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Illinois Institute of Technology

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Title: Illinois Institute of Technology  
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Subject: Formula Hybrid, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Meyer Feldberg, Lewis Collens, IIT Institute of Design
Collection: 1890 Establishments in Illinois, Architecture Schools in Illinois, Association of Independent Technological Universities, Educational Institutions Established in 1890, Engineering Universities and Colleges in Illinois, Illinois Institute of Technology, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, South Side, Chicago, Technical Universities and Colleges, Technological Universities in the United States, Universities and Colleges in Chicago, Illinois, Universities and Colleges in Dupage County, Illinois
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Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Institute of Technology
Motto Transforming Lives. Inventing the Future.
Established 1890
Type Private, Space-grant
Endowment $194.2 million[1]
President John L. Anderson[2]
Provost Alan W. Cramb[3]
Academic staff 659[4]
Students 7,787[5]
Undergraduates 2,801[5]
Postgraduates 3,271[5]
Doctoral students 1,528[5]
Location Chicago, Illinois, USA
Campus Urban, 120 acres (48.6 ha)[4]
Newspaper TechNews
Colors IIT Scarlet      and IIT Gray     [6]
Athletics NCAA Division III (in transition)[7]
Sports 10 varsity teams
Nickname Scarlet Hawks
Mascot Talon the Hawk

Illinois Institute of Technology, commonly called Illinois Tech or IIT, is a private Ph.D.-granting research university located in Chicago, in the U.S. state of Illinois, with programs in engineering, science, psychology, architecture, business, communications, industrial technology, information technology, design and law.


  • History 1
    • Armour Institute of Technology 1.1
    • Lewis Institute 1.2
    • Lewis/Armour merger 1.3
    • Growth and expansion 1.4
    • Today 1.5
  • Academics 2
    • Academic units 2.1
    • Rankings 2.2
  • Campus 3
    • Architecture 3.1
    • Sustainability 3.2
  • Student life 4
    • Achievements 4.1
  • Athletics 5
  • Notable people 6
    • Faculty 6.1
    • Nobel laureates 6.2
  • See also 7
  • Notes 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


IIT was formed in 1940 by the merger of Armour Institute of Technology (founded in 1890) and Lewis Institute (founded in 1895).[8]

Armour Institute of Technology

Main building of Armour Tech on right ca. 1914

The Armour Institute of Technology was founded in 1890 with a donation of one million dollars ($25.2 million in 2012 dollars) from Philip Danforth Armour, Sr., a prominent Chicago meat packer and grain merchant.[9] 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 1890 until his death in 1921. Gunsaulus's sermon thus became known as the "Million Dollar Sermon".[9]

Centered at 33rd Street and Armour Avenue (now Federal Street),[10] Armour Institute of Technology opened its doors on September 14, 1890.[11] 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.[12]

Lewis Institute

Lewis Institute ca. 1903

Founded in 1895 from the estate of the Chicago real estate investor junior college in the United States.[14] 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.[14]

Lewis/Armour merger


  • Illinois Institute of Technology official website
  • Illinois Institute of Technology official athletics website

External links

  • Historical data from the IIT Archives
  • Campus building data from IIT Campus by Werner Blaser and from the IIT Campus Map.
  • Lynn Becker on Mies and the history of IIT


