The Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) was founded after the minister Frank Wakely Gunsaulus gave a sermon saying if he had $1 million he would use it to found a Chicago school where students from all backgrounds, not just the wealthy, would be able to receive an education that would make them useful contributing members of society.
Gunsaulus sermon inspired Philip Danforth Armour, Sr. an industrialist who had made a fortune in the meatpacking industry selling food to the US army. Armour donated $1 million and the Armour Institute was established. IIT was founded in 1940 when the Armour Institute merged with the Lewis Institute. The liberal arts programs on offer at the Lewis Institute complemented the engineering and science-based teaching available at Armour.
Today IIT is a private research university, focused on technology, which caters to around 8,000 students studying a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in engineering, science, architecture, business, design, human sciences, applied technology, and law. The university is also highly international with a large proportion graduate students coming from abroad and many undergraduates classified as international.
IIT has five separate campuses in the Chicago area, the main one is Mies Campus, which covers 120 acres, and has been named a National Historic Landmark due to its beautiful design and architecture. Mies is also home to residential halls, fraternity and sorority houses and student sports and leisure facilities. The Downtown Campus building houses the colleges of law and business.