Gloria Ray Karlmark, one of Little Rock Nine, to receivehonorary degree from Illinois Institute of Technology

IIT to hold commencement ceremony on Sat., May 18, 2019


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Chicago, IL — May 14, 2019 —

Gloria Ray Karlmark, who was one of 9 African American students who ignited controversy when they enrolled at the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957, will receive an honorary degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Karlmark graduated from IIT in 1965 with a chemistry degree. After receiving her bachelor´s degree, she worked as a school teacher, laboratory assistant, programmer, and mathematician. She moved to Sweden when her husband, Krister Karlmark -- who was once an IIT professor -- accepted a job there.

In Sweden, she joined IBM’s Nordic Laboratory and went on to learn Swedish at Stockholm University. After becoming a Swedish patent agent, she worked for IBM’s International Patent Operations for 11 years. She then spent 13 years with various divisions of Philips in industrial documentation and as a patent specialist. Karlmark also co-founded and served as editor-in-chief of Computers in Industry, an international journal.

Karlmark will receive an honorary doctor of science, honoris causa, for outstanding contributions to the development of a more inclusive society.

Other honorary degree recipients will be the Honorable Ilana D. Rovner, a 1966 graduate of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law who served as deputy governor and legal counsel to former Illinois Gov. James R. Thompson; and Victor Tsao, who earned a computer science degree from IIT in 1980 and went on to co-found Linksys and transform the entire home-networking market.

Tsao will also be this year’s commencement speaker.

IIT’s commencement ceremony will be held between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sat., May 18, 2019 at the university’s baseball field at 3040 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago.

Click here for more about commencement activities

About Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Institute of Technology, also known as Illinois Tech, is a private, technology-focused, research university, located in Chicago, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, science, architecture, business, design, human sciences, applied technology, and law. One of 21 institutions that comprise the Association of Independent Technological Universities (AITU), Illinois Tech offers exceptional preparation for professions that require technological sophistication, an innovative mindset, and an entrepreneurial spirit.