  1. ^ a b c d "Illinois Institute of Technology - Best Colleges".  
  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 "IIT Viewbook" (PDF). 2008. pp.  64. Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Quick Facts for Fall 2011". Illinois Institute of Technology. 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  6. ^ "IIT Identity Standards Manual". October 2001. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  7. ^ "Student athletic association helps ease transition to NCAA". TechNews. November 17, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Illinois Institute of Technology". Encyclopedia of Chicago. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  9. ^ a b "History of Illinois Institute of Technology". IIT. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  10. ^ "Evening Classes at the Armour Institute of Technology, 1906-1907". Encyclopedia of Chicago. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  11. ^ "The New England Magazine." Volume 16. New England Magazine Co.,1897.
  12. ^ "Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong 1901-1971". Red Hot Jazz. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  13. ^ Bear, Marjorie Warvelle; Bolger, George; Orawski, Tatiana Michelle (2007-12-27). A Mile Square of Chicago (1st ed.). Oak Brook, Illinois: TIPRAC. p. 427.  
  14. ^ a b "Past Presidents — George N. Carman". IIT. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  15. ^ a b c Schulze, Frank. "Illinois Institute of Technology: the campus guide : an architectural tour". Princeton Architectural Press, 2005. Page 4. ISBN 1-56898-482-0.
  16. ^ a b "S.R. Crown Hall". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2001-08-07. Retrieved 2010-04-22. 
  17. ^ "About IIT NROTC : History".  
  18. ^ "Midwest College of Engineering". Illinois Institute of Technology Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Campus. 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  19. ^ "IIT Science and Letters – Facts about CSL". IIT. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  20. ^ "IIT Armour College of Engineering". IIT. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  21. ^ "IIT College of Science and Letters". IIT. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  22. ^ a b Summerfield, Carol J.; Devine, Mary Elizabeth; Levi, Anthony. "International dictionary of university histories." Taylor & Francis, 1998. page 205. ISBN 1-884964-23-0.
  23. ^ "IIT College of Architecture". IIT. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  24. ^ "About Us". Illinois Institute of Technology. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  25. ^ "IIT Institute of Psychology". IIT. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  26. ^ "". IIT. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  27. ^ "Daily Herald Electronic Archives". The Daily Herald. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  28. ^ "IIT Today, Dec 17, 2009". IIT. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  29. ^ "About the School of Applied Technology at IIT". IIT. Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  30. ^ "Professional Learning International Programs". IIT. Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  31. ^ "Chicago-Kent College of Law". IIT. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  32. ^ "IIT Stuart". IIT. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  33. ^ "Best Colleges". U.S. News & World Report LP. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  34. ^ "Illinois Institute of Technology".  
  35. ^ "Illinois Institute of Technology".  
  36. ^ [1], Newsweek's Most Rigorous Schools 2012.
  37. ^ a b "Best Graduate Schools: Illinois Institute of Technology (Armour)".  
  38. ^ Institute for Food Safety and Health. "Commonsense Science. Uncommonly Practised." (PDF). Archived from the original on 21 July 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  39. ^ "IIT - Inventing the Future". Illinois Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2010-04-23. 
  40. ^ "IIT History - Inventing the Future". Illinois Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2010-04-22. 
  41. ^ "Visitor Information". Illinois Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2010-04-22. 
  42. ^ a b "Excerpt from the National Register Nomination for Chicago's Black Metropolis". National Park Service. Retrieved 2010-04-22. 
  43. ^ History"Bronzeville". Bronzeville Cultural Tour. Retrieved 2010-04-22. 
  44. ^ National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: BLACK METROPOLIS THEMATIC NOMINATION (PDF), National Park Service, 1985-11-07, retrieved 2010-04-22 
  45. ^ "Black Metropolis District". City of Chicago. Retrieved 2010-04-10. 
  46. ^ Hunt, D. Bradford (2009). Blueprint for Disaster: The Unraveling of Chicago Public Housing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 3.  
  47. ^ a b Hrya, Derek (2008). The new urban renewal: the economic transformation of Harlem and Bronzeville. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 89.  
  48. ^ Severinsen, Kay (1995-05-26). "A Rebirth in Bronzeville; Housing Renovation Boom Sparks Community Spirit" (subscription required). Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2010-04-23. 
  49. ^ Chicago Transit Authority. Rail 'L' System Map (Map). Retrieved 2010-04-23.
  50. ^
  51. ^ Reed, Cheryl (2003-10-01). "IIT architect would love encore Designer of student center would like to build high-rise here" (subscription required). Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2010-04-23. 
  52. ^ "Mies van der Rohe Dies at 83; Leader of Modern Architecture". The New York Times. 1969-08-19. Retrieved 2010-04-22. 
  53. ^ "Bauhaus Roots at IIT: A Heritage of Innovation and Experimentation". The Mies van der Rohe Society. Retrieved 2010-04-22. 
  54. ^ a b c "Original Master Plan". The Mies van der Rohe Society. Retrieved 2010-04-22. 
  55. ^ "Mies: The Man, The Legacy". Mies van der Rhoe Society. Retrieved 2010-04-23. 
  56. ^ "Alfred Caldwell". Illinois Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2100-04-22. 
  57. ^ Domer, Dennis. "The Last Master" (PDF). Inland Architect Magazine. p. 69. Retrieved 2010-04-22. 
  58. ^ Drell, Darienne (1997-09-28). "Rooted in design; Caldwell's Prairie-style landscapes are thriving" (subscription required). Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2020-04-23. 
  59. ^ Richards, J. M.; Pevsner, Nikolaus; Sharp, Dennis (2000). The Anti-Rationalists and the Rationalists. Oxford: Architectural Place.  
  60. ^ Schweiterman, Joseph P; Caspall, Dana M; Heron, Jane (2006). The politics of place : a history of zoning in Chicago. Chicago, IL: Lake Claremont Press. p. 51.  
  61. ^ National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Illinois Institute of Technology Academic Campus (PDF), National Park Service, 2005-08-12, retrieved 2010-04-22 
  62. ^ "The Princeton Review's Guide to 286 Green Colleges" (pdf). The Princeton Review. p. 76. Retrieved 2010-04-22. 
  63. ^ "IIT Student Government Association (SGA)". Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  64. ^ "IIT Student Union Board (UB)". Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  65. ^ "TechNews"IIT . Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  66. ^ Shaughnessy, Ciaran (2008-05-06). "A Cappella Back at IIT". TechNews. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  67. ^
  68. ^ ACM-ICPC World Finals Official Standings
  69. ^ "Illinois Institute of Technology Names Joe Hakes As New Athletic Director". ILLINOIS TECH MEDIAROOM. Illinois Institute of Technology. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  70. ^ Olkon, Sara (2009-03-26). "IIT shuts down basketball program". Chicago Breaking News Center. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  71. ^  
  72. ^  


