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Coordinates: 41°50′4.75″N 87°37′42″W / 41.8346528°N 87.62833°W / 41.8346528; -87.62833 Coordinates: 41°50′4.75″N 87°37′42″W / 41.8346528°N 87.62833°W / 41.8346528; -87.62833

Illinois Institute of Technology
Motto Transforming Lives. Inventing the Future.
Established 1940
Type Private, Space-grant
Endowment $338.1 million[1]
President John L. Anderson[2]
Provost Alan W. Cramb[3]
Faculty 659[4]
Undergraduates 2,576[1]
Postgraduates 4,833[4]
Location Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Campus Urban, 120 acres (490,000 m2)[4]
Colors IIT Scarlet      and IIT Gray     [5]
Nickname Scarlet Hawks
Athletics 10 varsity teams

Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), commonly called Illinois Tech, is a private Ph.D.-granting university located in Chicago, Illinois, with programs in engineering, science, psychology, architecture, business, communications, industrial technology, information technology, design, and law. It is a member of the Association of Independent Technological Universities.



IIT was formed in 1940 by the merger of Armour Institute of Technology (founded in 1893) and Lewis Institute (founded in 1895).[6]


Armour Institute of Technology

Main building of Armour Tech on right ca. 1914

The Armour Institute of Technology was founded in 1893 with one million dollars from Philip Danforth Armour, Sr., a prominent Chicago meat packer and grain merchant.[7] Armour had heard Chicago minister Frank W. Gunsaulus say that with a million dollars he would build a school that would be open to students of all backgrounds instead of just the elite. After the sermon, Armour approached Gunsaulus and asked if he was serious about his claim. When Gunsaulus said yes, Armour told him that if he came by his office in the morning, he would give him the million dollars. Armour also stipulated that Gunsaulus become the first president of the school, and Gunsaulus served as president of Armour Tech from its founding in 1893 until his death in 1921. Gunsaulus's sermon thus became known as the "Million Dollar Sermon".[7]

Centered at 33rd Street and Armour Avenue (now Federal Street)[8], Armour Institute of Technology opened its doors on September 14, 1893[9]. It shared the neighborhood now known as Bronzeville with many historic places: Comiskey Park was a few blocks away, west of what is now the Dan Ryan Expressway; the land used to expand the campus in the 1940s through 1970s was home to many of Chicago's old famous jazz and blues clubs, with performers like Louis Armstrong highlighting the neighborhood[10].

Lewis Institute

Lewis Institute ca. 1903

Founded in 1895 from the estate of the Chicago real estate investor Allen Cleveland Lewis, Lewis Institute stood where the United Center now stands.[11] Allen Lewis was one of many investors to descend on Chicago after the 1871 Great Chicago Fire, and helped to rebuild the city's west side. Under its first director, George Noble Carman, Lewis Institute was the first institution to offer adult education programs, making it the first junior college in the United States.[12] The Institute offered courses in engineering, sciences, and technology, but also featured courses in home economics and other domestic arts. Lewis Institute offered a program in which a young child was borrowed from a member of the community and would be cared for by students for up to a year. As the first President, Carman helped create North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the first educational accreditation board.[12]

Lewis/Armour Merger

The Great Depression in the 1920s and 1930s left Armour Institute and Lewis Institute looking for ways to expand programs and relieve debt[13]. In the late 1930s, the Board of Trustees at Armour was greatly expanded, with many Chicago industrialists and businessmen joining the board to increase funding and support the institute. However, it was a proposal from Lewis's chairman Alex Bailey to Armour President Henry Townley Heald and Board Chair James Cunningham that would lead to the birth of IIT. While Armour's faculty and trustees supported the merger, some Lewis faculty and alumni opposed it, feeling that Lewis's legacy would be forgotten in the new school. in 1939 is was agreed to consolidate the two institutes and form the new school.[13] Armour's campus became the permanent home of the new school while Lewis's campus was briefly repurposed by the City of Chicago as a civic building before being demolished for the construction of the United Center. The resistance by Lewis supporters led to a court battle in which the original will of Allen C. Lewis was dissolved. The Lewis Institute and Armour Institute completed the merger in July 1940, with the first academic year for the new Illinois Institute of Technology beginning in the fall of the same year[13].

