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 This website is no longer active and will no longer be updated.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.

Celebrating 175 Years
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National Technical Institute for the Deaf Timeline
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October, "A Workshop on Improved Vocational Opportunities for the Deaf" at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, endorsed a proposal for the establishment of a National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

April 1, Senator Lister Hill (Alabama) introduced bill S 1650. Companion bills were introduced by House Representative Hugh Carey of New York (HR 7031) and John Fogarty of Rhode Island (HR 7100).

May 17, Representative Hugh Carey brought up the NTID Bill on the floor of the House. It unanimously passed.

May 26, Senator Lister Hill brought up the NTID Bill in the Senate, which also unanimously passed.

June 8, Public Law 89-36, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf Act, signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to provide for the establishment and operation of a co-educational, postsecondary, institute for technical education of persons who are deaf.

December 30, The Department of Health, Education and Welfare invited colleges and universities around the country to apply for sponsorship of NTID.


July 19-21, The National Advisory Board visited the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).

November 14, Representative Hugh Carey announced that RIT was officially selected as the sponsoring institution for NTID.

December 20, Secretary John Gardner signed the contract awarding RIT the right of sponsorship of NTID.

February 1, Dr. D. Robert Frisina became the first director of NTID.

June, National Advisory Group appointed to assist Frisina in the development of educational programs.

  1968 April 1, Dr. William E. Castle appointed as assistant to vice president and director of NTID.

September 15, A pilot group of 70 deaf students arrived at RIT, which enrolled 14,000 students.

September, Dr. William E. Castle appointed Dean of NTID.

  1969 NTID's first technical programs offered: architectural drafting, mechanical drafting, machine tool operation, and office practice and bookkeeping.

Student Interpreter Training Program established. NTID was the first in history to offer such a program.

Vestibule programs initiated to orient deaf students to postsecondary experience.

Graduate Internship Program initiated.

Temporary buildings on the west side of campus constructed to alleviate space problems.

Free University established to offer courses in manual communication to RIT faculty, staff, and students.

Summer Vestibule Program established.

Technical programs grew from 4 to 31.

The first deaf students participated in the cooperative education program.

Social Work program initiated at RIT, providing a new option for deaf students.

June 4, Groundbreaking and dedication ceremony for NTID's first building.

NTID graduated its first class, with 54 graduates.


Experimental Educational Theatre initiated (EET). Division of Advanced Programs established.

Community Interpreter Training Program established.

Student Congress established Student Advisory Groups for 5 technical education areas.

The first alumnus appointed to National Advisory Group.

October 5, dedication of NTID Buildings.

NTID Alumni Programs and NTID Alumni Association created.


  1975 NTID Dedication.

First NTID Alumni Chapter established.

Notetaker/tutor training pilot program initiated.

  1976 First NTID Mini Convention held.

NTID Art Gallery established.

  1977 Dr. D. Robert Frisina became senior vice president for RIT.

Dr. William E. Castle named NTID dean and director.

National Center on Employment of the Deaf established as part of Project Outreach.

Sunshine and Company, a theatrical educational outreach group, created.

NTID celebrated 10th anniversary.

RIT alumnus, Carl Zollo created "The Split Cube" to commemorate 10th anniversary.

10th Anniversary Colloquia Series held.


Dr. William E. Castle named vice president of RIT for NTID.

Dr. Milo Bishop named dean of NTID.

NTID buildings officially named: Lyndon Baines Johnson Building; Alexander Graham Bell, Mark Ellingson, and Peter N. Peterson Halls; and Hettie L. Shumway Dining Commons.

Joint Educational Specialist Program established between RIT and University of Rochester to train secondary teachers of deaf students.

  1980 Sunshine Too! created as successor to Sunshine and Company.

Creative Arts Program in Complementary Education launched.

NTID named first Professor Emeritus—Loy Golladay.

Lyon Memorial Lectureship established.

  1981 Educational Interpreting associate degree program accepted first students.
Dr. Peter Pere named dean of NTID.

NTID established new Department of Physical Education and Athletics.

  1983 NTID celebrated its 15th anniversary.
Dr. James J. DeCaro named dean of NTID.

Hugh L. Carey Building dedicated.

Dr. Robert H. Weitbrecht Telecommunication Lab dedicated.

