Now, as we are deep into fall, I find myself thinking back to a celebration that coincided with the beginning of the season: the Illinois Institute of Technology Homecoming & Reunion Weekend 2019. The event’s two days of activities for alumni, students, faculty, and staff included a 50th Reunion Breakfast, trolley tours, athletics events, and the Homecoming Carnival. In addition to welcoming members of the Golden Society as well as alumni who graduated in 1969, 1994, 2009, and 2018 back to Mies Campus, we held the Alumni Awards ceremony and reception.
The Alumni Awards, normally held in the spring, were added to Homecoming, which seemed a fitting backdrop to recognize alumni who have made substantial contributions to society, to their professions, and to their communities—including their alma mater. This year’s event paid tribute to leaders in industries ranging from finance to engineering to medicine. We also honored an alumna who is undoubtedly our most “seasoned” awardee—Beatrice Lumpkin (M.S. MT ’71), activist and educator. You can read her story, enjoy Homecoming & Reunion Weekend photos, and view the complete list of Alumni Award winners in this issue of Illinois Tech Magazine.
Our current student body is well on the way to earning alumni awards of their own one day. The 2019–2020 class of first-year students is one of the largest in the university’s history and is reaping the benefits of new and strong college leadership. Deans beginning during this academic year are Lance Fortnow of the College of Science, Reed Kroloff of the College of Architecture, Anita Krug of Chicago-Kent College of Law, and Jamshid Mohammadi (our longtime faculty member) of the Graduate College. We also welcomed seven new department chairs across campus. You can read short bios of the deans in this issue.
Another new member of the Illinois Tech community is Ernie Iseminger, vice president for institutional advancement. A proven leader in development and fundraising with a longtime career in higher education, Ernie is the right person to lead our efforts to support Illinois Tech as it takes its rightful place as one of our nation’s premier tech universities. You will surely be hearing from Ernie in the near future.
This fall and throughout the year, when I consider the many individuals who comprise our great institution, from a 101-year-old alumna awardee to our newest students, I am proud. I look forward to another year of exploration, invention, and achievement.
Alan W. Cramb