With many contributors to Rochester Institute of Technology’s vast campus, it is sometimes difficult to sort where the names of our buildings came from. Our team has compiled a list of some of RIT’s most well-known buildings, so we can uncover who’s really behind the bricks!
This residence hall located on the east side of campus, just off of the quarter mile, is named after Colonel Nathaniel Rochester. Nathaniel Rochester was an American Revolutionary War soldier. He is known for his assistance in establishing the settlement of Rochester, New York. Nathaniel Rochester also played a major role in founding the Athenaeum, an association “for the purpose of cultivating and promoting literature, science, and the arts.” The Athenaeum offered various lectures and debates within the Rochester community, and would eventually become Rochester Institute of Technology.
Housing the offices of the Registrar, Vice President, and President, George Eastman Hall is located in the center of campus, next to the Sentinel statue. George Eastman is the founder of Eastman Kodak Co., and was a benefactor to the Rochester Institute of Technology, until his death in the year 1932.
Carleton Gibson Hall
Located in the North area on the dorm side of campus, Carleton Gibson Hall houses first year students. Carleton Gibson was the first President of the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute, which later became Rochester Institute of Technology.
An area of Building 3, George H. Clark Gymnasium was funded by George Clark, a Rochester Institute of Technology trustee. George Clark was also one of the original RIT stockholders of the Eastman Kodak Co., and provided our University with a donation to promote health and recreation through the addition of a new gymnasium.
Formerly known as Frank E. Gannett Building, Gannett Hall was established through the efforts of Frank Gannett, a publisher who founded Gannett Company, Inc., a media conglomerate. Gannett founded a media empire that included 22 newspapers, four radio and three TV stations. He acquired the Empire State School of Printing, which is now known as the School of Print Media.
Named after Grace Watson, the hall was born from the decision that Rochester Institute of Technology’s educational programs would remain progressive and unique. A local from Rochester, Grace Watson left a large portion of her estate to our university. This grant is still known as one of the largest bequests ever made to Rochester Institute of Technology. Grace Watson’s generous contribution allowed RIT to buy 1,300 acres of land in Henrietta, and move the campus to where it resides today.
Housing the Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, the Golisano Building opened in the spring of 2003. Tom Golisano donated $14 million dollars to Rochester Institute of Technology for the establishment. A philanthropist, Golisano founded Paychex, as well as the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation, which provides “grants to organizations dedicated to providing opportunities for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families”. Aside from his $14 million dollar donation to RIT in 2001, Thomas Golisano donated an additional $10 million for the Golisano Institute for Sustainability in 2007.
Named after world renowned designers Massimo and Lella Vignelli, the Vignelli Center for Design Studies is home to an archive of the these legendary artists’ work. The archive holds various forms of art, including furniture design, graphic design, and more. Currently, the archives are used as teaching tools for students. Viewing of the archives is open to all, and it’s definitely worth checking out!
Now that you know where many of Rochester Institute of Technology’s building names came from, take a walk over to a building that you’ve never been to before!