M. Zia Hassan (M.S. IE ’58, Ph.D. ’65) dedicated his entire career to Illinois Tech. His academic roles included professor and department chair of industrial engineering, professor of management science, and dean of Stuart School of Business. Hassan oversaw the launch of Stuart School’s master of science programs and guided Stuart’s accreditation in the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, a status earned by fewer than 5 percent of the world’s business schools. In 2002 Hassan stepped down as dean and became director of Stuart’s Ph.D. program.
During his years at the university Hassan mentored countless students. Alumni who learned from and admired him honored his Illinois Tech legacy by establishing the M. Zia Hassan Endowed Professorship fund, with contributions from more than 65 alumni. The lead donor behind the fund, Illinois Tech Trustee Ellen Jordan (PSYC ’79, M.B.A. ’81), served for many years on the boards of advisors for Stuart School and the Jules F. Knapp Entrepreneurship Center.
“Zia is a man for whom I had enormous respect, who made an indelible mark on me both personally and professionally. He was my professor, mentor, and more importantly, he was a trusted friend and advisor. I learned so much from Zia,” Jordan said at the investiture, held last November. Hassan passed away less than one month before the event.
“I was elated to support this wonderful and fitting tribute to a man who—for more than half a century—worked tirelessly to devote himself to his students, to Illinois Tech,” adds Jordan. “I am proud that he was my friend. I’m sincere when I say that I have counted Zia’s guidance and friendship among my life’s great blessings.”
Elizabeth Durango-Cohen, associate professor of operations management, was invested as the first-ever M. Zia Hassan Endowed Professor. Her research focuses on the formulation, estimation, and analysis of models to support managerial decision making arising in the areas of supply-chain management and nonprofit fundraising. Earlier in 2017 she was awarded Stuart School’s Excellence in Teaching Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to students.
“Zia always searched for ways to make a positive difference—whether in the lives of new faculty like me, or with students, or in the community. My goal is to use this endowed professorship to support my research as I work to make a positive difference,” Durango-Cohen says.
Giving Day 2017
On November 7, 2017, the Illinois Tech community came together to raise money for the university. Donors helped the university unlock thousands of dollars in challenge and matching gifts that are already making a huge difference for student scholarships, educational supplies, and campus support.
Giving Day may be over, but you can support Illinois Tech students all year-round at alumni.iit.edu/give.