RIT welcomes 3,300 students to Henrietta campus

HENRIETTA, N.Y. (WHEC) – Brick City’s population grew by thousands on Sunday and Monday, as new students from all over the world made the trip to the Rochester area to start their college careers.

Officials from Rochester Institute of Technology tell News10NBC about 3,300 first-year and transfer students arrived on the Henrietta campus from 49 states and 37 countries ahead of the fall semester.

”We want to provide students with the information and the resources to make connections, to create that community here… remind them that they belong here and remind them that they will be successful here as a college student,” said RIT’s Vice President of Student Affairs, Sandy Johnson.

The sounds of rolling storage bins and “welcome back!” cheers returned to campus as new students like Mikaela Engstrom, who plans to pursue advertising and photography, moved in to the dorms.

“I’m nervous, but I’m excited to meet new people,” said Engstrom. “They set up my schedule really nice to fit what I want to pursue so I’m very excited.”

As new students pulled up and unpacked their cars, upperclassmen student volunteers greeted them with an RIT Tiger tradition – some carefully crafted choreography to welcome the new class to campus.

“It was crazy, to think that they have this much energy at 8:30 in the morning,” said Engstrom, laughing. “I give them all the props.”

“It’s about giving back,” said Johnson. “These students all remember when they were getting out of their cars with all of their worldly belongings, and to see another student there to say ‘welcome, we’re glad you’re here, how can I help?’ what better way to start off your college career?”

RIT is the first local college to welcome students back to the Rochester area ahead of the next academic year. Incoming student Cindy Schumey made the move from Connecticut, and explained to News10NBC what sealed the deal for her to choose RIT.

“It like combines the arts a little bit and engineering and technology, and those were the two things that I loved growing up so, it felt like the perfect fit,” said Schumey.

Schumey, Engstrom, and all 3,300 of their new classmates have one week to get settled into their dorm rooms and get the lay of Brick City before classes officially begin on Monday, August 22.

“It’s cool that we’re all in the same boat,” said Schumey. “Everyone’s probably a little bit nervous, everyone’s all feeling the anxiety probably a little bit but also mostly excitement so… excited to share all of that with everyone.”