In the tech community, cycling has trumped golfing as a social pastime conducive to swapping ideas, making deals, and pitching the next Big Thing. Several years ago an “on wheels” conversation on a northern Illinois road between avid cyclists and technophiles Ed Kaplan (ME ’65) and Joel D. Krauss (MATH ’71) became the vision for the first new academic building on the Illinois Tech Mies Campus in 40 years: the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship. Nearly 775 people, many wearing scarlet ties, caps, shirts, dresses, or shoes, attended the Kaplan Institute groundbreaking on August 25 in the Hermann Hall Expo Center. Kaplan, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Illinois Tech President Alan W. Cramb, Provost Frances Bronet, architect John Ronan, Student Government Association President Hamze Sukkar (CE 4th year), and other dignitaries spoke about the significance of the Kaplan Institute. After the speeches guests went outside to Morton Park, the future site of the new building, to turn over golden shovels of earth moistened by earlier rains. Construction is expected to begin in March 2017 with an anticipated completion by late 2018.
Kaplan Institute website: web.iit.edu/provost/kaplan-institute/about