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Portrait of William Destler

 Collection — Painting: 1
Identifier: RITArt-0116

Scope and Contents

Pranesh Das Purandaradoss is a student in the Saunders College of Business, pursuing his MBA. He describes being inspired to paint this portrait after spending Thanksgiving with faculty, staff and students of SCB. A guest at dinner suggested that he channel his gratitude towards President William Destler and RIT into a portrait. The resulting painting was gifted to President Destler by the artist, and transferred by Destler to the Archives for use as his official portrait.


  • Creation: January 2017

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Dr. William W. Destler became president of Rochester Institute of Technology on July 1, 2007. He is the ninth president in the university’s 182-year history. He was previously senior vice president for academic affairs and provost of the University of Maryland at College Park.

Under President Destler’s watch, RIT has been recognized as a leader in green initiatives (cited by the Sierra Club as one of America’s 100 Greenest Universities), recognized by The Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Great Colleges to Work For”, and become a hub of innovation and creativity. Visit RIT rankings and recognition for more information.

Dr. Destler serves on the American Council on Education's Commission on Effective Leadership and is a board member for the National Institute of Aerospace Foundation. He is a member of the board of directors for New York¹s Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities. He serves on the steering committee for the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Dr. Destler serves on community boards in Rochester as well: Rochester General Health System, Greater Rochester Enterprise, Rochester Business Alliance, Golisano Family Foundation and High Tech of Rochester, and Torvec Inc.

Prior to RIT, Dr. Destler spent more than 30 years at the University of Maryland, rising from the ranks of research associate and assistant professor of electrical engineering to senior vice president and provost. At Maryland, he also served as electrical engineering department chair, dean of the A. James Clark School of Engineering, interim vice president for university advancement, vice president for research, and dean of the graduate school.

Dr. Destler is an international authority on high-power microwave sources and advanced accelerator concepts. He is best known for his pioneering work in the collective acceleration of heavy ions, achieving the highest energies to date by this method, and for his development of large orbit microwave devices, including large orbit gyrotrons and rotating beam free electron lasers. He has consulted for government agencies and private firms, received more than $40 million in grants and contracts, published more than 200 journal articles and book chapters, and presented many papers. Dr. Destler has also directed 18 master’s and doctoral student theses and earned awards for his teaching.

*Biography excerpted from: Retrieved November 4, 2011.


1 Item(s) (Item)




The portrait of William Destler was painted by Pranesh Das Purandaradoss, an MBA student at the Saunders College of Business. Destler was RIT's ninth president serving from 2007-2017. This is likely an oil painting, and has been selected by Destler as his official portrait.


There is one item in the collection.

Physical Location

Cubby #20

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The portrait was donated to RIT Archive Collections by William Destler in February 2017.

Accession number(s): 2017:021

Related Materials


18" x 24"

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Ella von Holtum in May 2017.

Portrait of William Destler
RIT Art Collection
Ella von Holtum
23 May 2017
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