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Xerox Enhances RIT Partnership through $2 Million Commitment

Press release from the issuing company

May 23, 2004 -- Rochester Institute of Technology has secured a new level of support in its ongoing partnership with Xerox Corp. The company is awarding RIT a $2 million grant to help fund innovation in technology, encourage leadership development and to promote diversity. RIT President Albert J. Simone made the public announcement today during Academic Convocation at RIT’s 119th commencement. Simone accepted the first installment of that commitment from Anne Mulcahy, Xerox chairman and CEO, during a private reception preceding the announcement. Highlighting a rich history of support from Xerox, the $2 million grant becomes the company’s single largest cash commitment to RIT.  The two partners already have a team in place to explore Xerox’s evolving objectives and to find new ways that RIT can utilize its capabilities to enhance those objectives. “For the past 50 years, Xerox and RIT have built a lasting partnership,” stated Simone. “Based on the exciting new direction of Xerox and consistent with our First in Class Program of industry and government partnerships, we are now recharging our relationship with Xerox.” Simone outlined the three areas of support: • Research, Development and Technology Innovation: RIT will increase interaction between its faculty and researchers and Xerox engineers and scientists in microsystems, imaging science, document production and management, and sustainable design engineering. • Employee Skills, Training and Leadership: RIT will introduce and develop training programs and academic offerings in key areas of technology and skill utilization that enhance leadership and graduate management programs. • Talent Acquisition and Diversity: Together, Xerox and RIT will continue working to develop the best students for career opportunities at Xerox supporting mutual commitment to diversity. Following the announcement, Simone conferred an honorary doctorate of humane letters on Xerox Chairman and CEO Anne Mulcahy, citing her leadership in the company’s transformation and her example as one of only six women ever to be named CEO of a Fortune 500 firm. Mulcahy, who also delivered the event’s keynote address, used the occasion to encourage RIT graduates to embrace change. She reflected on her graduation from college in 1974, stating that there were no women CEOs to serve as an example during that era. “I can’t pretend to know how your world will change, but I know it will and at a pace that will continue to increase exponentially,” Mulcahy said. “Learn to love it. Make it your ally.” Mulcahy suggested the graduates choose a career that would offer them “pleasure and fulfillment.” She also encouraged the audience to lean on family and community members to reaffirm their core set of values, and she implored them to use life’s journey to make a positive difference in the world. Finally she encouraged graduates to reflect fondly on their educational experience. “Allow yourself to bask in the glory of what you've accomplished.  And pledge to yourself that you will cherish what you have learned here, and use it as a foundation to build a wonderful life.” Academic Convocation is RIT’s overall celebration that highlights annual commencement activities. RIT’s eight colleges are holding separate ceremonies through Saturday, May 22, to confer degrees on more than 3,500 graduates.