Welcome to RIT's 175th Anniversary website. The University celebrated the anniversary during the 2004-05 academic year. This website is no longer active and will no longer be updated. The site remains active, however, to preserve the history of both RIT and the anniversary year.

 
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College of Imaging Arts & Sciences Timeline
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  1885

Mechanics Institute was established to solve the pressing need for a school to train designers.

The Mechanics Institute and its Art Department were created with Eugene Colby appointed as Director of the Department.

Classes offered in Industrial Design, Drawing, and Architecture.

 
  1886
The Institute offered its first design class and the Department of Industrial Drawing was established.
 
  1888
The Department of Industrial and Fine Arts was established and the number and variety of art related courses was greatly increased.
 
  1891
The Athenaeum and the Mechanic's Institute joined to form the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanic's Institute.
 
  1895
The Department of Industrial and Fine Arts moved to the old Manual Training School on South Washington Street.
 
  1897
Telegraphy class was added to the Department of Industrial and Fine Arts.
 
  1898
Manual training in Iron was added to the Department of Industrial and Fine Arts.
 
  1899

Mechanic Arts course was added to mix art and practical work application with other subjects, such as math, science, and English.

The Institute offers its first Art History course.

 
  1900

Art History was divided into History of Architecture and Sculpture and History of Italian Art.

Wood class was added to the Institute.

 
  1901

Industrial and Fine Arts classes were moved to the new Eastman Building.

The Institute offers its first photography classes.

 
  1903

Fine Arts Department created.

The Department of Fine Arts and the Department of Industrial Arts were separated.

The Department of Fine Arts divided into a Fine Arts course, a Decorative Arts and Crafts course, a Normal Art course and an Architectural course.

 
  1907
The Department of Applied and Fine Arts was established, offering courses such as Architecture, Decorative Art, Art-Handicrafts, Painting, Illustration, and sculpture.
 
  1910
Construction begins on the Bevier Building with funds provided by Alice Bevier, under the direction of one of the most esteemed architects of the 20th century, Claude Bragdon.
 
  1911
December 11: Bevier Memorial Gallery opened.
 
  1918
An Intensified Mechanical Drafting course was created.
 
  1919
An Art Education program was established.
 
  1920
Modern history of the arts at the Institute began with Clifford Ulp appointed as director.
 
  1921
A Crafts Education program was established.
 
  1922
The Empire State School of Printing, which later became the Department of Publishing and Printing at the Institute, was founded in Ithaca.
 
  1928
School of Industrial Art created in response to a change in requirements for a degree of architecture.
 
  1930

Photographic Technology Department established.

The Institute began to offer a Photographic technology co-operative as part of the curriculum.

 
  1932

A Museum Preparator course was added to the curriculum.

An Interior Decorating co-op was instituted.

 
  1933
Change in New York State arts and crafts teacher requirements led to combinned programs with New York University, Columbia University, and Ohio State.
 
  1937

Empire School Printing acquired.

The Department of Publishing and Printing was established.

 
  1938
Photographic Technology students have the option of choosing a concentration in their third year in either portraiture, commercial photography, illustrative photography, natural color photography, or specialized fields.
 
  1939
The Department of Photographic Technology was divided into two curricula: Photographic Technology and Professional Photography.
 
  1941
Started an Art Education program in conjunction with the University of Rochester.
 
  1943

The Department of Photographic Technology flourishes with increased photography in World War II.

The Department of Publishing and Printing accepted many women due to the shortage of men because of World War II.

 
  1944
The school was renamed the Rochester Institute of Technology.
 
  1946

The Department of Publishing and Printing moved to a new building with outstanding facilities and an expanded program.

The Department of Photographic Technology moved to the new George H. Clark Building with the best photography program and equipment in the world.

The original School for American Craftsmen (which later moved to RIT) was founded on the campus of Dartmouth College.

 
  1949
The School of American Craftsmen moved from Alfred University to the Institute and was introduced to the community with an exhibition of student and faculty work.
 
  1950

Graphic Arts Research Department established.

June: Formal instruction began in the School of American Craftsmen as a part of the Institute.

The Institute offered the Associate in Applied Science degree for the completion of programs of study in the arts.

 
  1952
Stanley Witmeyer was appointed as Director and the School of Art and Design experienced rapid development.
 
  1953
The Division of Arts was created as a mutual supportive exchange of materieals and creative strengths between the School of Art and Design and the School for American Craftsmen.
 
  1954
Division of Photography and Printing established.
 
  1956
The Institute offered both the A.A.S. and the B.F.A. degrees for the arts.
 
  1959
The College of Fine Arts became the first of RIT's colleges to offer a graduate degree.
 
  1960

College of Graphic Arts and Photography established.

Division of Photography , Printing, and Graphic Arts created.

The School of Art and Design and the School for American Craftsmen were formed as a college with Harold Brennan as Dean.

School of Photography created.

School of Printing established.

 
  1964
School of Printing selected by Gravure Technical Association as an approved educational center
 
  1965
The College of Fine and Applied Arts was accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art .
 
  1967
Graphic Arts Research Center established.
 
  1968
School of Photographic Arts and Sciences created.
 
  1975
Biomedical photography program started in the College of Graphic Arts and Photography.
 
  1976
Filmmaking program established.
 
  1978
Film and Television program established.
 
  1982

Communication Design program became Graphic Design.

Environmental Design was divided into Industrial Design and Interior Design.

 
  1990

Advertising Photography, Photojournalism, and Biomedical Photographic Communications majors established.

The School of Printing Management and Sciences divided into: Printing, Printing Systems, Newspaper Operations Management, and Printing and Applied Computer Science.

 
  1991
The School of Photographic Arts and Sciences offers Photographic Marketing Management.
 
  1992
College of Graphic Arts and Photography and College of Fine and Applied Arts combined to become CIAS.
 
  1997
Accellerated BS/MBA offered in Printing Management.
 
  1998
The College of Imaging Arts and Sciences divided into: School of Art, School of Design.
 
  2001
New Media Design and Imaging is added to the School of Design.
     
 
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