Rochester Institute of Technology

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The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is a private university, located in metropolitan Rochester, New York, within the town of Henrietta, New York, United States.



The Institute as it is known today came to be as a result of an 1891 merger between the Rochester Athenaeum, a literary society founded in 1829 by Colonel Nathaniel Rochester and associates, and the Mechanics Institute, a Rochester institute of practical technical training for local residents founded in 1885 by a consortium of local businessmen including Captain Henry Lomb. The merged institution's name at the time was Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI). In 1944, the university changed its name to Rochester Institute of Technology.

The Institute originally resided within the city of Rochester, New York, proper, on a block bounded by the Erie Canal, South Plymouth, Spring, and South Washington Streets (approximately 43°09′09″N 77°36′55″W / 43.152632°N 77.615157°W / 43.152632; -77.615157). Its art department was originally located in the Bevier Memorial Building. However, by the middle of the twentieth century, RIT began to outgrow its facilities, and surrounding land was extremely scarce and expensive; additionally, in 1959, the New York Department of Public Works announced a new freeway, the Inner Loop, was to be built through the city along a path that bisected the Institute's campus and required demolition of key Institute buildings. In 1961, an unanticipated donation of $3.27 million ($24,006,763 in current dollar terms) from local Grace Watson, for whom RIT's dining hall was later named, allowed the Institute to purchase land for a new 1,300-acre (5.3 km2) campus several miles south along the east bank of the Genesee River in suburban Henrietta. Upon completion in 1968, the Institute moved to the new suburban campus, where it resides today.[6][7]

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