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Some grant proposals require information about FIT.  If the grant-maker is going to give you support, they need to be confident that your organization has the resources, infrastructure and track-record to ensure your success.

The following text can be used to answer proposal questions about FIT.  If you choose to use the Mission or Vision statements, please note that they must be presented in their entirety and cannot be edited.  For additional information, please contact the Grants Office.

FIT Mission Statement

FIT prepares students for professional excellence in design and business through rigorous and adaptable academic programs, experiential learning and innovative partnerships.  A premier public institution in New York City, FIT fosters creativity, career focus, and a global perspective and educates its students to embrace inclusiveness, sustainability and a sense of community. 

FIT Vision Statement (FIT strategic priorities)

FIT will be globally celebrated as the institution where students, scholars, and teachers cross traditional disciplinary boundaries to stimulate innovation, partner with creative industries worldwide, and develop innovative design and business solutions.  By focusing on the three major goals, FIT will become stronger by conscious design and be known as a strategic organization—one that applies available resources to greatest effect to achieve its vision.

Academic and Creative Excellence:

FIT will provide a rigorous learning experience built on the highest standards of academic and scholarly excellence; an environment that promotes creativity and experimentation; and diverse experiential learning with a variety of industry partners.

An Innovation Center:

The college will work with industries worldwide to help address key challenges, build an even stronger culture of innovation and entrepreneurship at FIT, and establish collaborations that translate creative ideas into action.

An Empowering Student Community:

FIT will build an inclusive community in which students engage with, learn from, and inspire each other—discovering how their differences and similarities promote creativity, intellectual and personal growth, and understanding. 

FIT Operating Budget & Financial Statements

The FIT budget is not your project budget.  It is the annual college budget of revenues and expenditures.  If your grant proposal requires this, please speak with the Grants Office to ensure that the financial information included in your proposal is accurate and current. 

The History of FIT

In the 1940s, fashion and apparel industry members were faced with a dwindling number of qualified people to help them run and carry on their businesses.  The next generation wanted to be doctors and lawyers—not tailors.  A group of industry members, led by Mortimer C. Ritter, an educator with an interest in programs for young working people, and Max Meyer, a retired menswear manufacturer, set about organizing a school to ensure the vitality of their businesses.  First, they created the Educational Foundation for the Apparel Industries to promote education for the industry.  The Foundation then obtained a charter from the New York State Board of Regents to establish a “fashion institute of technology and design.”  The institute opened in 1944 with 100 students, and was located on the top two floors of the High School of Needle Trades. 

Soon, supporters wanted to bring greater prestige to the industry by having the institute become a college with the authority to confer degrees.  Industrialists and educators decided on two majors: Design (with programs in apparel, millinery, and textiles) and Scientific Management.  The curriculum also included Liberal Arts.  In 1951, three years after the State University of New York had been established and state law had provided for the creation of community colleges, FIT became the second SUNY community college empowered to grant the Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree.  By then, there were 400 day students and about 1,000 evening students. 

FIT received accreditation in 1957, and as the curriculum and student body grew, the college moved into its first real home—a nine-story building on Seventh Avenue in the heart of the garment district—in 1959.  The building had been planned for 1,200 students; by 1963, there were 4,000.  During this time, the college’s curriculum was growing beyond traditional notions of fashion, to include subjects like photography, advertising and interior design. 

The college wanted to further expand its curriculum by offerings bachelor’s and master’s degrees— something that “was just not done” by a community college, according to the State University’s former chancellor.  Representatives of the college and supporters in the industry and government lobbied to persuade legislators to allow FIT to do this.  In 1975, an amendment to the Education Law of New York State permitted FIT to offer BS and BFA programs; another in 1979 authorized master’s programs. 

By this time, six more buildings had been added to the campus, including two dormitories, and the Shirley Goodman Resource Center, which houses the Gladys Marcus Library and The Museum at FIT.  The school continued to grow by adding state-of-the art facilities, like the Design/Lighting Research Laboratory and the Annette Green Fragrance Foundation Studio (the first of its kind on a college campus), making international programs available to students, and evolving its academic offerings

Today, the campus encompasses an entire city block and serves more than 10,000 students. The college offers degrees in diverse subjects, such as Menswear and Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing, which are unique to the college, and Fashion Merchandising Management, Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design, and Toy Design, the first of their kind in the country.

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