Rochester Institute of Technology Honors Isaiah Thomas and AAS

Each year, the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) honors a person or an organization with the Isaiah Thomas Award in Publishing in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the industry.

Portrait of Isaiah Thomas by Ethan Allen Greenwood (1818)

This year’s award honors AAS, in honor of the 200th anniversary of our founding by none other than  Isaiah Thomas himself.

The award ceremony will take place on Thursday, September 20 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Campus Center of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.   Following the formal award presentation, we will host an open house in Antiquarian Hall that will include a special exhibition of our Isaiah Thomas materials, public tours of Antiqurian Hall and display a multi-media presentation produced by RIT’s Cary Graphic Arts Collection.

The theme of the event is “Celebrating the Life of a Patriot Printer: A Tribute to Isaiah Thomas.” It is free and open to the public.

The morning’s events will include a panel discussion titled “Preserving the History of News in a Digital Age” that will be moderated by David Pankow, director of the RIT Press. Distinguished panelists will include Vincent Golden, curator of newspapers and periodicals at the American Antiquarian Society; Frank Romano, president of the Museum of Printing (North Andover, Mass.) and RIT professor emeritus; Dr. Tracey Leger-Hornby, dean of library services at the Gordon Library at Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Bruce Gaultney, publisher of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette; and Alex Rogala, editor of RIT’s Reporter student magazine.

This year also marks the 75th anniversary of RIT’s School of Media Sciences (formerly the School of Print Media), which established the Isaiah Thomas Award in 1979.

Past winners of the Isaiah Thomas Award include RIT’s seven Pulitzer Prize-winning alumni who’ve won a combined 11 Pulitzers in photography (Paul Benoit, Robert Bukaty, Ken Geiger, Stan Grossfeld, Dan Loh, William Snyder and Anthony Suau); Katharine Graham, president, Washington Post Company; Thomas Curley, CEO and president of the Associated Press; and Arthur Sulzberger, chairman and publisher of The New York Times.

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