Illinois Institute of Technology has announced that on August 31, 2016, the university exceeded its $250 million goal for Fueling Innovation: The Campaign for IIT. Initiated in 2010, with a public launch in early 2013, the Fueling Innovation fundraising campaign aimed to strengthen Illinois Tech’s endowment, to increase funding for endowed chairs, to revitalize the university’s core campus buildings, to increase scholarship funding, and break ground on a new innovation center.
Former Illinois Tech president John Anderson launched the campaign; he retired as president in 2015 and is now a Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering. His successor, former university provost Alan Cramb, made it a priority in his first year as president to complete the campaign.
With more than 15,000 donors, the Fueling Innovation campaign surpassed its goal of raising $100 million to support the university’s endowment and raised more than $48 million for student scholarships and fellowships. The campaign provided funding for 15 new endowed chairs, helping to attract and retain excellent faculty. Illinois Tech’s core Engineering 1 and Life Sciences academic buildings were renovated during the campaign and re-dedicated as the John T. Rettaliata Engineering Center and the Robert A. Pritzker Science Center, respectively.
During the last month of the campaign, Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined President Cramb, donors, faculty, staff, students, and university trustees to break ground on the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship. Designed by Illinois Tech professor of architecture and award-winning architect John Ronan, the Kaplan Institute will feature exterior windows coated in ethylene tetrafluoroethylene, or ETFE, a high-tech sustainable material that was also used in China’s Olympic Water Cube. The Kaplan Institute will be the first building in the Chicago area to use this material and will join other architecturally significant buildings on the campus designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Rem Koolhaas, and Helmut Jahn.
The Kaplan Institute is named for Ed Kaplan (Mechanical Engineering, 1965), the Illinois Tech alumnus, trustee, and entrepreneur who made a leadership gift, along with 15 donors who gave $1 million or more for the building. It will house Illinois Tech’s Interprofessional Projects (IPRO) Program, Idea Shop, Institute of Design, M. A. and Lila Self Leadership Academy, and Jules Knapp Entrepreneurship Center, as well as thousands of square feet of collaborative prototyping space.