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As your new president, it is my sincere honor to welcome our students, faculty, and staff to campus. I am truly humbled to have the opportunity to lead such an extraordinary institution, which was founded to drive social and economic equity by increasing access to an elite technological education for all.

When Reverend Frank Wakeley Gunsaulus called for support to build a school in which students from diverse backgrounds could prepare for meaningful roles in a changing industrial society, he set our institution—and each of us as individuals—on an ambitious path toward a more equitable future through education. As we emerge from the global pandemic and see a world that is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous, this mission is more important now than ever before, providing Illinois Tech with a unique opportunity to help shape a more just future.

As I look at our incredible students, inspiring faculty, and tremendous staff, it is clear that we are all united by this common purpose. This drive to liberate the collective power of difference to advance technology and drive socioeconomic mobility is at the core of who we are as an organization, and at the foundation of what we are called to achieve as individuals. A commitment to make a top-tier technological education more equitable and accessible has defined our institution from its very founding, and is what drew me personally to Illinois Tech. I am excited to have the opportunity to help foster this culture of inclusive innovation by guiding the wonderful intellectual and social capital embodied by Illinois Tech’s students, faculty, and staff. In doing so, I am confident that we will be able to build on our historic strengths to chart an even more vibrant future together.

As your president, I will remain committed to listening and leading based on the collective wisdom of our community. The depth of experience that our students, faculty, staff, and alumni bring—which is so intrinsically rooted in our place on the South Side of Chicago—makes Illinois Tech distinct. As an institution that strives to innovate with and not for, we must continue to deepen our relationship with our Bronzeville neighborhood, our city, our nation, and our global community in order to achieve our shared mission.

Today, that mission is more critical than at any other time in history. As we recover from a pandemic that has forever changed our economy and our society, it is clear that breakthrough technologies and digital convergence will continue to define the way we work, live, and learn. We must continue to embrace that foundational spirit of innovation within our own institution to ensure that Illinois Tech is able to meet the most pressing and impactful challenges of the twenty-first century. I believe that we can do this most effectively by listening to the diverse voices and perspectives across our greater community, so that Illinois Tech can continue to lead the way in inclusive innovation for years to come.

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve as your president. I look forward to working with all of you to develop new pathways and infinite possibilities for our students in order to bring greater representation to technology and to drive a more inclusive future.

Raj Echambadi
President, Illinois Institute of Technology