Illinois Tech Unveils Honorary Leon Lederman Way for Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist

Illinois Institute of Technology commemorates late faculty member with a newly named portion of 33rd Street through Bronzeville campus


CHICAGO—September 16, 2021— Illinois Institute of Technology has announced that the City of Chicago will rename a portion of 33rd Street in honor of late faculty member and Nobel Prize winner Leon Lederman on Saturday, September 18.

Lederman is best known for his work on neutrino research, for which he won the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics alongside Melvin Schwartz and Jack Steinberger. His best-selling book, The God Particle, was published in 1993 and popularized that alternate name for the Higgs boson within the realm of particle physics.

“As Chicago’s tech university, what we do at Illinois Tech is fundamentally about impact: the impact of our university on the lives of our students, and the impact of our community on the lives of those around us,” said Raj Echambadi, president of Illinois Tech. “Lederman’s contributions to the global scientific community are immeasurable, and through this honorary street name, we hope to continue his legacy of empowering students with the knowledge, competencies, and human-centered skills to solve the grand challenges of our times to shape an equitable world.”

The proposal for this honorary street was put forth by faculty members of Illinois Tech’s Department of Physics in honor of the longtime faculty member, who passed away in 2018. With the support of Alderman Pat Dowell (Third Ward), the Chicago City Council passed the ordinance on October 7, 2020. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the university postponed the celebration until September 2021. 

“This honorary designation is a fitting tribute to an accomplished Nobel Prize winner who also took time to enrich the lives of Chicago teens through STEM programs,” Dowell says. “His legacy will live on to inspire many generations to come.”

Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Institute of Technology, also known as Illinois Tech, is a private, technology-focused research university. Illinois Tech is the only university of its kind in Chicago, and its Chicago location offers students access to the world-class resources of a great global metropolis. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, computing, architecture, business, design, science and human sciences, and law. One of 22 institutions that comprise the Association of Independent Technological Universities, Illinois Tech provides an exceptional education centered on active learning, and its graduates lead the state and much of the nation in economic prosperity. Illinois Tech uniquely prepares students to succeed in professions that require technological sophistication, an innovative mindset, and an entrepreneurial spirit.  Visit

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