RIT’s 2017 Volunteer of the Year: E. Philip Saunders

RIT’s 2017 Volunteer of the Year: E. Philip Saunders


E. Philip Saunders – a home-grown entrepreneur. He makes the world more accessible for all of us through achievenemts in business – and philanthropy. Phil’s knack for creative problem solving – combined with a visionary instinct for seizing opportunities – contribute to his long-standing success. Hard work generated his personal good fortune – and he’s never hesitated to share that with the community. After creating the national outlet known today as ‘Travel Centers of America’ – Phil launched a long line of enterprises. Companies such as Sugar Creek Corporation, Griffith Energy, and Genesee Regional Bank – each with a notable local footprint – have enhanced the prosperity of our region. Most members of the RIT community became familiar with Phil’s generosity back in 2006. His pledge that year of 13 million dollars led to the transformation of business education on campus – creating the Saunders College of Business. His commitment took shape not only in the form of upgraded resources and facilities. It also provided the college with a competitive advantage – helping to attract and retain outstanding faculty. And the launch of the E. Philip Saunders Endowned Business Scholarship truly hits home for its benefactor – providing life-changing support each year to a pair of students hailing from his native Livingston County. To date, there have been 71 scholarship recipients. Phil’s total investment in RIT nears 18 million dollars. But his devotion to the university extends beyond his personal wealth. His campus visits earn him celebrity status among students. It’s Phil’s time to share insights, while also offering up encouragement. And his other ties to RIT include the President’s high tech incubator advisory board. He’s an emeritus member of the Board of Trustees, and he actively engaged in the Saunders College of Business Dean’s search. A quiet man who’s impact is amplified by a desire to give back. E. Philip Saunders is RIT’s 2017 Volunteer of the Year.

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