Hall of Fame

Throughout the university's history, the Illinois Institute of Technology community has been fortunate to have the support of exceptional trustees, alumni, faculty, and friends. Their outstanding contributions and achievements are represented by their inclusion in the Illinois Institute of Technology Hall of Fame.

Read more about the achievements of Illinois Tech faculty, staff, and alumni in Illinois Tech Magazine.

 

Valdas V. Adamkus

Valdas V. Adamkus

Valdas V. Adamkus (CE ’61, Hon. Ph.D. ’99), a Lithuanian immigrant had a 27-year career with the United States Environmental Protection Agency after which he returned to his homeland to serve as president for two terms [1998–2003, 2004–09]. Adamkus’s career with the EPA was capped by his appointment as administrator of EPA Region 5, responsible for all air, water, hazardous waste, and other pollution-control efforts in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. In 1985 President Ronald Reagan presented him with the President’s Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service.

 

Philip Danforth Armour Sr.

Philip Danforth Armour Sr.

Founders Group

Business tycoon, captain of industry, philanthropist, the richest man in Chicago—all of these terms identify Philip Danforth Armour Sr. Inspired by minister Frank Wakely Gunsaulus’s vision of building a school to provide accessible higher education to all, Armour gave $1 million in 1890 to found Armour Institute, a predecessor of IIT. His initial gift multiplied several times over as he, his spouse, Malvina Belle Ogden, and their son J. Ogden each contributed to the growth and support of the college from their own personal wealth for the next 30 years.

 

Alex D. Bailey

Alex D. Bailey

Founders Group

A graduate of Lewis Institute and a member of the Lewis Institute Board of Trustees, Alexander D. Bailey served as board chairman. In his professional life he was an executive within the Commonwealth Edison power plant system. In 1939 Bailey and Armour Institute of Technology board chairman James D. Cunningham announced the merger of the two institutes to form Illinois Institute of Technology. Following the merger, Bailey served on the IIT Board of Trustees until his death.

 

Joseph Bailey

Joseph M. Bailey

Founders Group

Along with Thomas A. Moran, Joseph M. Bailey, a former chief justice of Illinois, co-founded the Chicago Evening Law Class, which later became the Chicago College of Law (the law department at Lake Forest University), with Bailey serving as dean from 1888 to 1895. Chicago College of Law later merged with Kent College of Law to form Chicago-Kent College of Law; in 1969 Chicago-Kent became Illinois Tech’s law school.

 

Florence Bassett

Florence K. Bassett

Architecture

A prolific architect, design consultant, and furniture designer, Florence K. Bassett created the Knoll Associates Planning Unit, which she also directed for many years. She helped to set the standards for modern interior design. Her work has been designated “good design” by the Museum of Modern Art. The American Institute of Architects awarded her its Gold Medal for professional excellence.

 

Julia A. Beveridge

Julia A. Beveridge

For more than three decades Julia A. Beveridge was involved with Armour Institute of Technology. She first benefited the institute through Plymouth Church and Armour Mission, where she taught practical skills to neighborhood children and served as librarian. Recruited by Philip Armour and Frank Gunsaulus to help staff Armour Institute of Technology from its inception, Beveridge served as registrar and assistant librarian, and then as librarian for the last 20 years until her death in 1919.

 

David P. Boder

David P. Boder

Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology 1927–1952 IIT and Lewis Institute

David P. Boder was a former faculty member and head of the Department of Psychology and Philosophy at Chicago’s Lewis Institute (one of IIT’s predecessor colleges), and researcher of displaced persons later known as Holocaust survivors. In 1946 Boder traveled from IIT to Eastern Europe, taking with him a 50-pound wire recorder and 200 spools of carbon steel wire on which he recorded 119 interviews with individuals. These interviews provide the first and only known audio record of this important part of history. His 1949 book, I Did Not Interview the Dead, captures eight of these stories. Materials from Boder’s Voices of the Holocaust project were placed on permanent loan to the Illinois Holocaust Museum, which opened in Skokie in 2009, and the U.S. Holocaust Museum has since re-interviewed survivors.

