Illinois Institute of Technology

Coordinates: 41°50′4.75″N 87°37′42″W / 41.8346528°N 87.62833°W / 41.8346528; -87.62833

Illinois Institute of Technology
Motto Transforming Lives. Inventing the Future.
Type Private, Space-grant
Established 1890
Endowment $235.5 million[1]
President Alan W. Cramb[2]
Provost Frances Bronet
Academic staff
Students 7,790 [4]
Undergraduates 2,991[4]
Postgraduates 3,271[4]
Location Chicago, Illinois, United States
Campus Urban, 120 acres (48.6 ha)[3]
Newspaper TechNews
Colors IIT Scarlet      and IIT Gray     [5]
Athletics NCAA Division III (in transition)[6]
Sports 10 varsity teams
Nickname Scarlet Hawks
Mascot Talon the Hawk

Illinois Institute of Technology, commonly called Illinois Tech or IIT, is a private Ph.D.-granting research university located in Chicago, in the U.S. state of Illinois, with programs in engineering, science, psychology, architecture, business, communications, industrial technology, information technology, design and law. It traces its history to several 19th century engineering and professional education institutions.


The Sermon and The Institute

In 1890, when advanced education was often reserved for society's elite, Chicago minister Frank Wakely Gunsaulus delivered what came to be known as the "Million Dollar Sermon." From the pulpit of his South Side church, near the site Illinois Institute of Technology now occupies, Gunsaulus said that with a million dollars he could build a school where students of all backgrounds could prepare for meaningful roles in a changing industrial society.

Inspired by Gunsaulus' vision, Philip Danforth Armour, Sr. (1832-1901) gave $1 million to found the Armour Institute—and Armour, his wife, Malvina Belle Ogden Armour (1842-1927) and their son J. (Jonathan) Ogden Armour (1863-1927) continued to support the university in its early years. When Armour Institute opened in 1893, it offered professional courses in engineering, chemistry, architecture and library science.[7]

Illinois Tech was created in 1940 by the merger of Armour Institute and Lewis Institute. Located on the west side of Chicago, Lewis Institute, established in 1895 by the estate of hardware merchant and investor Allen C. Lewis, offered liberal arts as well as science and engineering courses for both men and women.[8] At separate meetings held by their respective boards on Oct. 26, 1939, the trustees of Armour and Lewis voted to merge the two colleges. A Cook County circuit court decision on April 23, 1940 solidified the merger.[9]

Mergers and Changes

The Institute of Design (ID), founded in Chicago by László Moholy-Nagy in 1937, merged with Illinois Tech in 1949.[10]

Chicago-Kent College of Law, founded in 1887, became part of the university in 1969, making Illinois Institute of Technology one of the few technology-based universities with a law school.

Also in 1969, the Stuart School of Management and Finance – now known as the Stuart School of Business - was established thanks to a gift from the estate of Lewis Institute alumnus and Chicago financier Harold Leonard Stuart. The program became the Stuart School of Business in 1999.[11]

The Midwest College of Engineering,[12] founded in 1967, joined the university in 1986, giving Illinois Tech a presence in west suburban Wheaton with what is today known as the Rice Campus[13] —home to Illinois Tech’s School of Applied Technology.

In December 2006, the University Technology Park at Illinois Institute of Technology, an incubator and life sciences/tech start-up facility, was started in existing research buildings located on the south end of Main Campus.[14] As of April 2014, the University Tech Park at Illinois Institute of Technology is home to many companies.

Today, IIT is a private, Ph.D.-granting university with programs in engineering, science, human sciences, applied technology, architecture, business, design and law.

One of the 16 institutions that comprise the Association of Independent Technological Universities (AITU), IIT offers exceptional preparation for professions that require technological sophistication. Through a committed faculty and close personal attention, IIT provides a challenging academic program focused by the rigor of the real world.

Inventing the Future

The university and its contract research affiliate, IIT Research Institute (IITRI), have an annual research volume of $130 million. Current research strengths include fluid dynamics and aerospace, synchrotron radiation science, environmental engineering and regulatory policy, polymer science and recycling, food safety and technology, and transportation and infrastructure.

IIT has more than 40,000 living alumni and is known as the alma mater of accomplishments as well as of people. IIT and IITRI scientists and engineers have made some of the century's most important technological advances, such as the invention of magnetic recording and the development of re-entry technology for spacecraft. IIT architects have shaped the skyline of Chicago and cities throughout the world.

IIT Research Institute has several locations throughout the United States, and the university has five campuses in the Chicago area. The 120-acre Main Campus, centered at 33rd and State Streets in Chicago, as well as many of its buildings, was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who directed the architecture program at IIT from 1938 to 1958 and was one of the 20th century's most influential architects. In 1976, the American Institute of Architects recognized the campus as one of the 200 most significant works of architecture in the U.S.

