What's in a Name? 
The Story Behind Fueling Innovation: The Campaign for IIT  

Innovation. Its catalyst is passion—a combination of imagination and persistence that inspires certain people to look forward and go beyond what is. It is the process of looking at the world through a different lens to find solutions to big problems. It leads to new products and novel approaches to doing business. Innovation is one of the most powerful societal and economic engines we have—and it needs a special type of fuel.

For nearly 125 years, IIT has been fueling innovation. Look around and you can see it in our students, faculty, and alumni, and at the core of the ideas, products and systems they develop. You can see the process of innovation unfolding in our classrooms and laboratories, our centers and our institutes. Talk to our graduates and you’ll begin to understand the passion that drives IIT people to go beyond.

We are at a turning point in our history. For those who were the first in their family to go to college, IIT was a gateway to a world-class education. For those in Chicago who knew their passions were technology-driven, IIT was the university of choice.

Today, IIT is on the cusp of becoming one of the world’s leading technology-focused, research universities. Access to academic excellence, and distinction in engineering, continue to define who we are—and what we value. New collaborations and specializations, however, have also been emerging. Across the fields of engineering, science, architecture, law, design, psychology, food safety, humanities, and business, we are preparing our students for change in a global, learning environment that demands innovative solutions and new ways of thinking.

Innovation needs a special atmosphere in which to thrive—a place where creativity and imagination are more than words. If IIT is to continue to push boundaries as a university that fuels innovation, then we need to find new ways to power this engine. We must invest in our distinctive, technology-focused, professionally-centered education. We need to continue to attract extraordinary faculty to expand our range of research, teaching and scholarship. We are committed to providing access to an even greater number of talented students who might otherwise not consider an IIT education because they think it is financially out of reach. We must invest in facilities designed to encourage innovative and entrepreneurial thinking—thinking that cannot and will not take place in a box.

Innovation needs fuel—and for IIT to go beyond what is, we need your help. With your support, we will:

  • Propel IIT into the top tier of the world’s technology-focused, innovation-centered universities;
  • Increase access to IIT’s distinctive education for students whose families face financial challenges;
  • Expand a learning environment that ensures our students will have what it takes to manage change—and nurture the innovative spirit in those who look at the world through a different lens; and
  • Drive IIT’s targeted research initiatives to develop powerful yet practical solutions to the major and systemic problems facing our nation and our world.

Hard work, academic excellence, and a passion for innovation are hallmarks of an IIT education. Solutions to the global challenges of the future will come from the intellectual capital of the students we graduate today—young men and women with a passion for innovation and the drive to push the boundaries of what is possible.

Fueling Innovation: The Campaign for IIT seeks to raise $250 Million to support new initiatives of Illinois Institute of Technology. Join us as we look forward and go beyond.


Click here to download PDFs of the university case statement and campaign brochure.


Each of the colleges at IIT have their own unique priorities in the Campaign for IIT. Download a PDF of each college case statement here: 

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