Kate Gleason’s name is so familiar to everyone in the RIT community that it can obscure our recognition of her many and varied accomplishments.  Born in Rochester on 25 November 1865, she was an entrepreneur and innovator who became internationally recognized for her acumen in business promotion and community development.  Her interests were wide-ranging, spanning the fields of engineering, manufacturing, banking, and building.  Over the course of her career, she managed multiple businesses and factories, and was instrumental in the planning and construction of several communities, in East Rochester, NY, Beaufort, SC, Sausalito, CA, and Septmonts, France.  Her concerns for advancing the rights of women and the well-being of workers underlay all of her projects.  That her accomplishments exceeded the expectations of women of her day was recognized by Susan B. Anthony, who described Kate Gleason as the ideal business woman of whom she had dreamed for fifty years.

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