S. R. Crown Hall, home of IIT College of Architecture, was named a National Historic Landmark in 2001, and part of the IIT[15] Main Campus was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.[16]

The state-of-the-art, 10-story Downtown Campus at 565 W. Adams Street houses Chicago-Kent College of Law, the Center for Financial Markets, the Master of Public Administration Program, and Stuart School of Business.

Institute of Design, an international leader in teaching systemic, human-centered design, is located at 350 N. LaSalle Street in Chicago's River North neighborhood.

The 19-acre Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Campus in west suburban Wheaton complements area community colleges, serving west suburban residents and employees in Illinois' high-tech corridor by offering graduate programs, upper-level undergraduate courses, and continuing professional education.

The five-acre Moffett Campus in southwest suburban Bedford Park houses the Institute for Food Safety and Health, including its National Center for Food Safety and Technology, a consortium of government, industry and academia that seeks to improve the quality and safety of the nation's food supply.

Growth and expansion

S.R. Crown Hall on the Illinois Institute of Technology campus. Designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1956, it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2001.[17]

IIT continued to expand after the merger. As one of the first American universities to host a Navy V-12 program during World War II[18] the school saw a large increase in students and expanded the Armour campus beyond its original 7 acres (2.83 ha). Two years before the merger, German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe joined the then Armour Institute of Technology to head both Armour's and the Art Institute of Chicago's architecture program. The Art Institute would later separate and form its own program. Mies was given the task of designing a completely new campus, and the result was a spacious, open, 120-acre (48.6 ha) campus set in contrast to the busy, crowded urban neighborhood around it. The first Mies-designed buildings were completed in the mid-1940s, and construction on what is considered the "Mies Campus" continued until the early 1970s.

Engineering and research also saw great growth and expansion from the post-war period until the early 1970s. IIT experienced its greatest period of growth from 1952 to 1973 under President John T. Rettaliata, a fluid dynamicist whose research accomplishments included work on early development of the jet engine and a seat on the National Aeronautics and Space Council. This period saw IIT as the largest engineering school in the United States, as stated in a feature in the September 1953 issue of Popular Science magazine. IIT housed many research organizations: IIT Research Institute (formerly Armour Research Foundation and birthplace of magnetic recording wire and tape as well as audio and video cassettes), the Institute of Gas Technology, and the American Association of Railroads, among others.

State Street Village IIT dormitories

Three colleges merged with IIT after the 1940 Armor/Lewis merger: Institute of Design in 1949, Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1969, and Midwest College of Engineering in 1986.[19] IIT's Stuart School of Business was founded by a gift from Lewis Institute alumnus Harold Leonard Stuart in 1969, and joined Chicago-Kent at IIT's Downtown Campus in 1992; it phased out its undergraduate program (becoming graduate-only) after Spring 1995. (An undergraduate business program focusing on technology and entrepreneurship was launched in Fall 2004 and was for a while administratively separate from the Stuart School. It is now part of the school, but remains on Main Campus.) The Institute of Design, once housed on the Main Campus in S.R. Crown Hall, also phased out its undergraduate programs and moved downtown in the early 1990s.

Though not used in official communication, the nickname "Illinois Tech" has long been a favorite of students, inspiring the name of the student newspaper; (renamed in 1928 from Armour Tech News to TechNews), and the former mascot of the university's collegiate sports teams, the Techawks. During the 1950s and 1960s, the nickname was actually more prevalent than "IIT." This was reflected by the Chicago Transit Authority's Green Line rapid transit station at 35th and State being named "Tech-35th", but has since been changed to "35th-Bronzeville-IIT." In the 2010s, school administrators began a move to reintroduce the "Illinois Tech" nickname, to decrease confusion with the Indian Institutes of Technology that share the IIT abbreviation and with ITT Technical Institute whose abbreviation is similar.[20]


Main Building of the Armour Institute of Technology

In 1994, the National Commission on IIT considered leaving the Mies Main Campus and moving to the Chicago suburbs. Construction of a veritable wall of Chicago Housing Authority high-rises replaced virtually all of IIT's neighbors in the 1950s and 1960s, a well-meaning but flawed attempt to improve conditions in an economically declining portion of the city. The closest high-rise, Stateway Gardens, was located just south of the IIT campus boundary, the last building of which was demolished in 2006. But the Dearborn Homes to the immediate north of campus still remain. The past decade has seen a redevelopment of Stateway Gardens into a new, mixed-income neighborhood dubbed Park Boulevard; the completion of the new central station of the Chicago Police Department a block east of the campus; and major commercial development at Roosevelt Road, just north of the campus, and residential development as close as Michigan Avenue on the east boundary of the school.

