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B. Thomas Golisano collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITSpec-0008

Scope and Contents

The B. Thomas Golisano collection of correspondence, photographs, clippings, and ephemera spans the years of roughly 1965 to 2014. The Paychex correspondence, clippings, and ephemera spans his tenure at the company, from 1971 up to his retirement as CEO in 2004. His philanthropic correspondence spans from 1985 to roughly 2008. There is little correspondence from Golisano himself, rather letters addressed to Golisano. There are articles about Golisano, written by Golisano, as well as articles that may have been collected by Golisano but do not cite him directly. Most of the photographs are snapshots; there are professional portraits and photographs as well. There are publications and promotional materials from institutions that Golisano either donated to or was involved with, including newsletters, DVDs, and pamphlets. The majority of the personal correspondence is comprised of greeting cards, with some correspondence from family members and close friends and colleagues. There are also video tapes from his campaigns, as well as promotional campaign items.

The collection is divided into 6 series. Series I: Business contains correspondence, articles, and ephemera related to Paychex, as well as Golisano’s awards for entrepreneurship. Paychex correspondence includes internal memos, letters from employees, and correspondence with clients and shareholders. Paychex articles pertain to the major landmarks in the company’s history, including consolidation of franchises in 1979, going public in 1983, and its subsequent stock values. Paychex business documents such as annual reports and tax documents are also included. Business awards and accolades include the RIT Van den Brul, Rochester Business Journal Hall of Fame, and Forbes rankings.

Series II: Community contains correspondence and articles relating to civic involvement, including Italian-American societies, social reform, and his ownership of the Buffalo Sabres. Correspondence is both professional, involving Sabres co-owner Larry Quinn, and also from the general public.

Series III: Personal contains correspondence from Golisano’s immediate and extended family, as well as close friends including Gary Muxworthy, Bob Sebo, and Gene Polisseni. The series also includes photographs of Golisano and his family, as well as some of Golisano’s personal ephemera.

Series IV: Philanthropy contains correspondence and printed materials from educational institutions including Rochester Institute of Technology, and medical institutions such as Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong Memorial and Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse. It also contains materials related to the Clinton Global Initiative and the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation, as well as the organizations those programs served.

Series V: Politics is comprised mainly of clippings chronicling the 1994 and 1998 New York gubernatorial elections, as well as information on the Independence Fusion Party that Golisano pioneered.

Series VI contains accruals to the collection received since 2016. They document topics covered in series I-V, but have not been incorporated into the collection to maintain original order.


  • Creation: 1965-2014


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Blase Thomas “Tom” Golisano is the founder of the payroll processing company, Paychex, and previous co-owner of the Buffalo Sabres hockey team. He has an associate’s degree from Alfred State College. In 1985, Golisano founded the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation, an organization which funds charities for those with disabilities. He has funded many medical and educational institutions in both upstate New York and Florida, including the Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong Memorial Hospital, and Rochester Institute of Technology. Golisano is also a founding member of the Independence Party of New York, and ran for governor of New York in 1994, 1998, and 2002, though he was never elected. In 2009, Golisano moved from New York to Florida. Golisano is the recipient of many awards for philanthropy, business, and civic involvement.


21.5 Linear Feet (41 document boxes, 2 cartons, 6 flat boxes)




The B. Thomas Golisano collection contains correspondence, photographs, clippings, and ephemera related to Mr. Golisano's business, Paychex, his family and personal life, and his philanthropy and community service. In addition to materials generated by Golisano, the collection also contains newspaper clippings and printed materials from institutions he interacted with both personally and through his B. Thomas Golisano Foundation.


Materials from 2015 accessions are arranged in series, and then by topic. Oversize items are housed separately.

Beginning in 2016 with accruals to the collection, materials are rehoused in their original order. Please see Series VI for additional materials on topics covered in the rest of the finding aid.

Other Finding Aids

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

B. Thomas Golisano collection

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials were first transferred in 2015 in two batches (2015:051, 2015:113). Accruals to the collection have been received since 2016 from various sources including Paychex, Dalmath Associates, and the Golisano Foundation.

Separated Materials

A number of digital materials have been added to this collection, and can be accessed by contacting the RIT Archives. These materials include:

Digital accruals

Videos related to the inaugural Global Health Leadership Award (2017) 2017.011
"Imagine the Possiblities" (video created for the 30th anniversary of the Golisano Foundation) 2016.049
Video tribute to Golisano played at a Paychex meeting Oct. 15, 2016 2016.047
Gubernatorial campaign materials (2002) 2017.006
Videos and newsletter, circa 2012-2017 2017.082
Special Olympics files 2017.083
Golisano Training Center (Nazareth College) files 2018.090
Community Engagement Center press conference 2019.088
Images circa 2002 2015.113

Separated Materials

The collection contains multiple video tapes in various formats. These have been digitized and can be accessed by contacting RIT Archives.

Digitized Audiovisual

Original collection audiovisual materials digitized 2019:028
Reproductions from the collection 2016.053

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lauren Alberque in April 2016. Updated and maintained by Ella von Holtum from 2018-2022.


B. Thomas Golisano collection
RIT Special Collections
Lauren Alberque
18 April 2016
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