 

Robert H. “Pete” Bragg II

Robert H. “Pete” Bragg II

Physics 1949, M.S. 1951, Ph.D. 1960

Robert H. “Pete” Bragg II was an expert in X-ray crystallography and X-ray diffraction, and their applications to the structure and electronic properties of carbon materials. Bragg worked at Dover Electroplating Company, Portland Cement Association Research Laboratory, and Lockheed Missiles and Space Company. In 1969 he accepted a full professorship and joint appointment in the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was the only African American in his department until 1987. Bragg moved up the ranks in the military and served as a United States Army lieutenant in World War II. He was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 1992 to conduct research for one year at Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria. A fellow of the National Society of Black Physicists, Bragg received the society’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015.

 

Rowine H. Brown Truitt

Rowine H. Brown Truitt

Law 1961

A humanitarian in medicine and the law, Rowine H. Brown Truitt significantly advanced a humanitarian approach to medical treatment in hospitals and to the rule of law in society. As medical director and chief of staff at a major U.S. hospital (Cook County Hospital, now John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital)—the first woman to hold this position—she pioneered advances in medicine, law, and the interaction of the two, particularly in the area of child abuse.

 

Fanny Butcher

Fanny Butcher

Lewis Institute 1908

Fanny Butcher was owner of the popular Chicago bookstore Fanny Butcher Books, which became a literary salon. She was also a renowned literary critic and columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Butcher’s autobiography, Many Lives, One Love, chronicles her friendships with such major literary figures as Ernest Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis, and Edna Ferber.

 

Alfred Caldwell

Alfred Caldwell

Influential Prairie School landscape designer Alfred Caldwell was an alumnus and the first full-time faculty member in Illinois Tech’s department of architecture in the Collage of architecture, planning, and design. A protégé of noted landscape architect Jens Jensen, he was also influenced by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Caldwell’s many contributions to Chicago include the Lincoln Park Zoo Rookery, Promontory Point near Hyde Park, and the addition of groves to Illinois Tech’s Main Campus.

 

Marvin Camras

Marvin Camras

BS Electrical Engineering 1940, MS Electrical Engineering 1942

A Chicago native and IIT alumnus, Marvin Camras created an innovative magnetic recording head during his undergraduate years that improved sound quality by impressing a recording symmetrically on a wire by the gap of air between the wire and the head. His research led to developments that underlie many modern recording and communication techniques. Camras received numerous awards for his work, most notably the 1990 National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

 

George N. Carman

George N. Carman

Founders Group

George N. Carman served as director of Lewis Institute from its founding. He was a leader in the field of higher education, pioneering the junior college system and school accreditation. Though the term was not then used, Lewis Institute was the first junior college in the United States. Carman also was one of the originators of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

 

Martin Cooper

Martin Cooper

Electrical Engineering 1950, M.S. 1957

Martin “Marty” Cooper developed an early version of the mobile handheld cell phone in the 1960s in response to a Chicago police superintendent’s request for a device that would help keep officers connected while working their beats. Cooper, a senior engineer at Motorola, and his team outfitted the officers with a microphone and an antenna that they wore on their shoulders, using an early type of a cellular system. In the early 1970s, Cooper’s team developed not only the first handheld cell phone but also a system to support it. In 1973 Cooper placed the first mobile cell phone call—phoning his counterpart at Bell Labs, Joel Engel. Today Cooper is considered a global thought leader on personal communication devices, wireless technology, and spectrum use. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the National Academy of Engineering Charles Stark Draper Prize and the Prince of Asturias Award for technical and scientific research. He is a fellow of the IEEE and the Radio Club of America, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

 

Frank Crossley

Frank Crossley

Chemical Engineering 1945
M.S. Metallurgical Engineering 1947, Ph.D. 1950

Frank Crossley broke ground three times: He was the first African-American United States Navy officer, the first person to earn a Ph.D. in metallurgical engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology, and the first person of African ancestry in the world to earn a Ph.D. in the field. His successes in the military led then President Harry S. Truman to issue an executive order in 1948 to desegregate the U.S. Armed Forces. Crossley went on to become a professor and department head of foundry engineering at Tennessee State University, and held research positions with IIT Research Institute, Aerojet TechSystems Company, and Lockheed Missile and Space Company, where he earned a patent for inventing a new class of titanium alloys. He eventually received a total of seven patents and authored more than 60 papers.

