With my first academic year at Illinois Tech drawing to a close, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on where we as a university are and where we are going. I am incredibly excited about the future of our university, fully recognizing that there will be some alterations in how we move forward as we begin to emerge out of a once-in-a-century pandemic that has left an indelible mark on every aspect of our lives, including higher education.
The reason that our university is so well equipped to continue to meet our founding mission—to harness the collective power of difference in order to advance technology and progress for all—is because of the work of every Illinois Tech faculty and staff member, each of whom has stepped up time and again over the last two years to ensure that our students have received world-class instruction in a safe, welcoming environment, regardless of circumstances.
Provost Peter Kilpatrick helped to steward the university through these challenges, and his conscientious judgment and care for every member of our community have been vital to our ability to succeed during uncertain times while also positioning ourselves for the future. I would like to thank Peter for all that he has done for the university, and warmly congratulate him on his recent appointment as the president of the Catholic University of America, effective July 1, 2022. I am grateful for all that he has done, and for his support and guidance during my transition to my leadership as president.
Since his arrival at Illinois Tech in 2018, Peter has helped to reinvigorate the academic mission of the university and to provide new investments in student life. He spearheaded the development of our five-year strategic plan, the creation of the College of Computing, and, most recently, the development of the Elevate program, which will prepare our students with the real-world experiences and human-centered skills that will complement our well-honed, highly relevant curriculum. Our one-of-a-kind Elevate program guarantees our students experiences outside of the classroom while also providing them with personalized academic and career mentorship.
With these skills, Illinois Tech graduates will be uniquely career ready and able to enter the professional world confidently. There, they will follow in the footsteps of our alumni, who continue to make positive change in the world. Take, for example, Ram Ramanujam (Ph.D. ENG ’81), who created a social media platform that promotes mental health and wellness for teenagers, in addition to providing therapy resources, when it is needed most. In this edition of Illinois Tech Magazine you’ll read more about Ram and several other alumni who are using technology and other skills they developed at Illinois Tech to be innovative and impactful leaders.
The work of these alumni and all that Peter has accomplished showcase why Illinois Tech holds a distinctive position among our peers: we’re a comprehensive technology-based institution that, for more than a century, has focused on empowering students from all backgrounds with a quality education to meet the needs of the time. While those needs have changed, our mission remains as relevant, and essential, as ever before.