Grainger Foundation to match engineering scholarship endowment gifts up to $25 million

5/3/2017 9:48:38 AM


Update: As of January 2019, the Grainger Foundation has added almost $2 million to scholarship endowments at CEE at Illinois through the Grainger Foundation matching challenge. The challenge runs through December 2019.


CEE donors to endowed scholarship funds now can double the impact of their gifts, thanks to a pledge by The Grainger Foundation to match all donations to engineering scholarship endowments, dollar-for-dollar, up to $25 million through the end of 2019. Corporate gifts to engineering scholarship endowments will also be included and matched by The Grainger Foundation.

The pledge is intended to help the College of Engineering reach its goal of achieving a $100 million endowment to support recruiting scholarships through the Engineering Visionary Scholarship (EVS) initiative. Established in 2013 with the objective of providing recruitment scholarships, the EVS initiative was launched with a $30 million gift from The Grainger Foundation. Since then, an additional $22 million has been raised for scholarships. The $25 million challenge grant will help the College achieve its goal that much faster. Additionally, the match will be applied to gifts to any existing scholarship endowment, even if it is not specifically part of the EVS program.

“The EVS scholarships have already helped CEE recruit top students while improving diversity among our undergraduates and providing assistance to first-generation college students,” said Benito Mariñas, CEE professor and head. “I encourage all CEE alumni and friends to consider a gift to a CEE scholarship endowment fund to take advantage of the amazing generosity of this new pledge from The Grainger Foundation.”

The impact CEE has seen has been replicated throughout the College of Engineering. Since 2013 when the initiative launched, the number of women in Engineering at Illinois’ freshman class has nearly doubled. The number of under-represented minority students also nearly doubled, and the number of first-generation college students is nearly five times greater. More than 430 Illinois residents received scholarships funded by the initiative.

“In just a few years, the scholarship support provided by The Grainger Foundation has already changed the face of Engineering at Illinois,” said College of Engineering Dean Andreas Cangellaris. “By making college more affordable for our students, we’ve attracted the most diverse and most qualified individuals in our history. That was our goal when we set out on the Engineering Visionary Scholarship Initiative, and we are thrilled to already be making such great progress.”

Scholarships funded by the EVS initiative support undergraduate students who enter as freshman, as well as students who transfer to Illinois from community colleges. They are also used to support students in the summer scholars program and Academic Redshirt in Science and Engineering (ARISE) Scholars program, which provide access and assists low-income and underrepresented students in making the transition to one of the top engineering programs in the world.

Questions about making a gift should be directed to Nishant Makhijani, Assistant Director of Advancement, nishantm@illinois.edu, (217) 265-0407.

About The Grainger Foundation
The Grainger Foundation, an independent, private foundation, located in Lake Forest, Illinois, was established in 1949 by William Wallace Grainger, founder of W.W. Grainger, Inc., North America’s leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair, and operating products. Grainger graduated from the University of Illinois in 1919 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. Since its founding, the Foundation has provided substantive support to a broad range of organizations including museums and educational, medical, and human services institutions. Today, the Foundation is guided by the leadership of David W. Grainger, Chairman and Director since 1979.