In 1891, a literary society known as the Rochester Athenaeum and an institute of technical learning for local Rochester, New York residents known as the Mechanics Institute participated in a dramatic merger to form a new institution of education. This establishment became known as the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute. Quite a mouthful, the name was later changed by board members to the Rochester Institute of Technology, or RIT.
In the 1950s, the future of the Rochester Institute of Technology was uncertain. The student and faculty population were barely fitting into the current campus and the state of New York was planning a brand new interstate highway that would force the school to demolish several of its most important buildings. However, an individual resident of Rochester, New York made a large donation to the institute, and the campus was relocated to Henrietta, a suburb of the Rochester metropolis.
Today, “Brick City,” the nickname given to the Rochester Institute of Technology because of its largely brick composition, is a thriving institute on hundreds of acres of natural forest and wetland. The institute has acquired a small college in upstate New York, is the location of one of the most prominent schools for the deaf in New England, and offers a wide variety of bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctorate degree programs to its students.