 

James D. Cunningham

James D. Cunningham

Founders Group

Orphaned by the age of 13, James D. Cunningham was a successful Chicago businessman who achieved success in the classic American rags to riches story. In 1932 he accepted the chairmanship of the Armour Institute of Technology Board of Trustees. Seven years later Cunningham and Alexander D. Bailey, chairman of the Lewis Institute Board of Trustees, announced the merger of the two institutes to form Illinois Institute of Technology. Cunningham then accepted the board chairmanship of the newly created Illinois Tech, which he held until 1961.

 

Lee de Forest

Lee de Forest

Faculty 1899-1901

Lee de Forest served as a faculty member at Armour Institute of Technology and Lewis Institute during the turn of the twentieth century. During that time he conducted his first long-distance broadcasts from the roof of Main Building. He invented the Audion three-element vacuum tube; the resulting tube amplified electric signals and served as a fast-switching element that later would be used in digital electronics. De Forest also patented a method of recording sound on film that the movie industry would later adopt. He received an honorary Oscar, was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was inducted posthumously into the National Radio Hall of Fame.

 

Lloyd H. Donnell

Lloyd H. Donnell

A mechanical engineering faculty member from 1939–1962 and an internationally renowned expert in engineering mechanics, Lloyd H. Donnell is best known for formulating the Donnell equations, which simplify the equations for the design of thin-walled shells such as storage tanks, rockets, and submarine hulls. He was founding editor of Applied Mechanics Reviews, the bi-monthly magazine published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

 

Marshall D. Ewell

Marshall D. Ewell

Founders Group

A respected lawyer, educator, and doctor, Marshall D. Ewell founded Kent College of Law, which merged with Chicago College of Law in 1900 to become Chicago-Kent College of Law. Chicago-Kent merged with Illinois Tech in 1969. He is credited with helping to move the study of law out of judges’ chambers and into the academic arena of university classrooms, thereby emphasizing the benefits of formal academic study as entrée into the fields of law and public office.

 

William F. Finkl

William F. Finkl

Armour Institute, ChE 1918

Former chairman of A. Finkl & Sons Co. (now Finkl Steel), the steel company his grandfather founded in 1879, William F. Finkl introduced quality control into the steel industry. He invented numerous steel alloys, particularly those used in creating forging dies, and patented manufacturing processes for steel fabrication. Finkl was a member of the Illinois Tech Board of Trustees beginning in 1948. In 1980 IIT’s interactive television network was named in his honor.

 

Max Frocht

Max Frocht

A Polish émigré, Max Frocht served on Illinois Tech’s mechanical engineering faculty from 1946–1960 and then directed the university’s Laboratory for Experimental Stress Analysis. His classic two-volume treatise on photoelasticity was translated into Russian, Spanish, and Chinese. The M. M. Frocht Award, created in his honor, is presented annually by the Society for Experimental Mechanics and recognizes “outstanding achievement as an educator in the field of experimental mechanics.”

 

Robert Galvin

Robert W. Galvin

Robert W. Galvin transformed Motorola into a global leader in the manufacture and distribution of cellular phones and other telecommunications devices. Under his leadership, Motorola developed the Six Sigma quality improvement strategy, earning it the first Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1988. He became an IIT trustee in 1953 and served as board chairman from 1979–1990. He and Robert A. Pritzker co-initiated the IIT Challenge Campaign with their $120 million gift in 1996. He received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 1991 and was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2002.