Bolstered by a $120 million gift in the mid-1990s from IIT alumnus Robert Pritzker, former chairman of IIT's Board of Trustees, and Robert Galvin, former chairman of the board and former Motorola executive, the university has benefited from a revitalization. The first new buildings on Main Campus since the "completion" of the Mies Campus in the early 1970s were finished in 2003—Rem Koolhaas's McCormick Tribune Campus Center and Helmut Jahn's State Street Village. S.R. Crown Hall, a National Historic Landmark, saw renovation in 2005 and the renovation of Wishnick Hall was completed in 2007. Undergraduate enrollment has breached 2,500.[21] To further boost their focus on biotechnology and the melding of business and technology, University Technology Park At IIT, an expansive research park, has been developed by remodeling former Institute of Gas Technology and research buildings on the south end of Main Campus.


Academic units

IIT is divided into: five colleges (Armour College of Engineering, College of Science, Lewis College of Human Sciences, College of Architecture, Chicago-Kent College of Law), an institute (Institute of Design), two schools (School of Applied Technology, Stuart School of Business), and a number of research centers, some of which provide academic programs independent of the other academic units. While many maintain undergraduate programs, some only offer graduate or certificate programs.

In 2003, IIT administrators split the former Armour College of Engineering and Science into two colleges known as the Armour College of Engineering and the College of Science and Letters.[22] The Armour College of Engineering is composed of five departments: the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering, the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, the Department of Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering, and the Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering.[23]

In 2013, IIT administrators reorganized the College of Science and Letters and Institute of Psychology, forming the College of Science (Department of Applied Mathematics, the Department of Biology, the Department of Chemistry, the Department of Physics, the Department of Computer Science, and the Department of Mathematics and Science Education),[24] and the Lewis College of Human Sciences (the Department of Humanities, the Department of Psychology, and the Department of Social Sciences).[25]

The Institute of Design was founded in 1937 as the New Bauhaus: Chicago School of Design by László Moholy-Nagy. It became known as the Institute of Design in 1944 and later joined Illinois Institute of Technology in 1949.[26]

IIT also contains the College of Architecture. This College began in 1895 when trustees of Armour Institute and Art Institute merged the architectural programs of both schools to form the Chicago School of Architecture of Armour Institute.[27]

The School of Applied Technology was founded as the Center for Professional Development in 2001 in order to provide technology oriented education for working professionals.[28][29] In December 2009, IIT announced the formation of the School of Applied Technology, composed of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Industrial Technology and Management (INTM) and Information Technology and Management (ITM), as well as non-credit Professional Learning Programs (PLP).[30] These programs were all formerly part of the Center for Professional Development. Professional Learning Programs offers non-credit continuing education courses and certificates, corporate training, a Professional Engineering Exam Review program, international programs including English as a Second Language instruction, short courses and seminars ranging from a few hours to several days in length.[31][32] In 2014 the Department of Food Science and Nutrition was formally launched within the School of Applied Technology, formed from degree programs originating within IIT's Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH).[33]

Chicago-Kent College of Law began in 1886 with law clerks receiving tutorials from Appellate Judge Joseph M. Bailey in order to prepare for the newly instated Illinois Bar Examination. By 1888 these evening sessions developed into formal classes and the Chicago College of Law was established.[34] It was not until 1969 that the school was incorporated into Illinois Institute of Technology.[26]

With a bequest from IIT alumnus and financier Harold Leonard Stuart the IIT Stuart School of Business was established in 1969.[35] In addition to the M.B.A. and Ph.D., IIT Stuart offers specialized programs in Finance, Mathematical Finance (provided in conjunction with the IIT Department of Applied Mathematics), Environmental Management and Sustainability (provided in conjunction with the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law and Department of Civic, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering), Marketing Communications, and Public Administration.

IIT also offers many dual admission programs including programs in medicine, optometry, pharmacy, law, and business. The programs in medicine are particularly competitive and include an 8-year program with Midwestern University leading to a D.O. degree and a 6-year program with Rush University leading to a M.D. degree, both of which are earned after satisfactory completion of a bachelor's degree from IIT. The IIT/Midwestern program accepts anywhere from 5-10 students each year, and the IIT/Rush program accepts anywhere from 0-4 students each year.

Rankings and Recognition

University rankings
Forbes[36] 254
U.S. News & World Report[37] 103
Washington Monthly[38] 44
QS[39] 401-410
Times[40] 301-350

Historic Architecture

IIT has five campuses.

Several buildings on the Illinois Institute of Technology main campus, such as Machinery Hall pictured here, have been designated as Chicago Landmarks and National Register of Historic Places.

The main campus is located at 10 West 35th Street in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood and houses all undergraduate programs and graduate programs in engineering, sciences, architecture, communications, and psychology. The downtown campus at 565 West Adams Street in Chicago houses Chicago-Kent College of Law, Stuart School of Business, and the graduate programs in Public Administration. Institute of Design is located at 350 North LaSalle Street in Chicago. Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Campus in Wheaton, Illinois houses the School of Applied Technology and degree programs in Information Technology and Management. This 19-acre (7.69 ha) campus opened its doors in January 1991. Moffett Campus in Bedford Park, Illinois, is home to the Institute for Food Safety and Health. Moffett Campus was donated to IIT by CPC International Inc. in 1988.[48]

Two other undergraduate institutions share IIT's Main Campus: VanderCook College of Music and Shimer College. Both institutions share dormitories with IIT and offer cross-registration for IIT students.

