On May 13, 2,799 students became members of the Illinois Tech Class of 2017. At the Commencement ceremony held at Ed Glancy Field on Mies Campus, I looked at the many faces representing a multitude of cultures within our academic community. They reminded me of our university's continuum of success as our students transform into alumni leaders across the globe.
Some of our recent graduates are introduced in this issue of IIT Magazine. All are ambitious and have discovered ways to further develop their passions in business, engineering, law, psychology, and writing. Also profiled in this issue are National Academy of Engineering inductee Sam Pitroda (M.S. EE ’66), who helped to lead the telecommunications revolution in India, and Robin Chaurasiya (PPPS, PSYC ’06), recipient of Illinois Tech’s 2017 International Award of Merit. Robin heads the Mumbai (India)-based nonprofit Kranti, a home for young women from red-light areas. Four Kranti students are now enrolled in various universities thanks to an educational program that Robin, a finalist for the 2016 Global Teacher Prize, has created. Within the pages of IIT Magazine you can also meet new Institute of Design Dean Denis Weil (M.Des. ’01), who discusses design’s role in society today. Weil has led design efforts within the corporate sector as well as the nonprofit sector, bringing extensive and varied work experiences that will further advance ID’s international impact.
As the university makes strides across the globe through our alumni and faculty, Illinois Tech also continues to merit recognition closer to home. The validity of our efforts made itself apparent in a report released earlier this year through the Equality of Opportunity Project. It indicated that Illinois Tech surpasses all other Illinois universities profiled in terms of the highest upward mobility of low-income students. The earnings of all of our graduates are, on average, nearly equal to the top-performing university in the state.
While our recent graduates begin their lives as alumni, the students who remain on our campuses today will soon have yet another opportunity to augment their Illinois Tech education. Construction of the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship is now underway. I encourage you to view a livestream of its progress at https://web.iit.edu/provost/kaplan-institute. A hub for innovation on campus, it is a dramatic testament to alumnus Ed Kaplan’s (ME belief that our students will become the inventors, entrepreneurs, and leaders of the future the world over.
Alan W. Cramb