 

Benny Goodman

Benny Goodman

Honorary LL. D, 1968

Known as the “King of Swing,” Benny Goodman attended Lewis Institute in 1923 as a high school sophomore while also playing the clarinet in a dance hall band. In 1938 he brought his music from the dance floor to international recognition of swing in a historic concert in New York’s Carnegie Hall. The legendary orchestra conductor and jazz musician received an honorary LL.D. degree from IIT in 1968.

 

Frank W. Gunsaulus

Frank W. Gunsaulus

Founders Group

Frank W. Gunsaulus was a noted preacher, educator, and pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church who delivered the “Million Dollar Sermon,” which inspired Philip Danforth Armour Sr. to found Armour Institute. Gunsaulus then served as the school’s president for nearly 30 years. He was an avid book and art collector, and a noted authority on rare manuscripts and Wedgwood Pottery.

 

Grant L. Hansen

Grant L. Hansen

BS EE 1948

An aerospace innovator, Pearl Harbor survivor, and IIT alumnus, Grant L. Hansen was instrumental in achieving both technical excellence and rapid progress for the United States space exploration program. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1977 for contributions to and engineering management of major missile programs.

 

Samuel I. Hayakawa

Samuel I. Hayakawa

Samuel I. Hayakawa was an Illinois Tech English faculty member from 1939–1948 and an internationally recognized semanticist. During his IIT tenure, he published his first book on the meaning of language, the best-selling Language in Thought and Action. He served as president of San Francisco State University from 1968–1973, and in 1977 took office as a U.S. senator from California at age 70.

 

Henry T. Heald

Henry T. Heald

Founders Group

As president of Armour Institute of Technology, Henry T. Heald was one of the key people responsible for the merger of Armour with Lewis Institute to create Illinois Institute of Technology in 1940. Healed served as president of IIT from 1940–1952, during which time he established the quality of IIT’s faculty by recruiting outstanding American and European scholars during World War II, including Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Under his guidance, Illinois Tech developed from a small engineering school into a significant technology center. Upon retirement from academia in 1956, Heald served as president of The Ford Foundation. He appeared on the cover of Time magazine in 1957.

 

Vice Admiral Diego E. Hernandez, Retired

Vice Admiral Diego E. Hernandez, Retired

Psychology 1955

Vice Admiral Diego E. Hernandez’s military career spanned from 1955–1991. A naval aviator, he piloted fighter jets from several aircraft carriers and went on to lead 147 combat missions in Vietnam. In 1980 Hernandez became commanding officer of the USS John F. Kennedy and was the first Hispanic to serve as commanding officer of a United States Navy aircraft carrier. In 1982 he was named commander of U.S. Naval Forces Caribbean and in 1986 became commander of the U.S. Third Fleet. He also served as deputy commander-in-chief of the U.S. Space Command as well as vice commander-in-chief of the North American Aerospace Defense Command. Before his retirement, he was the highest-ranking Hispanic in the U.S. military. Hernandez’s military awards include the Silver Star, Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal. Hernandez’s homeland of Puerto Rico presented him with the National Puerto Rican Coalition Life Achievement Award in 1987.

 

Ludwig C. Hilberseimer

Ludwig C. Hilberseimer

Ludwig C. Hilberseimer was an associate of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe at the Bauhaus who joined Mies at Armour Institute of Technology in 1938 and taught at Illinois Institute of Technology until his death in 1967. The founder and chair of Illinois Tech’s Department of City and Regional Planning, Hilberseimer was an advocate of “breathing space” around downtown buildings and is credited with helping change Chicago’s building codes to encourage such space.

 

Max Jakob

Max Jakob

An internationally known expert in heat transfer, Max Jakob was a faculty member at Armour Institute of Technology and research scientist at Armour Research Foundation. Late twentieth-century scientists and textbooks continued to cite Jakob’s pioneering research on heat transfer and fluid flow, the fundamental principles of which found applications in the nuclear, electronics, and aerospace industries. In 1961 the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers established the Max Jakob Memorial Award.

