About Us

The mission of Rochester Global Connections (RGC) is to promote international understanding and cultural exchange by connecting members of the Greater Rochester Community with international students and international visitors. Incorporated in 1957 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, RGC leads cultural, educational, and professional programming for international students and international visitors. 

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1948: The Cosmopolitan Club named May Crowley as Chairman and President of its student program. After a trip to England and Scotland, Crowley started welcoming international students to her home for tea and warm fellowship, a tradition she had picked up on her trip.

Early 1949: The Council of Churches Women (later becoming Church Women United) created the International Student Committee after learning of the number of international students in the Rochester region. They first committee was developed to determine how to best serve this growing population, they met regularly to plan systematically for the needs of international students

Late 1949: The International Student Committee held its first international student meeting with 47 students from 23 countries attending.

1950: Rochester Branch of UN joined the Council of Churches Women to assist in creating opportunities for the students to share in the community

1956-7: The International Student Committee and Cosmopolitan Club Student Program joined forced to accelerate programming for international students and create a combined organization to double their efforts. It was named Rochester International Friendship Council and May Crowley served as its volunteer director.

1957: A partnership with University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology to develop cultural programs and support for international students and their families was developed.

1963: Rochester International Friendship Council joined Global Ties and started designing and implementing professional programs and cultural activities for foreign leaders, specialists, and scholars.

1971: Rochester International Friendship Council became responsible for all the services to international students and international visitors.

2002: The organization’s name was changed to Rochester International Council.

2012: The Board approved re-naming the organization Rochester Global Connections with the slogan “Connecting Rochester to the World. Connecting the World to Rochester.” This expands on the original mission to promote international understanding between our community and the international students and international visitors.