RIT alumna donates over $1M to Saunders College expansion

COURTESY OF ROCHESTER INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

A $1.25 million gift to Saunders College of Business from Rochester Institute of Technology alumna Susan Riedman Holliday, vice chair of RIT’s board of trustees, will help fund the planned building expansion breaking ground this fall. 

The gift will fund the creation of a 6,000 square foot, fourth-floor event space comprised of a conference hall, reception gallery and wine room.  

A rendering of the fourth-floor space designed by LaBella Associates.

“We are so proud of Susan’s achievements as a leader in the Rochester business community, and truly grateful for her continued support of RIT and Saunders College,” Dean Jacqueline Mozrall said. “This gift demonstrates Susan’s unwavering dedication to the Rochester region and allows us to further enhance community engagement through the creation of a multifunctional venue in support of national and regional business and entrepreneurship conferences, executive education, university and college events, K-12 outreach and other networking activities.” 

Holliday graduated from the Saunders MBA program in 1985 after receiving her undergraduate degree from Cornell University. In 2013, she established the Susan Riedman Holliday Graduate Endowed Fellowship to provide scholarship support to Saunders graduates who stay at RIT to pursue a graduate degree from the college.  

“I am delighted to support this expansion, as I believe it will make Saunders College much more competitive with peer business schools and will help to propel the college into the top tier of U.S. business colleges,” Holliday said. “The event space will significantly enhance the ability of the college to provide collaborative learning space benefiting both the students and faculty. It will also provide an exciting space in which to host conferences and meetings that historically were too large for Saunders College to accommodate.” 

Susan Holliday.

Holliday is former president, publisher and owner of the Rochester Business Journal. She chairs the board of directors for Financial Institutions Inc., serves on the boards for the University of Rochester Medical Center and Complemar Partners Inc., and is vice chair of Healthcare Trustees of New York State. 

Holliday was recognized as RIT’s Outstanding Alumna of the Year in 2010 and named Saunders College of Business’ Distinguished Alumni Award winner in 2000. She was selected for the Saunders College Wall of Fame in 2008. 

The expansion, designed by LaBella Associates, will almost double the size of Saunders College and add more than 35,000 square feet to the existing building. It will break ground this fall and is scheduled to be completed in time to welcome the fall Class of 2023. 

A rendering of the reception gallery and wine room designed by LaBella Associates.