 

Martin Kilpatrick

Martin Kilpatrick

A nationally known chemist and academician, Martin Kilpatrick chaired IIT’s Department of Chemistry from 1947–1960, leading it to prominence in both undergraduate and graduate instruction and in faculty research. As a scientist, he made his mark in kinetic chemistry and wrote more than 120 papers on a variety of subjects ranging from the base strength of hydrocarbons to chemistry curricula. Illinois Tech’s annual Kilpatrick Lecture and Kilpatrick Fellowship honor Kilpatrick and his wife, Mary, who was a chemistry faculty member from 1947–1964.

 

Weymouth Kirkland

Weymouth Kirkland

Law 1901

Known as a champion of freedom of the press, trial attorney Weymouth Kirkland won cases that are considered landmarks in the field of newspaper law. In 1915 he became general counsel for the Chicago Tribune and several other newspapers, and supervised the legal work pertaining to the founding of the New York Daily News as part of the law firm that would today be known as Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Kirkland was considered to be the firm’s dominant figure during its first 50 years.

 

Phyllis Lambert

Phyllis Lambert

M.S. Architecture 1963

Phyllis Lambert was a design visionary from an early age. At 27, she convinced her father to hire Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to design the building that would be his company’s new headquarters in New York City. In doing so she helped to catapult Mies to international prominence and to permanently alter the city’s skyline. She later studied architecture at IIT, receiving her M.S. in 1963, and since then has been a strong supporter of the College of Architecture. This includes serving as an overseer of the college, advocating for renewal support of architecture on campus, and leading IIT to commission Rem Koolhaas to design The McCormick Tribune Campus Center as a juror for the competition that awarded that project. Lambert, a licensed architect, founded the Canadian Centre for Architecture in 1979 and has advocated strongly for the continued rehabilitation of her home city of Montreal. In honor of her work she was awarded the 2014 Golden Lion Award at the Venice Architecture Biennale, one of the highest recognitions in the world.

 

Allen Cleveland Lewis

Allen Cleveland Lewis

Founders Group

Allen C. Lewis’s initial bequest of $550,000 had increased to more than $1.6 million by 1895, when it was used to form Lewis Institute, the predecessor school that along with Armour Institute merged in 1940 to create Illinois Institute of Technology. In 2013 the Illinois Tech Department of Humanities, the College of Psychology, and the Department of Social Sciences combined to form Lewis College of Human Sciences.

 

Edwin H. Lewis

Edwin H. Lewis

A descendent of the founder of Lewis Institute, Edwin H. Lewis held various faculty and administrative posts at Lewis Institute, which included serving as its original dean, from its founding until circa 1936, and was instrumental in determining the character of the school. A humorist, musician, poet, and benefactor, Lewis also was zealous about science and technology. He helped shape the careers and characters of writers, publishers, and editors including Arthur Krock, Fanny Butcher, and Dorothy Thompson. He died destitute, which inspired his student Ethel Andrus to found the National Retired Teachers Association in 1956 and, later, AARP.

 

Henry R. Linden

Henry R. Linden

BS ChE 1952

Considered one of the nation’s leading energy experts, Henry R. Linden was known for his research in petrochemical and synthetic fuels processes, including coal gasification. He joined the Illinois Tech faculty in 1954 until his death in 2009. Past-president of the Institute of Gas Technology, Linden organized the Gas Research Institute—the United States natural gas industry's cooperative research and development arm—and served as a federal advisor on energy research, development, and policy. Linden was interim president of IIT from 1989–1990 and in 1974 was elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering.

