RIT used an evening of arts and entertainment on Thursday to announce a $1 billion fundraising campaign.
President David Munson told more than 2,000 invited guests at RIT’s Gene Polisseni Center that it is the largest fundraising effort in the university’s history.
“The campaign will allow us to build upon our updated strategic plan, engage alumni, grow our status as a Top 100 national research university and build deeper relationships with our government and corporate partners,” Munson told the crowd. He said the campaign is “blended” because it seeks support from a variety of investors, including alumni and friends, government and corporate partners, and research foundations and agencies.
“Transforming RIT: The Campaign for Greatness” is being led by Rochester businessman Thomas Judson Jr., chairman of The Pike Companies, and Kevin Surace, CEO of Appvance Inc.
The campaign has already raised more than $530 million in a quiet phase that began several years ago.
It focuses on raising money to support four priorities including:
-Attracting exceptional talent, such as increased undergraduate scholarships and funds for research projects.
-Enhancing the student experience: that includes broadening opportunities for experiential learning and strengthening RIT’s performing arts programs.
-Improving the world through research and discovery: that goal includes promoting interdisciplinary research centers.
-Leading future special initiatives: which raises money for building academic programs and growing endorsement support.
Munson made the announcement about the campaign at a gala event that featured international recording artist Nicole Henry, Broadway stars Beverly and Kirby Ward and a 27-piece orchestra, highlighting art, multimedia and music produced by RIT students, faculty and alumni.