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    Illinois Institute of Technology

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    Chicago, IL 60616

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    The Sermon and the Institute

    In 1890, when advanced education was often reserved for society's elite, Chicago minister Frank Wakely Gunsaulus delivered what came to be known as the "Million Dollar Sermon." From the pulpit of his South Side church, near the site Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) now occupies, Gunsaulus said that with a million dollars he could build a school where students of all backgrounds could prepare for meaningful roles in a changing industrial society.

    Philip Danforth Armour, Sr.
    Philip Danforth Armour, Sr.

    Frank Wakely Gunsaulus
    Frank Wakely Gunsaulus

    Frank Wakely Gunsaulus
    Allen C. Lewis

    Inspired by Gunsaulus' vision, Philip Danforth Armour, Sr. (1832-1901) gave $1 million to found Armour Institute. He initiated a family legacy of contribution to the university, starting with his wife, Malvina Belle Ogden Armour (1842-1927) and their son J. (Jonathan) Ogden Armour (1863-1927). When Armour Institute opened in 1893, the institute offered professional courses in engineering, chemistry, architecture and library science.

    IIT was created in 1940 by the merger of Armour Institute with Lewis Institute. Lewis Institute was established in 1895 by the estate of hardware merchant and investor Allen C. Lewis, who envisioned a “school where men and women could secure an education to fit them for their life-work and to be a service to their community and a credit to their country.” Lewis Institute was located on the west side of Chicago and offered liberal arts as well as science and engineering courses.

    The Institute of Design, founded in 1937, merged with IIT in 1949.

    Last modified: 02/26/2014 18:59:15

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