See also


Nobel laureates

Notable people

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. IIT discontinued its men's and women's basketball program after the 2008-09 season.,[70] but it was re-instated beginning the 2012-13 season. Recently, IIT even started a cricket team as a part of non-varsity sports level. Their cricket team competes in Division II of the Midwest Cricket Conference.

The university previously competed in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) at the NAIA Division I level in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) until 2012.

Illinois Tech (IIT) athletic teams, known as the Scarlet Hawks includes Men's sports such as baseball, basketball, cross country, soccer, swimming and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, track & field and volleyball. After the introduction of a new Athletic Director, Joe Hakes, The Scarlet Hawks are transitioning to NCAA Division III Athletics.[69]


  • Programming team went to 2004 and 2005 world finals.[67][68]
  • 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 6th in 2007.
  • IIT students won the Northwestern University Entrepreneur Idol in 2008 and were finalists in 2009.
Athletics logo


The Illinois Institute of Technology Main Campus has an established Greek System, which consists of 6 fraternities and 3 sororities. Fraternities Pi Kappa Phi, Delta Tau Delta, Alpha Sigma Phi, Phi Kappa Sigma, and Triangle fraternity and sororities Kappa Phi Delta, and Alpha Sigma Alpha have chapter houses. The Zeta Pi Omega sorority and Omega Delta fraternity do not.

[66] In the fall of 2007, the third generation of

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

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. However, in response to students, faculty, and staff who missed the former campus hangout, the Bog reopened in February 2007 and is now open every Thursday and Friday night offering bowling, billiards, table tennis, and video games. The Bog is also home to the campus bar, which serves beer and wine, and hosts weekly events such as comedians, live bands, or karaoke nights on its stage.

