Martin C. Jischke (PHYS ’63) to be honored by IIT with Alumni Medal

The annual Alumni Awards are an IIT tradition to recognize those who made notable contributions to their communities, professions, and the university. The ceremony is today and will recognize 11 winners in eight categories.

Martin C. Jischke (PHYS ’63) is this year’s winner of the Alumni Medal, which honors distinguished service to the university by alumni who have displayed the qualities of the Collens Merit Award, Alumni Service Award, and Professional Achievement Award. This is the highest honor bestowed by the IIT Alumni Association.

B.S. Physics (’63), Illinois Institute of Technology; M.S. (’64) and Ph.D. (’68) Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Jischke knew at a relatively young age that he wanted to be a university president. He started his career in education as an assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma in 1968. He went on to hold the positions of professor, dean, director, and interim president during his long tenure at the university. He continued his passion for academia in his next position as chancellor at the University of Missouri-Rolla from 1986 to 1991 and again as the president of Iowa State University from 1991 to 2000. He ended his career as the president of Purdue University after a seven-year term from 2000 to 2007. Jischke also served as White House Fellow from 1975 to 1976. He is widely recognized for his work to encourage discovery, learning, and engagement in the university setting.

Thanks to IIT
He credits much of the success from his 50-year career to the education he received as an undergraduate at IIT. “I learned early on how to solve problems in a particularly quantitative and systematic way and learned how to study. It turned out to be a great life lesson; studying gave me the ability to learn new things. That level of confidence has been a very powerful tool for me to lead an interesting and rewarding life.”

Jischke is a current member of the IIT Board of Trustees, serving as the chairman of the Academic Affairs Committee. In addition to his board service, he will chair the IIT Golden Society Reunion in September 2013, helping to reunite the Class of 1963 for its 50-year reunion. He and his wife, Patty, are very passionate about education and learning. This passion has led to their support of IIT and a number of other charitable and nonprofit organizations. “My wife is an accomplished community volunteer, and we are both focused on education and giving back. We hope to make our communities better places.”

Advice to IIT Students
“It is an exciting time at IIT. Learn how to learn, take advantage of all the opportunities at IIT, and broaden your experience through summer jobs and internships. Be sure to grow as a person during your time at IIT.”
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