The Paul V. Galvin Library, designed by architect Walter Netsch in 1962. It is named for the founder of Motorola.[49]

The 120-acre (48.6 ha)[50] IIT main campus is centered around 33rd and State Streets, approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) south of the Chicago Loop in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago,[51] part of the Douglas community area. Also known as the Black Metropolis District, the area is a landmark in African-American history.[52] Following rapid growth during the Great Migration of African-Americans from the south between 1910 and 1920, it became home to numerous African-American owned businesses and cultural institutions and offered an alternative to the race restrictions that were prevalent in the rest of the city.[52] The area was home to author Gwendolyn Brooks, civil rights activist Ida B. Wells, bandleader Louis Armstrong, pilot Bessie Coleman and many other famous African-Americans during the mid-20th century.[53] The nine extant structures from that period were added jointly to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986[54] and designated a Chicago Landmark in 1998.[55]

In 1941, the Chicago Housing Authority began erecting massive public housing developments in the area.[56] By 1990, the IIT campus was encircled by high-rise housing projects rife with crime.[57] The projects were demolished beginning in 1999,[57] and the area began to revitalize, with major renovations to King Drive and many of the historic structures and an influx of new, upscale, housing developments.[58] Neighborhood features include U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox, Burnham Park and 31st Street Beach on the Lake Michigan waterfront, and historical buildings from the heyday of the Black Metropolis era, including the Chicago Bee Building, the Eighth Regiment Armory, and the Overton Hygienic Building. The campus is bordered on the west by the Chicago 'L' Red Line, which runs parallel to Lake Michigan north to Rogers Park and south to 95th street. The Green Line bisects the campus and runs north to the Loop and then west to the near west suburbs and south to the Museum Campus and the University of Chicago.[59]

Today IIT continues to support the Historic Bronzeville area by sponsoring non-for-profits such as The Renaissance Collaborative.[60]


Perlstein Hall: one of the campus buildings designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
The McCormick Tribune Campus Center. Icons of male figures in action are placed throughout the building; several are visible at the lower left.[61]

The campus, roughly bounded between 31st and 35th streets, Michigan Avenue and the Dan Ryan Expressway, was designed by modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, "one of the great figures of 20th-century architecture",[62] who chaired the IIT School of Architecture from 1938 to 1958.[63] Van der Rohe's master plan for the IIT campus was one of the most ambitious projects he ever conceived and the campus, with twenty of his works, is the greatest concentration of his buildings in the world.[64] The layout of the campus departs radically from "traditional college quadrangles and limestone buildings".[64] The materials are inspired by the factories and warehouses of Chicago's South Side[64] and "embod[y] 20th century methods and materials: steel and concrete frames with curtain walls of brick and glass."[65] The campus was landscaped by van der Rohe's close colleague at IIT, Alfred Caldwell,[66] "the last representative of the Prairie School of landscape architects."[67] Known as "the nature poet",[68] Caldwell's plan reinforced van der Rohe's design with "landscaping planted in a free-flowing manner, which in its interaction with the pristine qualities of the architecture, introduce[d] a poetic aspect."[69]

On the west side of Main Campus are three red brick buildings that were original to Armour Institute, built between 1891 and 1901. In 1938, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe began his 20-year tenure as director of IIT's School of Architecture (1938–1959). The university was on the verge of building a brand new campus, to be one of the nation's first federally funded urban renewal projects. Mies was given carte blanche in the large commission, and the university grew fast enough during and after World War II to allow much of the new plan to be realized. From 1943 to 1957, several new Mies buildings rose across campus, including the S.R. Crown Hall, which houses the architecture school, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2001.[17]

Though Mies had emphasized his wish to complete the campus he had begun, commissions from the late 50s onward were given to Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), prompting Mies to never return to the campus that had changed architecture the world over. SOM architect Walter Netsch designed a few buildings, including the new library that Mies had wished to create, all of them similar to Mies's style. By the late 1960s, campus addition projects were given to SOM's Myron Goldsmith, who had worked with Mies during his education at IIT and thus was able to design several new buildings to harmonize well with the original campus. In 1976, the American Institute of Architects recognized the campus as one of the 200 most significant works of architecture in the United States. The new campus center, designed by Rem Koolhaas, and a new state-of-the-art residence hall designed by Helmut Jahn, State Street Village, opened in 2003. These were the first new buildings built on the Main Campus in 32 years.

