RIT Museum

 

Spirited: Cheers to RIT School Spirit

School spirit is the enthusiastic expression of support for an academic institution, commonly expressed through school colors, mascots, sports teams, and songs. This exhibit traces the fascinating history of how school spirit was expressed, from the earliest days of the Mechanics Institute to today by RIT students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Through vintage photographs, archival documents, and memorabilia from the RIT Archive Collections as well as personal collections, it examines the ways in which school spirit was initiated by students, faculty, and staff of RIT eager to demonstrate their pride.

This exhibition has been a long time in the making. The idea first emerged as a hypothetical display proposed by Jennifer Roeszies and Lisa Witt, museum studies majors, and employees of The Wallace Center, as a project for a museum studies course taught by Professor Rebecca DeRoo during the 2015-16 school year. Two years later, in the fall 2017, the idea was brought to fruition as part of another course, Cultural Informatics (MUSE 359) taught by Professor Juilee Decker, which fosters an annual collaboration between the Museum Studies Program and the RIT Archives to curate from the collections.

Under the direction of Dr. Decker and Associate Archivist, Jody Sidlauskas, the following students created the display on view here: Lizzy Carr, Mitchell Cartner, Dante Edgar, Kaye Knoll, Daniel Krull, Elisha Muir, Seth Newburgh, Jen Roeszies, and Anna Vernacchio. Each student researched, selected, and designed one of the nine exhibit cases. In the process of bringing the hypothetical into the actual, the exhibition plan was constrained in some areas and expanded in others—a process that speaks to the iterative work of curation. For more information on the process of creating this exhibition, see https://ritmuse.wordpress.com/.

A digital version of this exhibit can be found here for you to view:https://library.rit.edu/depts/archives/spirited-cheers-rit-school-spirit