As an Illinois Institute of Technology alumnus and trustee, it is my greatest honor to serve as the next chair of the Illinois Tech Alumni Association Board of Directors. I must first acknowledge the remarkable leadership of former board Chair Sherrie Littlejohn (M.S. CS ’82), whose inspiring service to our institution began long before she took on this role nearly four years ago. I am eager to build upon the foundation that she—and the many other great leaders before her—established at the university.
For more than a century, Illinois Tech has stood at the crossroads of exploration and invention, advancing the future of Chicago and the world. Through experiences that blend technology and human-centered education, the university remains committed to providing an environment in which all members of our community are able to realize their full potential.
From the moment that students step foot on campus, they become part of a vibrant community—joining the talented thinkers, doers, and innovators that preceded them. And as members of the Illinois Tech Alumni Association, it is our responsibility to serve the students, both today and for generations to come, with zeal and integrity.
I like to think of the students at Illinois Tech as “alumni in training.” Although our alumni have their own individual talents and singular accomplishments, they do all have one thing in common: they were students at Illinois Tech, students who were eager to create exponential impact in our community, in Chicago, and in the world around us.
Now that we, as alumni, are on the other side of the classroom—whether launching a professional career, working toward an important milestone, or settling down in retirement—there is a unique opportunity that lies ahead. How can alumni continue to contribute to powering the change that we wish to see in the world? More specifically, how can we ignite the change that we know from first-hand experience starts with Illinois Tech students?
Students are the heartbeat of Illinois Tech; their passions and endeavors are at the epicenter of everything we do. If we did not have students, we would not have the university that we all know and love.
In this new role, it is my goal to continue to provide students with the opportunities and resources that will encourage them to contribute to the great work being done on our campus, even long after they walk across the stage. Illinois Tech alumni have an opportunity to help build a distinctive experience that students can only receive at this institution and to inspire the next generation of Scarlet Hawks.
Earlier this fall, a historic $1 billion fundraising campaign was announced to further the university’s founding mission: to harness the power of collective difference to advance technology and innovation for all. With that, I invite you to join me in supporting our future alumni in any way that you can through Power the Difference: Our Campaign for Illinois Tech. Learn their unique stories, donate your time and resources, and continue to elevate the Illinois Tech community as a whole. If you would like to personally join us in recruiting new Scarlet Hawks, mentoring a current student, or participating in a panel discussion, please visit www.iit.edu/differencemaker to get started.
Today, we are in a world that continues to call for new and compelling ways of thinking, and our alma mater was born to answer that call. I look forward to working together to power the difference that is Illinois Tech.
Bob Hoel (BE ’70)
Trustee, Board of Trustees
Chair, Alumni Association Board of Directors