“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” —Margaret Mead
At IIT we often describe how we are preparing students for change—how our interdisciplinary and relevant curriculum uniquely positions students to navigate a complex world with confidence and flexibility.
We tend to focus on pedagogy, research experience, and practical workplace skills, but our students are distinctive for another reason: their ability to adapt to and create change.
IIT students are hardwired to make a difference. The university attracts many students from all walks of life who bring to IIT their longtime commitment to an organization or a cause. You could also say there’s something in the water at IIT. While here, whether inspired by their fellow students, faculty, and alumni, or through their involvement in service-learning projects, Interprofessional Projects (IPRO) Program courses, and the more than 100 student groups on campus, our students get involved in their community. In doing so, they become aware of their capacity to make a powerful expression out of the smallest act.
This issue features stories about just a few of our students who are volunteering their time and talents, rebuilding neighborhoods, and mentoring youth. They are, as we say, leading the quiet revolutions that are creating meaningful change. We also feature three alumni whose activism is making a difference, as well as IIT Magazine’s first op-ed column from a distinguished faculty member whose research aims to improve the quality of life for veterans.
Today’s students are part of a tradition of advocacy, activism, and community service at IIT that in many ways dates back to the university’s founding and the “Million Dollar Sermon,” which rallied for the establishment of Armour Institute. They are far more than prepared for change—like their predecessors, they are driving the change that they want to see in the world.
Creating change—an enduring quality of IIT
John L. Anderson