In 1976, American Institute of Architects named the IIT campus one of the 200 most significant works of architecture in the United States.[70] The IIT Main Campus was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.[71]


In 2010, IIT received the Princeton Review's highest sustainability rating among universities in Illinois, tied with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.[72]

Notable Buildings

S.R. Crown Hall

S.R. Crown Hall, erected in 1955, was considered by Mies to be one of his greatest architectural achievements. To provide for a flexible, columnless interior, he suspended the roof from four steel girders supported by eight external columns spaced 60 feet apart. S.R. Crown Hall, home to Illinois Tech’s College of Architecture, has been described as an "immortal contribution to the architecture of Chicago and the world." S.R. Crown Hall was granted National Historic Landmark status in 2001. A $15 million renovation, completed in August 2005, modernized the structure with energy-saving mechanicals and windows, along with needed technology upgrades for computers and the Internet—all while carefully preserving the architectural integrity of the building, inside and out. Additional improvements were completed in 2013.[73]

State Street Village (SSV)

State Street Village (SSV), a student residence hall designed by Murphy/Jahn architects on the southeast corner of 33rd and State Streets just south of the campus center, was completed in August 2003. Helmut Jahn, who studied architecture at IIT under Mies van der Rohe in the late 1960s, is responsible for the innovative design of the residence hall. The structure is composed of three separate five-story buildings, joined by exterior glass walls that muffle noise from passing trains on the adjacent "L" tracks. SSV houses 367 students in apartment-style and suite-style units.

McCormick Tribune Campus Center (MTCC)

The McCormick Tribune Campus Center (MTCC) at 33rd and State Streets opened in September 2003. Designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, considered one of the “10 most influential living architects by the American Institute of Architects," the campus center arranges various areas around diagonal pathways, resembling interior streets, that are extensions of the paths students use to cross the campus. The design includes a concrete and stainless steel tube that encloses a 530-foot stretch of the Green Line elevated commuter rail ("L") tracks, passing directly over the one-story campus center building. The tube dampens the sound of trains overhead as students enjoy food courts, student organization offices, retail shops, a recreational facility and campus events.

Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship

The newest addition to the Mies Campus will come from Chicago architect John Ronan who was selected to design the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship.[74] Ronan’s building, the first new academic building in more than forty years, is scheduled for completion in 2017.


Illinois Institute of Technology has five campuses in the Chicago area. A portion of the 120-acre Main Campus, identified as the Illinois Institute of Technology Academic Campus, was entered onto the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.[16] The complete 120-acre campus, also known as the Mies Campus, was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, universally considered one of the 20th century's most influential architects and the director of the architecture program at Illinois Tech from 1938 to 1958. In 1976, the American Institute of Architects recognized the Illinois Tech main campus, centered at 33rd and State Streets in Chicago, as one of the 200 most significant works of architecture in the United States. S. R. Crown Hall, home of Illinois Tech’s College of Architecture, was named a National Historic Landmark in 2001.[75]

The ten-story Downtown Campus at 565 West Adams Street, designed by Gerald Horn of Holabird & Root and built by IIT in 1992, is home to Illinois Tech’s Chicago-Kent College of Law.

The Institute of Design (ID), an international leader in design-centered thinking, is located at 350 N. LaSalle Street in Chicago's River North neighborhood. ID will re-locate to the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship on the Mies Campus when the building is completed.

The 19-acre Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Campus in west suburban Wheaton, designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz & Associates, Inc. for Illinois Tech and dedicated in 1990,[76] offers graduate programs, upper-level undergraduate courses, and continuing professional education.

The five-acre Moffett Campus in southwest suburban Bedford Park was designed in 1947 by Schmidt, Garden, and Erickson and was donated to IIT in 1988.[76] It houses the Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH), which includes the National Center for Food Safety and Technology, a unique consortium of government, industry, and academic partners.

Hall of Fame

Throughout the university's history, the IIT community has been fortunate to have the support of exceptional trustees, alumni, faculty and friends. Their outstanding contributions and achievements are represented by their inclusion in the IIT Hall of Fame. Read more about the achievements of IIT faculty, staff, and alumni in IIT Magazine, and in IIT Today.

Past Leaders


Frank W. Gunsaulus

President, 1892-1921

Frank W. Gunsaulus[77] served as Armour Institute of Technology's first president for 27 years. A noted preacher, educator, pastor, author and humanitarian, Gunsaulus inspired Philip Danforth Armour, Sr. to found Armour Institute following his famous "Million Dollar Sermon" in 1890. In that sermon, Gunsaulus emphasized the need for the technician, trained and free to create in a rapidly changing world. Over the next two years, he and Armour laid plans for what would become the Armour Institute in 1892. During his presidency, Gunsaulus presided over rapidly expanding areas of study, including the Chicago School of Architecture run in conjunction with the Art Institute of Chicago. Gunsaulus was a devoted Trustee of the Art Institute and a collector of rare books and artwork. He graciously donated many to Chicago area institutions.

