series 2 - Communications and External Relations records, 1946-2017

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Communications and External Relations records, 1946-2017


  • 1946-2017 (Creation)

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4 linear feet

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(1944 (date of establishment))

Administrative history

Communications and External Relations is F.I.T.'s centralized office responsible for directing media and public relations, marketing communications, and government and community relations functions of the college.

The mission of the Division of Communications and External Relations is to position F.I.T. as an innovative, creative, and global leader in higher education. Reflecting the college’s strategic plan and brand goals, the division directs communications and external relations initiatives and collaborates with colleagues throughout the institution to support recruitment and development and promote the success of F.I.T. Responsible for media relations, print and digital communications, brand management, marketing strategy, government/community relations, and special events, the division tells the F.I.T. story to all its audiences, internal and external.

Areas of activity include: advertising, government and community relations, graphic design, internal communications, marketing strategy, media planning, media/public relations, Hue magazine, photography, publications, signage, web communications, writing, editing, and proofreading.

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The Fashion Institute of Technology was the brainchild of the educator Mortimer C. Ritter and the menswear manufacturer Max Meyer. The school opened in 1944 on the top two floors of the High School of Needle Trades. By 1951, there was enough support for the institute as well as students enrolled to warrant a degree program at FIT. That year, the school was granted the right to award an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree. FIT received accreditation in 1957 and introduced a variety of courses, including Liberal Arts. During the 1960s, the curriculum grew to include interior design, advertising, and photography as subjects taught at the school. The following decade saw the school expanding to provide Bachelor's (in 1975) and Master's (1985) degree's, after years of lobbying State University Board of Education. FIT can boast about being the first to offer unique degrees in fields taught no where else in the U.S., such as Toy Design and Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design. There are 48 degree programs in total at FIT as of October 2020.

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