RIT Student Wives' Association records

RIT Archives

Table of Contents

Collection Overview
Historical Information for RIT Student Wives' Association
Scope and Content
Subject Headings
Information for Researchers
Administrative Information
Related Materials

Collection Overview (Collapse)

RIT Student Wives' Association records
Rochester Institute of Technology. RIT Student Wives' Association.
Inclusive Date(s)
Records of the RIT Student Wives' Association, a social group for the wives of full-time students at the Rochester Institute of Technology during the 1960s and 1970s. The collection contains a scrapbook of club activities, along with correspondence, meeting minutes, reports, and other administrative documents.
0.6 Linear feet (2 bound volumes)
C.S. South, Shelf 320
RIT Archive Collections
RIT Libraries
Wallace Center
90 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York, 14623
(585) 475-2557

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Historical Information for RIT Student Wives' Association (Collapse)

The RIT Student Wives' Association (RITSWA) was started in 1960 as a club for women whose husbands were full-time students at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Because of RIT's history as a vocational school, many of its students at that time were already married. Women followed their husbands to Rochester, not knowing anyone else in the area. Additionally, their husbands spent evenings studying, which decreased the amount of time the couple had to socialize with others. Inspired by a social tea held by the RIT Women's Club, several women, including Marcia Ellingson, began working on organizing an association specifically for these wives.

Although plans for RITSWA began as early as January of 1960, the association was not formally "launched" until the April 20th meeting of that year. The first set of officers, trustees, and committee chairmen were chosen at this meeting and a constitution and set of by-laws were put in place in May. RITSWA met once a month and was open to all women whose husbands were day students at RIT. In addition to these meetings, the association organized picnics; parties such as a Halloween party and an ice skating party; social teas; trips such as a tour of the Memorial Art Gallery; card parties; and slide presentations on various topics. By October 1960, RITSWA had 40 active members.

The official objectives of the organization were to:

  1. Promote a spirit of friendliness
  2. Provide social fellowship
  3. Stimulate culture
  4. Encourage a feeling of belonging to and being a part of the school

RITSWA also provided its members with a "PHT" degree, standing for "Putting Hubby Through." The award was given to all members whose husbands graduated that June. Additionally, children who were born during the time that their fathers attended RIT received an "Honorary Citizenship Certificate." The club continued into the 1970s.

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Scope and Content (Collapse)

The RIT Student Wives' Association records consist of materials related to the activities of the organization. The collection contains a scrapbook of materials from 1968-1969, including photographs, fliers, and other related ephemera. The book also contains a newspaper clipping from the May 20, 1960 issue of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, which discusses the organization's founding, purpose, and upcoming activities. The second bound volume includes administrative documents from 1962-1971 such as correspondence, budget materials, organization reports, meeting minutes, club rosters, and a copy of the constitution and by-laws.

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Arrangement (Collapse)

The collection consists of two bound volumes and a single folder. One volume is the scrapbook from 1968-1969, while the other contains the administrative documents from 1962-1971. Within the second volume, materials are divided into series: Secretary's Notes, Constitution, and Records.

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Subject Headings (Collapse)

Corporate Name(s)

  • Rochester Institute of Technology. RIT Student Wives' Association.


  • Women -- Societies and clubs -- New York (State) -- Rochester


  • Administrative records
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Correspondence
  • Scrapbooks

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Information for Researchers (Collapse)

Preferred Citation

RIT Student Wives' Association records, RIT Archive Collections

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open to researchers.

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Administrative Information (Collapse)

Collection ID


Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in November 2010.

Revision Description

 Removed materials from original housing; sleeved and put in archival boxes. 8 December 2011

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Related Materials (Collapse)

RIT Archives

Women's Club records

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