Howard M. Raymond

President, 1922-1932

Following the death of Frank Gunsaulus in 1921, Howard Monroe Raymond[78] was appointed acting president. He accepted the permanent role 14 months later and became Armour Institute's second president. A native of Michigan, Raymond moved to Chicago to join the school as instructor of Physics in 1895. He served as dean of engineering for 19 years before becoming president-a role he continued while president until 1927. During his leadership, Raymond steered the school through some its most challenging financial years. The economy of the 1920s heavily impacted corporate support, including that of the founding Armour family. But a major rallying effort by the growing Alumni Association brought in much-needed and stabilizing income. Raymond also presided over a Board of Trustees agreement to merge Armour Institute with the School of Engineering at Northwestern. Approved in 1926, the plan called for ambitious fundraising and spending for new buildings prior to a merger. The plan was abandoned by 1929.

Willard E. Hotchkiss

President, 1933-1937

Willard E. Hotchkiss[79] became Armour Institute's third president at a time when the school was still feeling the effects of the Depression. A political scientist and economist, he had been serving as dean of the graduate school of business at Stanford University. With considerable experience in dealing with business economic problems, he was considered the right choice at an important time in Armour Institute's history. Under his leadership, a department of social sciences, fifth-year courses in architecture and in chemical and civil engineering were established. While graduate-level courses had long been offered, few advanced degrees had been awarded. Hotchkiss led the expansion of study programs leading to Master of Science degrees. In his last year as president, the Research Foundation of Armour Institute of Technology was established to develop technological innovation for industry. Two years later, the famous Snow Cruiser vehicle was engineered for use in Admiral Richard Byrd's South Pole expedition.

Henry Townley Heald

President, 1937 - 1952'

Henry Townley Heald[80] served as Armour Institute of Technology's president from 1937 to 1940, and oversaw the consolidation of Armour and Lewis Institute. That merger led to the formation of Illinois Institute of Technology in 1940, with Heald serving as IIT's first president. Heald served until 1952, and under his guidance, IIT evolved from a small engineering school to a significant technology center. In addition, he was instrumental in shaping the close relationship between industry and the research done at IIT by adding sixty leading industrialists to the board of trustees. Heald also recruited scholars from all over America and Europe, including Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe who designed and built IIT's landmark campus.

John T. Rettaliata

President, 1952 - 1973

As the second President of Illinois Institute of Technology John T. Rettaliata[81] helped transform IIT from a small commuter college to the nationally renowned university it is today by offering degrees in fully developed independent programs including liberal arts, law, architecture, management, finance, science, and technology. He shaped the modern IIT through the merger with Chicago-Kent College of Law and the founding of Stuart School of Business.

Maynard P. Venema

President, 1973 - 1974

After the resignation John Rettaliata, Armour alumnus and long time Board of Trustees member "Pete" Venema[82] served as President until a permanent replacement could be named. The highlight of Venema's stewardship was the development of a program to increase enrollment among women and minorities, a program which would realize substantial results under his successor. Venema, who also served as chairman of Universal Oil Products, endowed an undergraduate scholarship for chemical engineering majors in 1990.

Thomas Lyle Martin, Jr.

President, 1974 - 1987

An emphasis on bringing IIT's educational resources to the students, rather than have them travel to a single campus was among the highlights of Thomas Martin's[83] Presidency. In addition to maintaining Chicago-Kent's downtown location other university programs were placed there, IIT acquired Midwest College of Engineering in 1987, giving the university a presence in the Western Suburbs. In 1973 Martin spearheaded the ground-breaking program to actively reach out to and recruit minority and women students. To bankroll these key initiatives Martin undertook and completed a $100 million capital campaign.

Meyer Feldberg

President, 1987 - 1989

Meyer Feldberg came to IIT in 1986 from Tulane University where he had been dean of the School of Business. He spent a year at IIT as president-elect, assuming the presidency in June 1987. His tenure was marked by significant expansion of the university's physical facilities, including the $4 million gift of land in Wheaton to build IIT's Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Campus, and the $7 million gift by CPC International, Inc. of a research and development facility in Bedford Park that was to become the core of the National Center for Food Safety and Technology. Feldberg left IIT in 1989 to become dean of Columbia Business School, New York, a position he held until 2004. In 2005 he joined Morgan Stanley as a senior advisor.

Henry R. Linden

President, 1989 - 1990

Henry Linden[84] was associated with IIT for more than 50 years. He received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering in 1952 and joined the faculty in 1954. As interim president, Dr. Linden presided over a year of important developments, including an $8 million grant from the Robert R. McCormick-Tribune Foundation to upgrade the residential and athletic facilities of the university, and ground-breaking for the university's Downtown Campus. Dr. Linden had extensive research, publication and advisory experience in many areas of environmental and energy policy, including a Presidential Appointment during the Gerald Ford Administration. He held numerous positions since joining the Institute of Gas Technology in 1947, including president in 1974. In 1977 he was the first president of the Gas Research Institute. The two organizations merged in 2000 to form the Gas Technology Institute, of which Linden continued to be an executive advisor. From 2005 to 2009 he was Max McGraw professor of Energy and Power Engineering and Management.

