For six decades, Florida Tech has been renowned for the quality of the education and research that takes place not only our Melbourne campus but throughout the fourteen extended study locations and via the community of online learners. So how does a university celebrate achieving a milestone of providing higher education and research for over six decades? We look to the over 60,000 alumni that embark on their careers after graduation. Within their achievements, we see the breadth and depth of the engineers, scientists, astronauts, technology leaders, captains of industry, clinical researchers, athletes, and educators that stand out in nearly every field.
The best way to tell a story about these amazing alumni? A book, and so we begin.
How do we celebrate these makers, dreamers, disrupters, and pioneers of what’s next? Our formula was to organize the years by decades. Within each decade there is a profile of the active university president that provides a snapshot of the challenges faced during that period, including some of the major changes and accomplishments. A timeline that accompanies each decade helps to visualize the growth of Florida Tech throughout our history.
With a framework to anchor our story, our next task is assembling the content. We began researching alumni across the globe. Of course, our list of individuals was much larger than the sixty that appear. We ultimately chose alumni that represent each college within the university. We looked for a diversity of industry and professions to help bring our history to life and also showcase where an education from Florida Tech can take potential students. The sixty within these pages represent the rich diversity of our alumni, both in origin and in their professional pursuits. To highlight each story, we found photographers in every location to capture them in the settings they work in, further enriching our storytelling.
As our most important assets, our alumni characterize the middle section of our book. But how to set the stage for their stories? What better candidate to establish the context for our book than Florida Tech’s own Professor Gordon Patterson?! As a professor and specialist in history and widely regarded as Florida Tech’s resident historian, Dr. Patterson was the perfect author for the book’s foreword. Dr. Patterson takes us on the wild ride that defines our humble beginnings to our incredibly accomplished present. In the introduction, President McCay shares his vantage point of how meaningful our alumni are to our university's story, reinforced by meeting our proud Panthers at every alumni reception hosted each year throughout the world.
A book does not jump off the shelf without a dynamic cover. Celebrated artist, Derek Gores, created the stunning collage from torn pages of Florida Tech magazines, brochures, photos, posters, yearbooks, and advertisements. The collage is an eight-foot by eight-foot replica of the Florida Institute of Technology university seal. Each of the alumni featured in the book appears within the artwork, along with a treasure trove of history to complete the insignia. Currently hanging at the Foosaner Museum in Melbourne, Florida, the collage’s future home is in the new Alumni Center. We encourage all alumni to stop by and take a selfie in front of this iconic artwork while on campus!
Most books have a beginning, middle, and end, but the chapters at Florida Tech will continue to unfold. We invite you to order a copy, view it online, and visit the Alumni Center for a photo to add to your experience here at our university. Without the vision of our founding president, Dr. Jerome P. Keuper, and all alumni who have passed through our doors, we would not be the great university we are today. Our heartfelt thanks to President McCay for encouraging the storytelling of Florida Tech with this anniversary publication!