Growth and expansion

IIT continued to expand after the merger. As one of the first American universities to host a Navy V-12 program during World War II, the school saw a large increase in students and expanded the Armour campus beyond its original seven acres. Two years before the merger, German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe joined the then Armour Institute of Technology to head both Armour's and the Art Institute of Chicago's architecture program. The Art Institute would later separate and form its own program. Mies was given the task of designing a completely new campus, and the result was a spacious, open, 120-acre (0.49 km2) campus set in contrast to the busy, crowded urban neighborhood around it. The first Mies-designed buildings were completed in the mid-1940s, and construction on what is considered the "Mies Campus" continued until the early 1970s.

Engineering and research also saw great growth and expansion from the post-war period until the early 1970s. IIT experienced its greatest period of growth from 1952 to 1973 under President John T. Rettaliata, a fluid dynamicist whose research accomplishments included work on early development of the jet engine and a seat on the National Aeronautics and Space Council. This period saw IIT as the largest engineering school in the United States, as stated in a feature in the September 1953 issue of Popular Science magazine. IIT housed many research organizations: IIT Research Institute (formerly Armour Research Foundation and birthplace of magnetic recording wire and tape as well as audio and video cassettes), the Institute of Gas Technology, and the American Association of Railroads, among others.

State Street Village IIT dormitories

Three colleges merged with IIT after the 1940 Armor/Lewis merger: Institute of Design in 1949, Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1969, and Midwest College of Engineering in 1986. IIT's Stuart School of Business was founded by a gift from Lewis Institute alumnus Harold Leonard Stuart in 1969, and joined Chicago-Kent at IIT's Downtown Campus in 1992; it phased out its undergraduate program (becoming graduate-only) after Spring 1995. (An undergraduate business program focusing on technology and entrepreneurship was launched in Fall 2004 and was for a while administratively separate from the Stuart School. It is now part of the school, but remains on Main Campus.) The Institute of Design, once housed on the Main Campus in S.R. Crown Hall, also phased out its undergraduate programs and moved downtown in the early 1990s.

Though not used in official communication, the nickname "Illinois Tech" has long been a favorite of students, inspiring the name of the student newspaper; (renamed in 1928 from Armour Tech News to TechNews), and the former mascot of the university's collegiate sports teams, the Techawks. During the 1950s and 1960s, the nickname was actually more prevalent than "IIT." This was reflected by the Chicago Transit Authority's Green Line rapid transit station at 35th and State being named "Tech-35th", but has since been changed to "35th-Bronzeville-IIT."


Main building of the Armour Institute of Technology taken in 2008

In 1994, the National Commission on IIT considered leaving the Mies Main Campus and moving to the Chicago suburbs. Construction of a veritable wall of Chicago Housing Authority high-rises replaced virtually all of IIT's neighbors in the 1950s and 1960s, a well-meaning but flawed attempt to improve conditions in an economically declining portion of the city. The closest high-rise, Stateway Gardens, was located just south of the IIT campus boundary, the last building of which was demolished in 2006. But the Dearborn Homes to the immediate north of campus and the Harold Ickes Homes further north still remain. The past decade has seen a redevelopment of Stateway Gardens into a new, mixed-income neighborhood dubbed Park Boulevard; the completion of the new central station of the Chicago Police Department a block east of the campus; and major commercial development at Roosevelt Road, just north of the campus, and residential development as close as Michigan Avenue on the east boundary of the school.

Bolstered by a $120 million gift in the mid-1990s from IIT alumnus Robert Pritzker, former chairman of IIT's Board of Trustees, and Robert Galvin, former chairman of the board and former Motorola executive, the university has benefited from a revitalization. The first new buildings on Main Campus since the "completion" of the Mies Campus in the early 1970s were finished in 2003—Rem Koolhaas's McCormick Tribune Campus Center and Helmut Jahn's State Street Village. S.R. Crown Hall, a National Historic Landmark, saw renovation in 2005 and the renovation of Wishnick Hall was completed in 2007. Undergraduate enrollment has breached 2,500.[1] To further boost their focus on biotechnology and the melding of business and technology, University Technology Park At IIT, an expansive research park, has been developed by remodeling former Institute of Gas Technology and research buildings on the south end of Main Campus.