Lewis M. Collens

President, 1990 - 2007

While Lewis Collens's[85] 17-year tenure as president of IIT was among the longest of any of his predecessors, his service to the university began much earlier. From 1974-1990, Collens was dean of Illinois Institute of Technology's Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he also taught corporate and securities law. During his time as president, the university underwent a transformation at various levels: significant research centers and institutes were created, Main Campus historic structures were physically restored and new structures were added, student quality and enrollment dramatically improved, and the university endowment increased from $50 million to $300 million. Collens championed the Interprofessional Projects program, an innovative, interdisciplinary approach to addressing real-world problems through a curriculum emphasizing student teamwork and leadership. Several new academic programs were also developed during Collens's tenure as well as University Technology Park At IIT, a facility that provides faculty expertise, office space, and state-of-the-art laboratories to both start-up and established companies. In recognition of the president's contributions to the university, the IIT Chicago Public Schools Scholarship was renamed the Collens Scholarship. Collens is currently teaching a course on corporate governance at Chicago-Kent College of Law.

John L. Anderson

President, 2007 - 2015

John L. Anderson served as the eighth president of Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) from 2007 to 2015. Prior to joining IIT, he served as provost and executive vice president of Case Western Reserve University and dean of engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. A distinguished professor of chemical engineering at IIT’s Armour College of Engineering, he began his academic career as a faculty member at Cornell University. A member of the National Academy of Engineering and its governing council, and a presidential appointee to the National Science Board, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, and his bachelor's degree from the University of Delaware. During his tenure as IIT’s president, he led the efforts that achieved financial stability, improved the faculty, invigorated alumni relations, and enhanced the student experience. Total enrollment of full-time students grew significantly, and first-to-second-year retention improved to 91 percent. Awards supporting faculty research increased, and the institution added 15 new endowed chairs. A tireless traveler, he reconnected thousands of alumni, across the country and around the world, to the university. Anderson is currently a Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering.

Alan W. Cramb

President, 2015–present

A member of the National Academy of Engineering, he received his B.S. in metallurgy from the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland) in 1975 and his Ph.D. in materials science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1979. He then spent seven years conducting and managing research within the steel industry. In 1986 he joined the faculty of the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University. In 1990, he became the co-director of the Center for Iron and Steelmaking Research and helped transition the organization from a local to a fully international center with a worldwide membership. In 1997 he was awarded the Posco Chair at CMU, and in 2000 he became head of the Materials Science and Engineering Department. Cramb was appointed dean of engineering and the John A. Clark and Edward T. Crossan Professor of Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2005. His responsibilities included oversight of current and future initiatives in research and education for one of the leading engineering schools in the U.S. He served Illinois Institute of Technology as provost from 2008 to 2015.


George N. Carman

Director, 1896-1936

The life of George N. Carman[86] is inextricably bound in to the history of one of IIT's predecessors, Lewis Institute. Carman guided the destiny of the school for 40 years-from the day its doors opened in 1896 until his retirement in 1935. Though the term was not then used, Lewis Institute was the first junior college in the United States. It offered a four-year academy (high school) course, a two-year college program, and a four-year college program. Carman's leadership went beyond Lewis Institute. He was one of the originators of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. A protege of University of Chicago president William Rainey Harper, Carman was chosen to craft the original Lewis educational programs. Carman is also remembered for his scrupulous attention to the individual student. He talked personally with each student before admitting him or her to classes. An estimated 100,000 students attended the Institute at Madison Street and Damen Avenue during the four decades of his directorship.

Dugald C. Jackson, Jr

Director, 1936-1938

Following the retirement of George Carman, Lewis Institute looked to Dugald C. Jackson, Jr.[87] to lead the school as its second director. A native of Madison, Wisconsin, he was educated at Harvard and at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jackson came to Lewis Institute from the University of Kansas where he was head of the electrical engineering department, the same position held by his father at MIT. Addressing the First Assembly of the 1936-37 school year, Jackson noted that Lewis Institute must keep a vigilant eye on the courses offered, to ensure that students would be prepared to meet the needs of business and industry—not only at the time, but for the industries of the future. During his short term of leadership, Jackson also contributed to the organization of the faculty, clarifying the roles of department heads within the institute. Jackson stepped down from the directorship early in 1938, writing that, "the Board's views and mine have come to be not entirely in accord."

Fred Rogers and Clarence Clarke, two veteran educators from within the school, succeeded Dugald Jackson, Jr. as co-directors. They managed the affairs of Lewis Institute until it merged in 1940 with Armour Institute of Technology to create IIT.


