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Greetings from Illinois Institute of Technology!

As it is now officially spring, we can imagine Commencement on the near horizon, held this year on Saturday, May 18. We especially look forward to hearing from our Commencement speaker, alumnus Victor Tsao (M.S. CS ’80). A master’s graduate of Illinois Tech’s program in computer science, Tsao, and his spouse, Janie, co-founded the multimillion-dollar wireless computer network company Linksys in 1988. 

This will be the first Commencement where guests can see our fully completed new building on Mies Campus—the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship, designed by College of Architecture Professor John Ronan. Headed by Executive Director Howard A. Tullman, the institute is well on its way to achieving the following goals: that all undergraduate students acquire superior innovation and entrepreneurship skills and experience; that strong partnerships are built with external organizations and entrepreneurs; that creative students interested in STEM fields are being recruited; and that it provides the tools and skills students need to solve complex and significant challenges. The building houses Illinois Tech’s Idea Shop, the Interprofessional Projects (IPRO) Program, and the Institute of Design, as well as visiting entrepreneurs and community collaborators. 

Our university community recently celebrated a special public announcement event at the Kaplan Institute. Our Board of Trustees Chair Michael P. Galvin (LAW ’78) shared the news that the finalist team of Nayar Prize I—the ADEPT Cancer Imager Team—successfully achieved the required benchmarks/performance metrics established by the Steering Committee and was given the final $500,000 prize award. Also, the Nayar Prize II, Phase 2 finalist team was announced—the Data-Driven Crime Prevention team—and will advance to the third phase of the Nayar Prize II competition. Illinois Tech Trustee Madhavan Nayar (M.S. IE ’68), and 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.

Illinois Tech 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 93 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