About This Video
Dean Marion Brandriss interview, 1984 December 19
This is an interview with Dean Marion Brandriss, who retired from FIT in 1973. Brandriss explains her work as an English teacher and how she came to work at the City High School of Needle Trades where she met Mortimer Ritter. Brandriss explains how Ritter hand-picked his favorite instructors to help him build what would become FIT. She discusses touring high schools in the spring of 1944 to recruit students for the inaugural class, and offering incentives such as a weekly scholarship to all prospective students. Brandiss started at FIT as the Director of Admissions, but elucidates the vast scope of work she and the small team were expected to take on. Brandriss describes the student body demographics, transitioning settings, and evolving admissions policies of the Institute as it continued to grow. Brandriss then explains how departments were added and goes into depth on the particular success of FIT’s Fashion Buying and Merchandising Department. Brandriss ends the interview with a recollection of Mortimer Ritter’s insistence on the Institute’s name, saying that he wanted it to resemble that of M.I.T. in sound and flavor.
FIT Special Collections and College Archives
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