experience the breadth and friendliness of the RIT community
  • To provide appropriate recognition to the dedicated friends of the Institute who exemplify the leadership and generosity of Nathaniel Rochester.
  • Extent

    5 Linear Feet (5 document boxes, 1 lid box, 3 photograph boxes)




    Records of the Rochester Institute of Technology's Nathaniel Rochester Society (NRS). The NRS was formed in 1967 as a way to recognize the university's top financial contributors each year. The collection includes correspondence, membership lists, programs, invitations, newsletters, meeting minutes, photographs, and various pieces of memorabilia.


    Materials in the collection are grouped by object type. Most of the collection is then arranged chronologically including the programs, membership rosters, clippings, and meeting minutes. Several items are included in an oversize box at the end of the collection including a photograph album, dinner menus, and Leonard Urso's sketch of the Nathaniel Rochester Society award.

    Other Finding Aids

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

    Nathaniel Rochester Society records and photographs

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    The "International Fiesta" cloth dinner menu was a gift from Alfred L. Davis. The photographs were donated to the RIT Archives by the Development Office in May, 2014.

    Accession number(s): 2014:062, 2007:039, 2015:075, 2018:018, 2018:086

    Materials Specific Details

    2015 Gala DVD contains 1.06 GB of data. DVD was copied to Archives - Digital Archival Documents folder. 271 digital images in JPEG format of the 2017 award ceremony, 54.9 MB, available in Digital-Donated folder.

    Processing Information

    Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in January 2011.

    Nathaniel Rochester Society records and photographs
    RIT Archives
    Lara Nicosia
    21 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