Welcome to Illinois Institute of Technology!
This May 2,799 students graduated as members of the Illinois Tech Class of 2017. At the Commencement ceremony held at Ed Glancy Field on Mies Campus, keynote speaker Geraldine Richmond, Presidential Chair in Science and professor of chemistry at the University of Oregon, gave the graduates five pieces of advice to which we could all aspire: Be willing to take risks. Embrace diversity. Up your game. Give back. Have the courage of your convictions. A National Medal of Science recipient, Richmond was awarded an honorary degree from Illinois Tech for her environmental research and efforts to increase the number and success of women in science and engineering.
As our graduates walked across campus, they passed the site of the future Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship. Construction on this state-of-the-art facility began this spring. You can see a webcam view of the building’s progress at http://bit.ly/2qkmT65. The Kaplan Institute is the first academic building to be constructed at the university since our Downtown Campus was opened in 1992.
Illinois Tech’s excellence is rooted in our community’s research, invention, and innovation. We recently saw two examples of this excellence in action as two of our faculty were honored with Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards from the National Science Foundation. Salim El Rouayheb, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, is studying cloud storage privacy, an increasingly important issue in today's big data climate. Kenneth Tichauer, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, received his award for the ADEPT Cancer Imager, which will produce images of cancer at the cellular level so that drug delivery can be improved. Tichauer and faculty colleagues Jovan Brankov and Rajendra Mehta developed the imager as finalists in the Nayar Prize competition. The Nayar Prize, sponsored by an Illinois Tech alumnus, challenges our faculty and students to think big and formulate solutions to major societal problems.
Our university prepares students to anticipate, manage, and adapt to change through an educational experience that is rigorous in the classroom and broadening outside of the classroom. Throughout the past century, we have become a campus rich in diversity, welcoming students from 100 countries and faculty from prestigious universities across the United States and around the world. We expect our graduates to be successful professionals, comfortable in our global economy, and recognized as leaders in whatever future that they choose.
There is more we can and will accomplish. And I invite you to join us on our journey.
Alan W. Cramb