 

Abraham Marovitz

Abraham Marovitz

Law 1925

Abraham Marovitz’s legal career began in 1922, at the age of 16, when he began work as an office boy at the law firm today known as Mayer Brown LLP. Marovitz was 19 when he graduated from what is today known as IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. He was an assistant Cook County state’s attorney from 1927–1933. In 1938 he was elected as the first Jewish state senator in Illinois, sponsoring the first fair housing bill introduced in the legislature. During World War II he served in the Marine Corps and in 1950 he was elected as a judge of the Superior Court of Illinois, later serving as chief judge of the Criminal Court of Cook County. In 1963 President John F. Kennedy appointed him U.S. District Judge; he took senior status 12 years later. He continued to work at the E. M. Dirksen United States Courthouse up until his death. Among his numerous honorary degrees and awards was the Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Award.

 

Karl Menger

Karl Menger

Faculty 1946-1971, Doctorate 1983

Karl Menger is regarded as one of the great mathematicians of the twentieth century, having made significant contributions to dimension theory, geometry, probability, and other fields. After Hitler’s rise to power in the 1930s, Menger left his home in Austria-Hungary and sought refuge in the United States. Following a professorship at the University of Notre Dame, he joined IIT as a professor of mathematics in 1946 and remained on faculty until 1971. Perhaps most notable among his accomplishments is his creation of the three-dimensional “Menger sponge.”

 

Lázló Moholy-Nagy

Lázló Moholy-Nagy

A leading designer at the Bauhaus in Germany, Lázló Moholy-Nagy founded and directed the New Bauhaus in Chicago and its ultimate successor, the Institute of Design, which became part of Illinois Tech in 1949. His commitment to the unity of art and technology made him one of the most influential art and design theorists of the first half of the twentieth century.

 

Thomas A. Moran

Thomas A. Moran

Founders Group

Lawyer, judge, and educator, Thomas A. Moran was dean of Chicago College of Law, which merged with Kent College of Law in 1902 to become Chicago-Kent College of Law. In 1879 he was elected as a judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County and was the first Irish-American elected to the Cook County bench. Moran was appointed justice of the Appellate Court by the Illinois Supreme Court and in 1892 resigned to practice law in the firm Moran, Kraus, Mayer, and Stein. He then became dean of Chicago College of Law, where he also taught.

 

Thomas J. Moran

Thomas J. Moran

Law 1950

Illinois State Supreme Court justice. Moran devoted more than 50 years to serving the people of Illinois as Lake County state’s attorney, circuit judge, chief judge of the 19th judicial circuit, Second District Appellate Court and Illinois State Supreme Court.

 

Richard B. Ogilvie

Richard B. Ogilvie

Law 1949

Richard B. Ogilvie served from 1969 to 1973 as the 35th governor of the State of Illinois. During his administration, Illinois became one of the first states to enact sweeping environmental legislation. Also during his tenure, a constitutional convention was held that produced the first comprehensive reform of Illinois government in this century. Ogilvie later became a partner in the Chicago law firm of Isham, Lincoln, and Beale.

 

Donald F. Othmer

Donald F. Othmer

Armour Institute 1923

World-renowned chemical engineer, innovator, and academic, Donald F. Othmer was the author of hundreds of technical articles and a founding editor of the 17-volume Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. A Distinguished Professor at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (now New York University), he taught for nearly 60 years. Othmer held more than 150 patents and helped to develop the powerful World War II explosive RDX.

 

Harris Perlstein

Harris Perlstein

Armour Institute 1914

An accomplished executive and generous philanthropist, Harris Perlstein served as chair of the Pabst Brewing Company, a director of the Pabst Breweries Foundation, and board president of the Perlstein Foundation. A longtime member of the IIT Board of Trustees, Perlstein served as chair from 1967 to 1971. During that time, the university acquired Chicago-Kent College of Law and established Stuart School of Business. Perlstein Hall on IIT Main Campus is named in honor of Perlstein’s first wife, Anne.

 

Walter Peterhans

Walter Peterhans

A German Bauhaus photographer and art historian, Walter Peterhans was recruited by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in the 1930s to develop a visual training curriculum for the architecture program at Armour Institute of Technology. The Visual Training course he founded was considered groundbreaking in architecture education. Peterhans is also known for the portraits and industrial images he produced in his private studio and on commercial assignment.