Mary E. Switzer Art Gallery dedicated.

Whitney Moore Young, Jr., Staff Resource Center dedicated.


Explore Your Future technical career sampling program for high school juniors initiated.

ASL Lecture Series began.


NTID Federal Endowment Matching Grant Program established.

  1987 NTID offered first associate in occupational studies degree (AOS).
NTID celebrated 20 years.

NTID Theatre dedicated in honor of Robert F. Panara.

Bonnie Tucker, deaf attorney and law professor, appointed to RIT Board of Trustees.

International Center for Hearing and Speech Research established.

Educational Development Outreach Project initiated.

  1990 NTID accepted its first international students.

Office of NTID Alumni Relations established.

  1991 NTID’s Strategic Planning process began.

Center for Sign Language and Interpreting Education established.

NTID Foundation established.


Self-Instruction Lab dedicated in memory of Dr. Joanne Subtelny.

NTID High Technology Center for Electronic Publishing and Imaging opened.

Tsukuba College in Japan became NTID's first sister institution.

  1993 Dr. William E. Castle received RIT Presidential Medallion.

25th Anniversary symbol, the flowering crab apple tree, created by artist Leonard Urso, associate professor, RIT School for American Crafts, to symbolize growth of NTID students and expansion and strength of the Institute.

Strategic Plan Implementation—An Agenda for Action first level completed; second level initiated. Priorities addressed two major curriculum areas: students' first year experiences and technical and general education requirements.

Campus Safety hired first deaf officer to strengthen service to the deaf community.

Seven center directors hired for seven centers.

Ratchasuda College of Mahidol University, Thailand, became second sister institution.

NTID Admissions sponsored first "open house."

N.C. Bauman Institute at Moscow State Technical University, Russia, became third sister institution.

NTID hosted National Symposium of Educational Media Technology Relating to Persons with Sensory Disabilities.


Development of First Year Experience (FYE) program designed to enhance retention by building a foundation for success in technical/professional programs.

New Master of Science in Secondary Education of Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing approved by New York State.

  1996 November 8, Dr. Robert R. Davila installed as NTID's first deaf vice president.

NTID is selected to be the site for the Northeast Technical Assistance Center (NETAC), a five year, 1 million dollar per year funded grant.

Dr. Ralph Hoag received the RIT Presidential Medallion.

Tianjin College for the Deaf in China became fourth sister institution.

July 15-19, NTID 30th Anniversary Alumni Reunion was held on campus.

Education and Technology a large stained-glass work by Sander Blondeel was installed in the lobby of the Johnson Building.

October, Dedication of Frank Horton Conference Room.

October 23, Dr. T. Alan Hurwitz installed as NTID's first deaf dean.

  1999 Internet Technologies I offered for the first time in a distance-learning format.
November 3, Groundbreaking ceremonies for the Joseph F. and Helen C. Dyer Arts Center.
March, Postsecondary Education Network (PEN) International created with support from The Nippon Foundation to improve high-tech education and career options for deaf residents in 10 countries.

October 21, Grand opening of the Joseph F. and Helen C. Dyer Arts Center.

NTID hosted National Symposium of Instructional Technology and Education of the Deaf.

  2002 Management Information System (MIS) for access services inaugurated.

May, From Dream to Reality: The National Technical Institute for the Deaf, by Drs. Karen Conner and Harry Lang published.

Bachelor of Science degree offered in American Sign Language – English Interpretation.

Instructor Marsha Wetzel became the first female deaf referee in the history of NCAA Division I Basketball.

An original stained-glass work depicting former President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the law that established NTID as a college of Rochester Institute of Technology in 1965 created by Sander Blondeel and installed on the second floor of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Building.

June 23-27, NTID hosted Instructional Technology and Education of the Deaf Symposium.

July 10-12, 35th Anniversary Alumni Reunion held on campus.

November, Dr. T. Alan Hurwitz named vice president of RIT and dean for NTID.

New Administrative Team developed to include associate vice president for Academic Affairs, assistant vice president for College Advancement, assistant vice president for College Operations, associate dean for Academic Administration, and associate dean for Student and Academic Services.
  *** For more detailed information since 1997, please visit www.ntid.rit.edu/media/recent_release.php

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