Fred A. Rogers

Co-director, 1938-1940

Fred A. Rogers[88] was associated with Lewis Institute for more than 40 years. A Michigan native, he studied engineering, math and physics at the University of Michigan. At Lewis Institute, he taught math, physics, electricity and electrical engineering and was dean of engineering for several years before assuming the co-directorship in 1938. The next year, Alex D. Bailey, chairman of Lewis' Board, announced plans to merge the school with Armour Institute of Technology. As Armour Institute president Henry Heald assumed the leadership of the combined schools in 1940, Rogers continued his association as Dean of Armour College of Engineering at IIT.

Clarence L. Clarke

Co-director, 1938-1940

Like Fred Rogers, Clarence L. Clarke[87] had a long teaching history with Lewis Institute before joining Rogers as co-director in 1938. A New York native, he studied philosophy, psychology and education in the east. Later he received a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Chicago. Before coming to Lewis Institute in 1928, he held a number of teaching posts in education, including positions at the University of Washington, Lewiston State Teachers College, Beloit College and the University of Michigan. He was named head of the department of education at Lewis in 1935 and dean of Liberal Arts in 1936, a position he held concurrently while co-director. With the merger of Armour and Lewis institutes in 1940, Clarke was named Dean of Lewis Institute of Arts and Sciences at IIT.

Student life

There are numerous student organizations available on campus, including religious groups, academic groups, and student activity groups.

Three of IIT's major student organizations serve the entire student body: the Student Government Association (SGA), the Student Union Board (UB), and TechNews. SGA is the governing student body of IIT and acts as a liaison between the university administration and the student body, serves as a forum to express student opinion, and provides certain services to student organizations such as official recognition and distribution of funds.[89] UB serves as the main event programming group and plans over 180 on and off-campus events for students per year. Since 2005, UB has been particularly active and has increased the frequency of student activities, and is responsible for the emergence of the school spirit and booster group Scarlet Fever; UB it has been active since its founding on November 23, 1938.[90] TechNews is the campus paper and serves as a news outlet for campus interests and as another outlet for student opinion in both a weekly paper edition and online format; it has existed since at least the 1930s.[91]

IIT hosts a campus radio station, WIIT, with an antenna located atop Main Building and a radio studio in the McCormick Tribune Campus Center. In September 2007, IIT opened a nine-hole disc golf course which weaves around the academic buildings on the Main Campus and is the first disc golf course to appear within the Chicago city limits.

In anticipation of the opening of the McCormick Tribune Campus Center, the on-campus pub and bowling alley known as "The Bog" ceased operations in 2003. However, in response to students, faculty, and staff who missed the former campus hangout, the Bog reopened in February 2007 and is now open every Thursday and Friday night offering bowling, billiards, table tennis, and video games. The Bog is also home to the campus bar, which serves beer and wine, and hosts weekly events such as comedians, live bands, or karaoke nights on its stage.

On the sixth floor of Main Building is the IIT Model Railroad Club. Founded in 1948, the club builds and runs an HO scale model railway layout that occupies much of the floor.

In the fall of 2007, the third generation of a cappella groups was formed, The TechTonics, a coed group of students. Within a year the organization expanded and now includes an all-male group, the Crown Joules, and an all-female group, the X-Chromotones. IIT A Cappella performs a variety of shows on campus as well as off campus and in the midwest. They perform shows at the end of each semester which showcase everything they have learned.[92]

The Illinois Institute of Technology Main Campus has an established Greek System, which consists of 6 fraternities and 3 sororities. Fraternities Pi Kappa Phi, Delta Tau Delta, Alpha Sigma Phi, Phi Kappa Sigma, and Triangle fraternity and sororities Kappa Phi Delta, and Alpha Sigma Alpha have chapter houses. The Zeta Pi Omega sorority and Omega Delta fraternity do not.


Athletics logo


Illinois Tech (IIT) athletic teams, known as the Scarlet Hawks includes men's sports such as baseball, basketball, cross country, soccer, swimming and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, track & field and volleyball. After the introduction of a new Athletic Director, Joe Hakes, The Scarlet Hawks are transitioning to NCAA Division III Athletics.[95]

The university previously competed in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) at the NAIA Division I level in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) until the 2012-13 season.

The Athletic Department is one of the few IIT departments which uses "Illinois Tech" instead of "IIT", and has done so since the beginning of IIT in 1940. IIT discontinued its men's and women's basketball program after the 2008-09 season,[96] but it was re-instated beginning the 2012-13 season. Recently, IIT even started a cricket team as a part of non-varsity sports level. Their cricket team competes in Division II of the Midwest Cricket Conference.

Notable people


Nobel laureates

See also


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  10. See photo of this event in IIT Archives/1998.199.002/Unprocessed Photographs (Box A-2)/Folder: Serge Chermayeff: “Serge Chermayeff, Crombie Taylor, H. T. Heald signing Institute of Design merger agreement”.
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