 

Robert Alan Pritzker

Robert Alan Pritzker

BS IE 1946, Honorary Doctorate 1984

Robert Alan Pritzker was associated with IIT on many levels: as an alumnus, teacher, benefactor, chair of the Board of Trustees, and University Regent. In 1954 he became president of the Colson Company, which in 1964 merged with his other companies as The Marmon Group. In 1982 Pritzker’s foresight and financial support led to the creation of the Pritzker Institute for Biomedical Engineering. In 1996 he and fellow trustee Robert W. Galvin each made a $60 million pledge to initiate the successful $250 million IIT Challenge Campaign.

 

Grote Reber

Grote Reber

Armour Institute 1933

Alumnus Grote Reber is widely recognized as a founding father of radio astronomy. In 1937, at age 22, he constructed the world’s first telescope designed specifically for radio astronomical observations of space in his backyard in Wheaton, Ill. From 1938 to 1943 Reber made the first surveys of celestial radio waves; in 1944 his first maps of the radio sky were published. Beginning in 1954 he assembled a series of telescopic arrays in Tasmania to study galactic and solar radio emissions at even longer wavelengths. An asteroid (6886 Grote), a medal (the Grote Reber Medal, administered by the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Tasmania), and a museum (the Grote Reber Museum at the University of Tasmania Mt. Pleasant Radio Telescope Observatory) are named for him.

 

Leonard Reiffel

Leonard Reiffel

Inventor, educator, entrepreneur, and IIT alumnus, Leonard Reiffel has made contributions to nuclear physics, optics, electronics, video systems, and space sciences. He served as group vice president for Illinois Tech Research Institute, deputy director of NASA’s Project Apollo program, and on-air science commentator for CBS radio and television. Reiffel also invented the telestrator, popularly used in television sports to show game strategies. His many honors include the Peabody Award.

 

John T. Rettaliata

John T. Rettaliata

IIT President 1952-1973

A fluid dynamicist, John T. Rettaliata was Illinois Tech’s second president (1952–1973) following the merger of Armour Institute of Technology and Lewis Institute. As president he oversaw the greatest growth period in the history of the university, which included the expansion of Main Campus, the addition of Chicago-Kent College of Law, and the founding of Stuart School of Business. Rettaliata held a seat on the National Advisory Council for Aeronautics and the National Aeronautics and Space Council, the planning body of the newly formed NASA. After leaving IIT, he became chair of the board of Banca di Roma in Chicago and served on multiple industry boards.

 

Robert Lee Roderick

Robert Lee Roderick

BS 1948

Manager of the Surveyor space program at Hughes Aircraft Company from 1964–68, alumnus Robert Lee Roderick received NASA’s Public Service Award for his role in these missions, which greatly expanded our knowledge of the lunar surface. He was also considered to be a specialist in aircraft instrumentation, global surveillance, and ballistic defense and penetration systems. From 1973 until his retirement in 1990, Roderick was employed in executive positions at the Hughes Aircraft Aerospace Group and Hughes Corporate Technology Centers.

 

Herbert A. Simon

Herbert A. Simon

Professor of political science at IIT from 1942–49 and winner of the 1978 Nobel Prize in Economics, Herbert A. Simon was considered a brilliant polymath in the fields of economics, psychology, administration, and artificial intelligence. His book Administrative Behavior was a major development in the understanding of organizational decision-making processes. Much of modern business economics and administrative research is based on his groundbreaking, interdisciplinary work.

 

William A. Simon

William A. Simon

Law 1935

Chicago-Kent College of Law alumnus William A. Simon was one of the nation’s foremost antitrust litigators, known for his trial advocacy skills. He worked as a lawyer on Capitol Hill before becoming a founding partner of Howrey Simon Baker & Murchison (later known as Howrey). Among his many prominent clients were the Exxon and Shell oil companies.