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.

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.[63] 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.[64] 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.[65]

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

Student life

In 2010, IIT received the Princeton Review's highest sustainability rating among universities in Illinois, tied with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.[62]


In 1976, American Institute of Architects named the IIT campus one of the 200 most significant works of architecture in the United States.[60] The IIT Main Campus was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.[61]

Though Mies had emphasized his wish to complete the campus he had begun, commissions from the late 50s onward were given to Skidmore, Owings & 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.

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 houses the architecture school, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2001.[16]

The campus, roughly bounded between 31st and 35th streets, Michigan Avenue and the Dan Ryan Expressway, was designed by modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, "one of the great figures of 20th-century architecture",[52] who chaired the IIT School of Architecture from 1938 to 1958.[53] Van der Rohe's master plan for the IIT campus was one of the most ambitious projects he ever conceived and the campus, with twenty of his works, is the greatest concentration of his buildings in the world.[54] The layout of the campus departs radically from "traditional college quadrangles and limestone buildings".[54] The materials are inspired by the factories and warehouses of Chicago's South Side[54] and "embod[y] 20th century methods and materials: steel and concrete frames with curtain walls of brick and glass."[55] The campus was landscaped by van der Rohe's close colleague at IIT, Alfred Caldwell,[56] "the last representative of the Prairie School of landscape architects."[57] Known as "the nature poet",[58] Caldwell's plan reinforced van der Rohe's design with "landscaping planted in a free-flowing manner, which in its interaction with the pristine qualities of the architecture, introduce[d] a poetic aspect."[59]

The McCormick Tribune Campus Center. Icons of male figures in action are placed throughout the building; several are visible at the lower left.[51]
Perlstein Hall: one of the campus buildings designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe


Today IIT continues to support the Historic Bronzeville area by sponsoring non-for-profits such as The Renaissance Collaborative.[50]

In 1941, the Chicago Housing Authority began erecting massive public housing developments in the area.[46] By 1990, the IIT campus was encircled by high-rise housing projects rife with crime.[47] The projects were demolished beginning in the 1999,[47] and the area began to revitalize, with major renovations to King Drive and many of the historic structures and an influx of new, upscale, housing developments.[48] Neighborhood features include U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox, Burnham Park and 31st Street Beach on the Lake Michigan waterfront, and historical buildings from the heyday of the Black Metropolis era, including the Chicago Bee Building, the Eighth Regiment Armory, and the Overton Hygienic Building. The campus is bordered on the west by the Chicago 'L' Red Line, which runs parallel to Lake Michigan north to Rogers Park and south to 95th street. The Green Line bisects the campus and runs north to the Loop and then west to the near west suburbs and south to the Museum Campus and the University of Chicago.[49]

The 120-acre (48.6 ha)[40] IIT main campus is centered around 33rd and State Streets, approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) south of the Chicago Loop in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago,[41] part of the Douglas community area. Also known as the Black Metropolis District, the area is a landmark in African-American history.[42] Following rapid growth during the Great Migration of African-Americans from the south between 1910 and 1920, it became home to numerous African-American owned businesses and cultural institutions and offered an alternative to the race restrictions that were prevalent in the rest of the city.[42] The area was home to author Gwendolyn Brooks, civil rights activist Ida B. Wells, bandleader Louis Armstrong, pilot Bessie Coleman and many other famous African-Americans during the mid-20th century.[43] The nine extant structures from that period were added jointly to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986[44] and designated a Chicago Landmark in 1998.[45]

The Paul V. Galvin Library, designed by architect Walter Netsch in 1962. It is named for the founder of Motorola.[39]

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.

Several buildings on the Illinois Institute of Technology main campus, such as Machinery Hall pictured here, have been designated as Chicago Landmarks and National Register of Historic Places.