Academic units

IIT is divided into four colleges, three institutes, three schools, and a number of research centers, some of which provide academic programs independent of the other academic units. While many maintain undergraduate programs, some only offer graduate or certificate programs. In 2003, IIT administrators split the former Armour College of Engineering and Science into two colleges which are now known as the Armour College of Engineering and the College of Science and Letters.[14] The Armour College of Engineering is composed of five departments: the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering, the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, the Department of Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering and the Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering.[15] The College of Science and Letters is divided into six departments: the Department of Applied Mathematics; the Department of Biological, Chemical and Physical Sciences; the Department of Computer Science; the Lewis Department of Humanities; the Department of Mathematics and Science Education; and the Department of Social Sciences.[16]. The Institute of Design was founded in 1937 as the New Bauhaus: Chicago School of Design by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. It became known as the Institute of Design in 1944 and later joined Illinois Institute of Technology in 1949[17]. IIT also contains the College of Architecture. This College began in 1895 when trustees of Armour Institute and Art Institute merged the architectural programs of both schools to form the Chicago School of Architecture of Armour Institute.[18]. The Institute of Psychology was created in 1996. Originally a part of the Lewis College of Science and Letters, the first psychology degrees were awarded in 1926.[19] The Center for Professional Development opened in 2001 in order to provide technology oriented education for working professionals.[20][21] In December 2010, IIT announced the formation of the School of Applied Technology, which is composed of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Industrial Technology and Management (INTM) and Information Technology and Management (ITM), as well as non-credit Professional Learning Programs (PLP)[22]. These programs were all formerly part of the Center for Professional Development. Chicago-Kent College of Law began in 1886 with law clerks receiving tutorials from Appellate Judge Joseph M. Bailey in order to prepare for the newly instated Illinois Bar Examination. By 1888 these evening sessions developed into formal classes and the Chicago College of Law was established.[23]. It wasn't until 1969 that the school was incorporated into Illinois Institute of Technology.[17] With a bequest from IIT alumnus and financier Harold Leonard Stuart the Stuart School of Business was established in 1969[24].



IIT has five campuses:

  • Main Campus, located at 3300 South Federal Street in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood, houses all undergraduate programs and graduate programs in engineering, sciences, architecture, communications, and psychology
  • Downtown Campus, at 565 West Adams Street in Chicago, houses Chicago-Kent College of Law, Stuart School of Business, and the graduate programs in Public Administration
  • Institute of Design is located at 350 North LaSalle Street in Chicago
  • Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Campus in Wheaton, Illinois, houses the School of Applied Technology and degree programs in Information Technology and Management. This 19 acre campus opened its doors in January 1991.
  • Moffett Campus in Summit, Illinois, is home to the National Center for Food Safety and Technology. Moffett Campus was donated to IIT by CPC International Inc. in 1988.[27]

Two other undergraduate institutions share IIT's Main Campus: VanderCook College of Music and Shimer College. Both institutions share dormitories with IIT and offer cross-registration for IIT students.

Main Campus

IIT's Main Campus comprises about 10 city blocks in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, approximately three miles south of the Chicago Loop and just east of U.S. Cellular Field (formerly Comiskey Park). The CTA Green Line elevated trains run north and south through campus, and pass through the Exelon Tube, which is part of the McCormick Tribune Campus Center. The CTA Red Line runs north and south and is located just west of campus in the Dan Ryan Expressway median. State Street, which runs north and south, bisects the campus. On the east side of State Street are mostly student-oriented buildings, including residence halls, the campus center, student health and counseling offices, IIT Public Safety, and athletic facilities. On the west side of State Street are primarily academic and administrative buildings including Hermann Hall (IIT's Conference Center and former student union building), the Paul V. Galvin Library, and the University Technology Park. IIT is bordered on the north roughly by 30th Street, on the south by 35th Street, on the east by Michigan Avenue, and on the west by Metra's Rock Island Line.


