Rochester Institute of Technology’s Nathaniel Rochester Society last week bestowed its highest honor to long-time trustee B. Thomas Golisano, founder and chairman of Paychex Inc. and owner of the National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres.
The award was presented Thursday during a ceremony at RIT’s new Campus Center. The annual honor recognizes individuals who have contributed to the university’s advancement in an outstanding and significant manner.
Golisano has served as an RIT trustee since 1998. In 2001, he made a $14 million gift to the university to launch the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, which became RIT’s eighth college and is now the largest comprehensive computing college in the country, according to a release from the school.
The school educates more than 3,000 students in undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including a doctorate in computing and information sciences.
In 2007, Golisano committed an additional $10 million to create the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at RIT. The institute focuses on education and research in areas such as sustainable design, pollution prevention, remanufacturing and alternative energy development.
Establishment of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability is consistent with Golisano’s ongoing support of the William J. Clinton Foundation. Golisano is a sponsor of the Clinton Global Initiative, which reflects a belief that governments need collaboration from the private sector, non-governmental organizations and other global leaders to effectively confront the world’s most pressing problems.
President Clinton has twice visited RIT, including a high-profile appearance in 2007 to deliver the keynote address at the university’s commencement. Both visits, including his first in 2005, resulted from a personal invitation by Golisano.
The mission of the Nathaniel Rochester Society is to develop friends and ambassadors to promote and support RIT.