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NTID gets $1.75 million grant for new facility

The National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology has received a $1.75 million grant to help construct a new building devoted to innovation and research.

The grant — which includes a $250,000 matching challenge — is from the Chicago-based William G. McGowan Charitable Fund. It will help construct Sebastian and Lenore Rosica Hall, an $8 million, two-story, 23,000-square-foot building expected to be completed in 2013.

Lenore Rosica was the sister of William McGowan and chairwoman of the McGowan Charitable Fund for many years. She passed away in 2009. Sebastian, who passed away in 2006, served as a trustee of the foundation.

The building’s primary mission is to provide deaf and hard-of-hearing students and faculty with opportunities for research and experiential learning in innovation and entrepreneurship.

“In our 40-year history, NTID has provided students and graduates with the skills to excel in a variety of career fields,” said Gerard, Buckley, NTID president, in a statement. “Success in today’s fast-paced, global economy is largely dependent upon an individual’s ability to pursue and champion new ideas and innovative products and services.

“With the addition of Sebastian and Lenore Rosica Hall, deaf and hard-of-hearing students at all degree levels will participate as full project partners in teams pursuing original research, developing new products and services, and launching their own entrepreneurial ventures.”

The remaining money needed to construct the building will be raised with other donations from individuals and businesses. The $250,000 matching challenge will serve as a catalyst, Buckley said.

The building will include a large “Innovation & Entrepreneur’s Lab” where students and faculty will come together to brainstorm new product and business ideas and to do initial project development work. Next to the lab will be a series of research spaces and research centers designed to house projects and programs of research relating to disciplines taught at NTID.

(c) 2011 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail rbj@rbj.net.

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