A Message from Incoming President Raj Echambadi

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

I’m deeply honored and humbled to serve as the next president of Illinois Institute of Technology. Illinois Tech is a truly magnificent institution that has built and sustained a legacy of innovation and excellence since its inception, and I look forward to helping to steward the university and its mission as we work together to build a more equitable society through inclusive technological progress.

I am especially grateful to the university’s Board of Trustees and the search processing committee for the enormous trust that they have placed in me to lead this singular institution. I would also like to extend my sincere thanks to President Alan Cramb for his leadership in building an organization that is deeply committed to its founding purpose of liberating the collective power of difference to advance technology for all.

When Reverend Frank Wakely Gunsaulus called on the Chicago community to invest in the education of students from all different backgrounds so that they could become impactful leaders in a changing industrial society, he set forth a vision for our university that is still alive today, and perhaps more relevant than ever before. More than 130 years later, we are continuing to meet that mission thanks to the brilliance and tireless efforts of the Illinois Tech community—its exceptional students, faculty, and staff—and the time, talent, and philanthropic resources from our alumni, donors, and friends.

We have served as an opportunity engine throughout the region, enabling upward economic mobility for our students by offering a distinctive, world-class technological and innovation-focused curriculum across multiple disciplines. As we rise out of this global pandemic to meet the challenges and opportunities of this unprecedented moment in time, we must continue to embrace our identity as agents of individual empowerment, community citizenship, societal progress, and economic impact in order to deliver on the original promise of our institution. Our ongoing partnerships with alumni, donors, and friends will be critical in helping us achieve these objectives, and I look forward to working with them to create new opportunities to invest in our mission to ensure that we maintain this trajectory.

Even as breakthrough technologies such as blockchain, robotics, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things dramatically shift the way individuals and enterprises live, work, and learn, Illinois Tech’s multidisciplinary and entrepreneurial ethos prepares us to lead the way to an abundant, thriving future. A world-class technology- and design-oriented education that is accessible and affordable and creates pathways and infinite possibilities for a vast diversity of students is essential for extraordinary innovation, for an inclusive economy, for our shared future, and for an equitable world.

As such, there are tremendous opportunities for our institution to serve and advance Bronzeville, Chicago, our nation, and the world. Illinois Tech has the requisite capabilities—intellectual, cultural, and social capital—and the right values embodied by our entire community to build upon our historic strengths and to chart a vibrant future for us all. My family and I are delighted to be part of this exciting journey. I look forward to working with the board, Provost Kilpatrick, and all members of the Illinois Tech community to achieve even greater heights.

We have a very bright future ahead.


Raj Echambadi
President-Elect, Illinois Institute of Technology