S.R. Crown Hall is a National Historic Landmark containing IIT's College of Architecture

On the west side of Main Campus are three red brick buildings that were original to Armour Institute, built between 1891 and 1901. In 1938, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe began his 20-year tenure as director of IIT's School of Architecture (1938–1959). The university was on the verge of building a brand new campus, to be one of the nation's first federally funded urban renewal projects. Mies was given carte blanche in the large commission, and the university grew fast enough during and after World War II to allow much of the new plan to be realized. From 1943 to 1957, several new Mies buildings rose across campus, including the S.R. Crown Hall which is now a National Historic Landmark and home of IIT's College of Architecture.

Though Mies had emphasized his wish to complete the campus he had begun, commissions from the late 50s onward were given to Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM), prompting Mies to never return to the campus that had changed architecture the world over. SOM architect Walter Netsch designed a few buildings, including the new library that Mies had wished to create, all of them similar to Mies's style. By the late 1960s, campus addition projects were given to SOM's Myron Goldsmith, who had worked with Mies during his education at IIT and thus was able to design several new buildings to harmonize well with the original campus. In 1976, the American Institute of Architects recognized the campus as one of the 200 most significant works of architecture in the United States. The new campus center, designed by Rem Koolhaas, and a new state-of-the-art residence hall designed by Helmut Jahn, State Street Village, opened in 2003. These were the first new buildings built on the Main Campus in 32 years.

The Mies Society offers both self-guided audio and docent-led tours of the architecture on campus.[28]


The university is in the process of developing a sustainability plan.[29]

Student life

There are numerous student organizations available on campus, including religious groups, academic groups, and student activity groups.

Three of IIT's major student organizations serve the entire student body: the Student Government Association (SGA), the Student Union Board (UB), and TechNews. SGA is the governing student body of IIT and acts as a liaison between the university administration and the student body, serves as a forum to express student opinion, and provides certain services to student organizations such as official recognition and distribution of funds.[30] UB serves as the main event programming group and plans over 180 on and off-campus events for students per year. Since 2005, UB has been particularly active and has increased the frequency of student activities, and is responsible for the emergence of the school spirit and booster group Scarlet Fever; UB it has been active since its founding on November 23, 1938.[31] TechNews is the campus paper and serves as a news outlet for campus interests and as another outlet for student opinion in both a weekly paper edition and online format; it has existed since at least the 1930s.[32]

IIT hosts a campus radio station, WIIT, with an antenna located atop Main Building and a radio studio in the McCormick Tribune Campus Center. In September 2007, IIT opened a nine-hole disc golf course which weaves around the academic buildings on the Main Campus and is the first disc golf course to appear within the Chicago city limits.

In anticipation of the opening of the McCormick Tribune Campus Center, the on-campus pub and bowling alley known as "The BOG" ceased operations in 2003. In response to students, faculty, and staff who missed the former campus hangout, the BOG reopened in February 2007.

On the sixth floor of Main Building is the IIT Model Railroad Club. Founded in 1948, the club builds and runs an H0 scale model railway layout that occupies much of the floor.

In the fall of 2007, the third generation of a cappella groups was formed, The TechTonics, a coed group of students. Within a year the organization expanded and now includes an all-male group, the Crown Joules, and an all-female group, the X-Chromotones. IIT A Cappella performs a variety of shows on campus as well as off campus and in the midwest. They perform shows at the end of each semester which showcase everything they have learned.[33]

The Illinois Institute of Technology Main Campus has an established Greek System, which consists of 7 fraternities and 3 sororities. Fraternities Sigma Phi Epsilon, Pi Kappa Phi, Delta Tau Delta, Alpha Sigma Phi, Phi Kappa Sigma, and Triangle and sororities Kappa Phi Delta, and Alpha Sigma Alpha have chapter houses. The Omega Delta fraternity and Zeta Pi Omega sorority do not. Fraternities and Sororities are active in community involvement, intramural sports, and campus leadership. Each spring, the IIT Greek Council holds Greek Week to showcase the athleticism, creativity, and fortitude of Greek students on campus.


