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Transforming The Landscape
Fifty Years on the New RIT Campus


In 2018, Rochester Institute of Technology celebrated 50 years at its modern campus in the town of Henrietta, N.Y. The bold 1961 decision to move RIT from a disjointed, small urban campus to sprawling suburban farmland, paved the way for the university’s expansive growth and global recognition: enrollment increased and new colleges and degree programs were established. Under the leadership of Mark Ellingson, who served as RIT president for 33 years (1936 to 1969), RIT opened the newly-built campus in 1968.


"Transforming the Landscape: Fifty Years on the New RIT Campus" details the planning and construction of the modern campus coupled with an extensive photographic survey of its innovative architecture. Sarah Thompson’s essay offers insights into the planning of the new campus and the commitment to modernist architecture as representative of the institution’s future. More recent buildings to the campus are discussed in the context of the original 1968 plan. The profuse historical and contemporary photographs create a visual tour that documents the evolution and development of the modern campus into the 21st century.

The university celebrated this milestone with yearlong activities from July 2018 to June 2019.

Transforming The Landscape: Fifty Years on the New RIT Campus

Publisher: RIT Press (08/2018)
ISBN-13: 9781939125576

A selection of spreads from "Transforming The Landscape."

Editor - Becky Simmons


Picture Editor - Jenn Poggi


Picture Research - Jenn Poggi

                               Becky Simmons

                               Jody Sidlauskas

                               Ella von Holtum

Design - Jenn Poggi

              Marnie Soom

Essay - Sarah Thompson Ph.D.

Publisher - RIT Press, 2018

Rewarding Investment in Tomorrow
An exhibit celebrating fifty years of the RIT in Henrietta

In the summer of 2018, RIT Archivist Becky Simons and I began developing an exhibit using the archival research we completed for the book “Transforming the Landscape, Fifty Years on the New RIT Campus.” While the book emphasized RIT's history, architecture, and design of the Henrietta campus, the exhibit focused more on the lives of RIT students through the years. A companion exhibit featured images from alumnus Andrew Franklin ’75.

University Gallery is both an exhibition space and a unique venue to host a variety of events. The companion exhibit was mounted along the east exhibition wall, leaving the main space for the “Rewarding Investment in Tomorrow" show. An open floor plan and one wall of windows meant the bulk of the images needed to be displayed along the north wall. To maximize the number and variety of images we could display in the space, I designed and curated six panels featuring a salon-style layout. Archival images were printed in both black and white and color and were left unframed, offering a more accessible and familiar feel for the audience. 

The exhibit opened in University Gallery during homecoming weekend in October and ran through Dec. 21, 2018.


Scenes from the 2018 exhibit. (Photographs by Analise Olzewski)

Co Curators - Jenn Poggi

                      Becky Simmons

Venue - University Gallery

Printing - Imaging Systems Labs, RIT



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