Kevin M. Lynch receives honorary degree
(L-R) Peter Nelson, Dean, UIC College of Engineering; Michael Amiridis, Chancellor, UIC; Dedra Williams, Secretary, University of Illinois Board of Trustees; Kevin Lynch, Vice President of Technology, Apple, Inc.; Timothy Killeen, President, University of Illinois 

University of Illinois
May 6, 2017

Citation of Kevin M. Lynch for the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Engineering

Kevin M. Lynch, as Vice President of Technology at Apple, Inc. you are one of the world’s preeminent software developers and technology innovators. Your work has included leadership on some of the most influential software development efforts over the past 25 years at companies, including Apple, Adobe Systems, Macromedia, General Magic, and Frame.

Most recently, you led the development of the Apple Watch. At the September 2014 Apple launch event, you provided the presentation that introduced Apple’s latest most innovative product to date and shared it with the world. Besides forging new ground in wearable technology with the Apple Watch, you are also spearheading the company’s Health software effort, resulting thus far in HealthKit and ResearchKit on the iPhone adding to your already long list of product innovations and achievements. Prior to Apple, in 2005, you were involved with Macromedia’s $3.4 billion acquisition by its biggest rival, Adobe. You assumed the role of Chief Software Architect at Adobe, where you focused on integrating the companies and developing new technology. You created a cross-OS application runtime called AIR (Adobe Integrated Run-Time), which enables an app to run across Mac, Windows, iOS and Android. In a short time, you were promoted to Chief Technology Officer at Adobe, where you catapulted the company as a change agent, advancing mobile, social, and cloud technology and leading the transformation of Adobe from a shrink-wrapped software company to Creative Cloud.

Mr. Lynch, as a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, you helped create Mac3D, the first 2D+3D drawing application for the Mac, and then went on to create advanced desktop publishing software that was licensed to WordStar. Your innovation combined word processing, drawing and page layout, as well as the first directly editable property inspectors in the GUI and a page layout pane that could be directly manipulated. During this time, you also started a company, which was sold, requiring you to leave UIC and relocate to the Bay Area “for about six months” – where you have worked ever since.

In a letter supporting your nomination, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Williams, stated: Steve Jobs began trying to recruit Kevin to come to Apple a few years before his death. In March of 2013, we finally succeeded in having Kevin join us as Vice president of Technology. We were embarking on a journey to build a new platform—Apple Watch.

Jeff Williams ended his letter by stating: Truly brilliant technical minds exist. Truly amazing leaders exist. The intersection of the two isn’t seen very often. If the University of Illinois at Chicago’s criteria for bestowing an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering degree is based on technical innovation and worldwide impact, I cannot imagine a more deserving candidate.

Kevin M. Lynch, in appreciation of your contributions to society and upon the recommendation of the Senate of the Chicago Campus of the University of Illinois, I am honored to present you to the President of the University for the honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering.

Presented by: Peter Nelson, Dean, College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago

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