IIT has five campuses:


  • IIT was featured on Princeton Review's 2014 list of 378 best colleges in the United States and on its list of Best Midwest Colleges.[34]
  • IIT was ranked as a tier 1 university being the 109th best university nationally (climbing four places up from the previous year), and the fourth best university in the Chicago metropolitan area (after the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and Loyola University Chicago), based on U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges 2014"[1][35]
  • IIT was featured as #24 on Newsweek's College Rankings 2012: Most Rigorous Schools list[36]
  • IIT was ranked the 72nd best graduate school for engineering in U.S. News & World Report's "Best Graduate Schools 2014"[37]
  • IIT-Kent was ranked as a tier 1 law school being the 68th best law school nationally (5th in Trial Advocacy, 11th in Intellectual Property Law, and 21st in Part-time Law) based on U.S. News & World Report."[1]
  • According to the U.S. News & World Report, IIT's Aerospace Engineering was ranked 21, Materials Engineering was ranked 59, Chemical Engineering was ranked 60 and Biomedical Engineering was ranked 61.[37]
  • Payscale ranked IIT #5 among Midwestern universities for the salary potential of its graduates who earn a bachelor’s degree.
University rankings
U.S. News & World Report[33] 109


IIT also offers many dual admission programs including programs in medicine, optometry, pharmacy, law, and business. The programs in medicine are particularly competitive and include an 8-year program with Midwestern University leading to a D.O. degree and a 6-year program with Rush University leading to a M.D. degree, both of which are earned after satisfactory completion of a bachelor's degree from IIT. The IIT/Midwestern program accepts anywhere from 5-10 students each year, and the IIT/Rush program accepts anywhere from 0-4 students each year.

With a bequest from IIT alumnus and financier Harold Leonard Stuart the IIT Stuart School of Business was established in 1969.[32] In addition to the M.B.A. and Ph.D., IIT Stuart offers specialized programs in Finance, Mathematical Finance (provided in conjunction with the IIT Department of Applied Mathematics), Environmental Management and Sustainability (provided in conjunction with the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law and Department of Civic, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering), Marketing Communications, and Public Administration.

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.[31] It wasn't until 1969 that the school was incorporated into Illinois Institute of Technology.[22]

The School of Applied Technology was founded as the Center for Professional Development in 2001 in order to provide technology oriented education for working professionals.[26][27] In December 2009, IIT announced the formation of the School of Applied Technology, 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).[28] These programs were all formerly part of the Center for Professional Development. Professional Learning Programs offers non-credit continuing education courses and certificates, corporate training, a Professional Engineering Exam Review program, international programs including English as a Second Language instruction, short courses and seminars ranging from a few hours to several days in length.[29][30]

The Department of Psychology, formerly known as the Institute of Psychology, was incorporated along with Department of Humanities and Department of Social Sciences into the Lewis College of Human Sciences in 2013;[24] the first psychology degrees were awarded in 1926.[25]

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.[23]

The Institute of Design was founded in 1937 as the New Bauhaus: Chicago School of Design by László Moholy-Nagy. It became known as the Institute of Design in 1944 and later joined Illinois Institute of Technology in 1949.[22]

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.[21]

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.[19] 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.[20]

IIT is divided into: four colleges (Armour College of Engineering, College of Science and Letters, College of Architecture, Chicago-Kent College of Law), two institutes (Institute of Design, Institute of Psychology), two schools (School of Applied Technology, Stuart School of Business), 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.

Academic units


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.

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 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.

Main Building of the Armour Institute of Technology


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."

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.[18] 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.

State Street Village IIT dormitories

Engineering and research also saw great growth and expansion from the 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.

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[17] the school saw a large increase in students and expanded the Armour campus beyond its original 7 acres (2.83 ha). 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 (48.6 ha) 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.

S.R. Crown Hall on the Illinois Institute of Technology campus. Designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1956, it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2001.[16]

Growth and expansion

[15]. 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.Chicago Stadium 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 [15]

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