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RIT president, wife donate $1M to scholars program

Rochester Business Journal
July 8, 2014

A $1 million endowment was donated to Rochester Institute of Technology’s Rochester City Scholars program by RIT president William Destler and his wife, Rebecca Johnson, university officials announced.

The program was founded in 2010 by the couple to offer free tuition for graduates of the Rochester City School District who are admitted to RIT as full-time freshman studying in baccalaureate programs and meet eligibility requirements. Academic and personal support also is offered through the program at RIT’s Multicultural Center for Academic Success.

“Lack of finances should not prevent a talented student from getting a college education,” Destler said in a statement. “We have been so impressed with the students who have come through the program so far that we wanted to ensure that future students had the same opportunities.”

The program is funded by private donations and institutional support. Tuition for full-time students is $35,256 a year, which is covered for four years for the scholarship recipients, RIT’s website states.

“The RIT community supports our district in many ways, but none are more important than helping Rochester students to attend and succeed in a world-class university,” Rochester City School District Superintendent Bolgen Vargas said in a statement.

In May, the first class of the program graduated from RIT. Since the program was started in 2010, nearly 100 students have participated.

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

What You're Saying 

Angie Hansen at 11:02:57 AM on 7/25/2014
Destler loves to help the under privileged but denies disability accommodations for a learning disabled and Deaf student at RIT. Then he allows the school to suspend her because she could not function without her accommodations.

RIT Disability Officer stated in an e...  Read More >

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