Welcome to Illinois Institute of Technology!
On May 12 nearly 2,800 students participated in Illinois Tech’s 149th Commencement Exercise, graduating as members of the Class of 2018. The ceremony’s keynote speaker was Howard A. Tullman, who began his role as inaugural executive director of our university’s Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship on May 1. The Chicago entrepreneur and former 1871 chief executive officer is responsible for leading the Kaplan Institute in achieving the following goals: ensuring that all undergraduate students acquire superior innovation and entrepreneurship skills and experience; building strong partnerships with external organizations and entrepreneurs; helping recruit creative students interested in STEM fields; and providing the tools and skills students need to solve complex and significant challenges.
Slated to open at the start of the 2018–19 academic year, the Kaplan Institute, designed by Professor John Ronan of our College of Architecture, is the first major academic building to be constructed on campus since the early 1970s. The building will house Illinois Tech’s Idea Shop, the Interprofessional Projects (IPRO) Program, and the Institute of Design, as well as visiting entrepreneurs and community collaborators. You can view a livestream of the construction site at http://bit.ly/2vtbVyQ.
Our faculty continue to accomplish great things even as we head into the summer. The two faculty teams that have advanced to the second phase of the Nayar Prize II competition are working on their projects, namely, the Microfluidic Drug Microbiota Interaction Platform and a Data-Driven Crime Prevention program. Illinois Tech Trustee Madhavan Nayar (M.S. IE ’68), his wife, Teresa, on behalf of the Nayar Family Foundation, established a $1 million gift to fund the Nayar Prize to challenge Illinois Tech faculty, staff, and students to develop breakthrough, innovative projects that will, within three years, produce meaningful results with a societal impact. Each team has been credited with $100,000. This October a jury will determine which team will advance to the final round of funding.
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