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Past Presidents

Frank W. Gunsaulus

President, 1892-1921

Frank W. Gunsaulus President, 1892-1921Frank W. Gunsaulus 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

Howard M. Raymond, President, 1922-1932Following the death of Frank Gunsaulus in 1921, Howard Monroe Raymond 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 pior to a merger. The plan was abandoned by 1929.

Willard E. Hotchkiss

President, 1933-1937

Willard E. Hotchkiss, President, 1933-1937Willard E. Hotchkiss 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.

George N. Carman

Director, 1896-1936

George N. Carman, Director, 1896-1936The life of George N. Carman 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

Dugald C. Jackson, Jr., Director, 1936-1938Following the retirement of George Carman, Lewis Institute looked to Dugald C. Jackson, Jr. 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, Co-director,1938-1940Fred A. Rogers 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

Clarence L. Clarke, Co-director, 1938-1940Like Fred Rogers, Clarence L. Clarke 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.

Henry Townley Heald

President, 1937 - 1952

Henry Townley Heald, 1937 - 1952Henry Townley Heald served as Armour Institute of Technology's president from 1937-1940, 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

John T. Rettaliata, 1952 - 1973As the second President of Illinois Institute of Technology John T. Rettaliata 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

Maynard P. Venema, 1973 - 1974After the resignation John Rettaliata, Armour alumnus and long time Board of Trustees member "Pete" Venema 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

Thomas Lyle Martin, Jr., 1974 - 1987An 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 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, 1987 - 1989Meyer 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 university's Moffett campus and 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

Interim President, 1989 - 1990

Henry R. Linden, 1989 - 1990Henry Linden has been 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 has extensive research, publicaton and advisory experience in many areas of environmental and energy policy, including a Presidential Appointment during the Ford Administration. He has held numerous positions since joining the Institute of Gas Technology (IGT) in 1947, including president in 1974. In 1977 he was the first president of the Gas Research Institute (GRI). The two organizations merged in 2000 to form the Gas Technology Institute (GTI), of which Linden continued to be an executive advisor. In 2005 he is Max McGraw professor of Energy and Power Engineering and Management. He is also director, IIT Energy and Power Center.

Lew Collens

President, 1990 - 2007

Lew Collens, 1990 - 2007While Lew Collens's 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 1974-990, Collens was dean of 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.