Athletics logo

IIT's athletic teams compete in the NAIA Division I Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference. The Athletic Department is one of the few IIT departments which uses "Illinois Tech" instead of "IIT", and has done so since the beginning of IIT in 1940. Teams compete in soccer, baseball, swimming and diving, and cross country running for men, and soccer, volleyball, swimming and diving, and cross country running for women. IIT discontinued its men's and women's basketball program in 2009.[34]


  • Programming team went to 2004 and 2005 world finals.[35][36]
  • American Society of Civil Engineers Steel Bridge Team went to the 2008 National Competition after placing second in the 2008 Great Lakes Regional Competition.
  • The Formula Hybrid Team, of the Society of Automotive Engineers and IEEE, placed 3rd overall in the 2008 International Formula Hybrid Competition held in Loudon, New Hampshire, and placed placed 6th in 2007.
  • IIT student won the Northwestern university entrepreneur idol in 2008 and were finalists in 2009.

Notable people


  1. ^ a b c d "Illinois Institute of Technology - Best Colleges". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  2. ^ "John L. Anderson, President". Illinois Institute of Technology Office of the President. Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
  3. ^ "Alan W. Cramb, Provost". 
  4. ^ a b c "IIT Viewbook" (PDF). 2008. pp.  64. Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
  5. ^ "IIT Identity Standards Manual". 10 2001. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  6. ^ "Illinois Institute of Technology". Encyclopedia of Chicago. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  7. ^ a b "History of Illinois Institute of Technology". IIT. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  8. ^ "Evening Classes at the Armour Institute of Technology, 1906-1907". Encyclopedia of Chicago. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  9. ^ "The New England Magazine." Volume 16. New England Magazine Co.,1897.
  10. ^ "Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong 1901-1971". Red Hot Jazz. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  11. ^ Bear, Marjorie Warvelle; Bolger, George; Orawski, Tatiana Michelle (2007-12-27). A Mile Square of Chicago (1st ed.). Oak Brook, Illinois: TIPRAC. pp. 427. ISBN 9780963399540. OCLC 214074630. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  12. ^ a b "Past Presidents — George N. Carman". IIT. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  13. ^ a b c Schulze, Frank. "Illinois Institute of Technology: the campus guide : an architectural tour". Princeton Architectural Press, 2005. Page 4. ISBN 1568984820.
  14. ^ "IIT Science and Letters". IIT. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  15. ^ "IIT Armour College of Engineering". IIT. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  16. ^ "IIT College of Science and Letters". IIT. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  17. ^ a b Summerfield, Carol J.; Devine, Mary Elizabeth; Levi, Anthony. "International dictionary of university histories." Taylor & Francis, 1998. page 205. ISBN 1884964230.
  18. ^ "IIT College of Architecture". IIT. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  19. ^ "IIT Institute of Psychology". IIT. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  20. ^ "". IIT. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  21. ^ "Daily Herald". The Daily Herald. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  22. ^ "IIT Today, Dec 17, 2009". IIT. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  23. ^ "Chicago-Kent College of Law". IIT. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  24. ^ "IIT Stuart". IIT. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  25. ^ "Illinois Institute of Technology". The Princeton Review. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  26. ^ "Best Graduate Schools: Illinois Institute of Technology (Armour)". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  27. ^ "History". Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  28. ^ "Mies Society Tours". Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
  29. ^ "Sustainability". Illinois Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  30. ^ "IIT Student Government Association (SGA)". Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  31. ^ "IIT Student Union Board (UB)". Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  32. ^ "IIT TechNews". Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  33. ^ Shaughnessy, Ciaran (2008-05-06). "A Cappella Back at IIT". TechNews. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  34. ^ Olkon, Sara (2009-03-26). "IIT shuts down basketball program". Chicago Breaking News Center. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  35. ^
  36. ^

See also


External links

Simple English

The Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) is a private university in Chicago, Illinois, United States. It is one of the best universities in the United States as U.S. News & World Report, a magazine, puts it at number 97[needs proof]. Most students of this university focus on science or technology as their major, or subject they study most. IIT was created in 1940.


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