The Passing of IIT Leadership
Over the past six months we lost three major leaders–John Rettaliata, Tom Martin, and Henry Linden, all past presidents of the university. Under their leadership IIT achieved a position of preeminence among technological universities. Their accomplishments are briefly summarized on page 34-35.
John Rettaliata was the second president of Illinois Institute of Technology. Most of the current buildings on Main Campus were constructed during his tenure (1952-1973), including the landmark Mies buildings S. R. Crown Hall. IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law was added to the university and IIT Stuart School of Business was founded during the Rettaliata presidency. Tom Martin (1974-1987) championed initiatives to increase the diversity of the campus, especially the enrollment of women and students from underrepresented groups. He also increased the overall enrollment of undergraduate students and directed the university to become a leader in distance education. Henry Linden brought national attention to IIT thorough his outstanding work as a faculty member in the field of energy and his leadership of the Institute of Gas Technology. When asked, he stepped up to serve one year (1989-1990) as president of IIT and moved the university through a difficult period.
Leaders of any organization face the tension between short-term solutions and long-term progress. The appreciation of tough decisions and those who make them is a lagging index. We owe presidents Rettaliata, Martin and Linden a debt of gratitude for their vision and commitment to the long-term health of IIT. To honor them we are dedicating several prominent spaces on campus in their names. Their good work should be remembered and used as an inspiration for our current and future leaders.
John L. Anderson