The Student Alumni Union has an interesting history.
RIT's original campus was in downtown Rochester. According to Mr. Alfred L. Davis, Vice President Emeritus of RIT, as the school grew in enrollment, RIT's Board of Trustees felt that the Institute should expand and relocate. On the night of November 21, 1961, the Board voted to build a new campus in Henrietta. That same night, as soon as student leaders heard the exciting news, the Student Association (predecessor to Student Government) voted to donate $10,000 towards construction of the new campus. This donation was very significant because it came from the student body.
When it was time for the Board of Trustees to select a name for the new "Union", they gave considerable thought to an appropriate name. They wanted a name to reflect the philosophy that this building should be available for the benefit of every member of the RIT community- students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors alike. Second, they wished to recognize the outstanding financial contributions of RIT's alumni towards the Union. The name reflected the strong connection between the current RIT population and its alumni. Thus was born the name "College Alumni Union." Students recently lobbied to change the name so that it may better represent the fact that students need a place dedicated for students. The Student Alumni Union name was adopted.
Today the SAU is a living and learning laboratory, whose services and programs promote student interaction, experiential education, and self-governance in partnership with RIT faculty and staff.
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