 

Susan Solomon

Susan Solomon

Chemistry 1977

After graduating from IIT and earning her doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, Susan Solomon began her more than 30-year career with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Using observations along with a computer-modeling technique, she surmised that a unique chemical reaction was occurring on the surfaces of clouds in the lower Antarctic stratosphere, contributing to the destruction of the protective ozone layer in that part of the world. In 1986 she led a team to Antarctica to get direct measurements to test all the possibilities; these measurements supported her hypothesis that manmade chlorofluorocarbons largely drove the reaction. This work played an important role in legislation designed to reduce the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances. Solomon, a native Chicagoan, expanded her research to include climate change and is considered one of the world’s leading experts in the field. A recipient of the President’s National Medal of Science in 1999, she is now Ellen Swallow Richards Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. The Solomon Glacier and Solomon Saddle were named in honor of her leadership in Antarctic research.

 

Harold L. Stuart

Harold L. Stuart

Lewis Institute

A national leader in the field of investment banking, Harold L. Stuart was president of the brokerage house of Halsey, Stuart & Company. His decision to move the firm’s headquarters to Chicago played an important role in establishing the city as a leading financial center. In 1969 his bequest to Illinois Tech established the Harold Leonard Stuart School of Management and Finance, now IIT Stuart School of Business.

 

Lowell Thomas

Lowell Thomas

Chicago-Kent College of Law alumnus and faculty member Lowell Thomas was a renowned journalist, broadcaster, and author of dozens of books about his time living and working abroad. For nearly 50 years he kept Americans informed through his nightly newscasts from all parts of the world. His films, lectures, newsreels, television programs, and books provided inside views of momentous events of the twentieth century. Additionally, he introduced the world to “Lawrence of Arabia,” a real-life character Thomas made popular in a film and a book. In 1977 Thomas was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor the United States can confer upon a civilian.

 

Dorothy Thompson

Dorothy Thompson

Lewis Institute 1912

Journalist and political commentator, Dorothy Thompson became a leading correspondent in Europe after World War I. After interviewing Adolph Hitler she became his vocal critic, leading to her expulsion from Nazi Germany and her rise in fame. The author of seven books on political science and a regular columnist for the New York Herald Tribune and Ladies’ Home Journal, Thompson was nicknamed the “First Lady of American Journalism.” Her second husband was the writer Sinclair Lewis.

 

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Considered the master of modern architecture, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe headed IIT’s architecture department (which became the College of Architecture) from 1938–1958. He came to IIT from the renowned German Bauhaus and created a radically new educational approach to architecture. His own designs, ranging from the Barcelona Pavilion in Spain to the Seagram Building in New York to Illinois Tech’s S. R. Crown Hall, changed the skylines of cities throughout the world. In 1941 Mies designed the master plan for IIT Main Campus.

 

Maynard P. Venema

Maynard P. Venema

Armour Institute 1932

Business leader and educational benefactor, Maynard “Pete” Venema first served IIT as a student leader then as president of the Alumni Association. Elected to the Board of Trustees in 1963, he served as chair of the board from 1971–79 and as acting president of IIT from 1973–74. Venema led his profession as chair of Universal Oil Products and head of the Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry.

 

John Ingle Yellott

John Ingle Yellott

John Ingle Yellott devoted his life’s work to the improved understanding and more-efficient utilization of energy. He served as mechanical engineering faculty at several institutions, including Illinois Tech where he was department chair from 1940–43 and director of the Institute of Gas Technology from 1943–45. He founded John Yellott Engineering Associates in 1958. Yellott’s work resulted in a number of patents in the field of sun-control devices.

 

Abe M. Zarem

Abe M. Zarem

Armour Institute 1939

After World War II, alumnus Abe M. Zarem’s work while heading the Basic Research Electronic Section of the U.S. Naval Ordnance Test Station opened the new field of micro-time physics. He is founder and managing director of the technological consultancy Frontier Associates and is founder, CEO, and chair emeritus of Electro-Optical Systems. Founder of Xerox Development Corporation, Zarem is recognized for his contributions to entrepreneurial technology transfer, strategic business development, and a variety of R&D activities.