Chapter News

Illinois Tech Legacy Families:
Generations of Scarlet Hawks

Scott Ternovits

Scott Ternovits (DSGN ’92) spent his adolescent years dead set against going to Illinois Institute of Technology. Both of his parents, Ernest (ARCH ’61) and Marilyn (ARCH ’67), attended Illinois Tech, and as they tried to point him in what they thought was the right direction, he played the part of the brooding teenager looking to rebel.

Finally, he agreed to take a tour of campus just to appease them, and as he was moping in the back of the tour group a current student called him out on his behavior.

“This student from the Institute of Design was sitting on the Crown Hall steps, and she asked me why I was looking like a sullen two-year-old,” he says. “I told her I was only there because of my parents, and she told me about an audio lab she was setting up in the basement of Crown, where they were recording sounds in the city and analyzing them in the lab to see if they could elicit human behavior based on the sounds. I said, ‘This is a class?!’ It was the coolest thing I had ever seen.”

One chance conversation resulted in another generation of the Ternovits family finding a home at Illinois Tech. A few short years later yet another member of the family would join the Scarlet Hawk ranks when Ternovits’s younger brother, Craig (ME ’95), moved in.

This year Ternovits is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his graduation from Illinois Tech, and he’s teamed up with several of his classmates to plan their reunion during Homecoming Weekend on September 15 and 16. Thus far, planned activities include a special reunion luncheon, alumni “back to class” opportunities, workshops, showcases, and the annual carnival, but Ternovits promises some informal catch-up time throughout the weekend as well.

“I can’t wait to see everyone and learn what they’ve accomplished in 25 years. I’m continually surprised by my peers and what they’ve done, where they’re at now,” he says. “It’s easy to get lost in your day-to-day life, but I think it’s really a privilege when you can reconnect like this. We’ll have some formal reunion events, but we’ll also have time to meet up with friends and just hang out and catch up.”

Sharing Illinois Tech with his family has been special for Ternovits, but 2017 is especially meaningful. As he celebrates his 25th reunion, his mom celebrates her 50th and is also serving on her reunion planning committee. “This is just another thing that we get to experience together as Scarlet Hawks,” he says.

Do you have a milestone reunion approaching? Interested in planning an activity at Homecoming for your affinity group? Contact Zach Rus, associate director of regional and reunion programs, at to see how you can get involved.