Matching Challenge from The Grainger Foundation will match all engineering scholarship endowment gifts up to $25 million

First million-dollar gift already received under matching program.

A longtime supporter of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, The Grainger Foundation, has issued a generous Matching Challenge in support of Engineering at Illinois. Now through the end of 2019, The Grainger Foundation will match all donations made to the College's Engineering Visionary Scholarship Initiative, dollar-for-dollar up to $25 million.

An anonymous donor has already given a new $1 million gift to the initiative, which will be matched immediately.

Corporate gifts to engineering scholarship endowments will also be included and matched by The Grainger Foundation.

Since 2013, scholarships supported by the Engineering Visionary Scholarship Initiative have had a significant positive impact.

  • 55% increase in the number of women in the freshman class
  • 55% increase in the number of under-represented minority students in the freshman class
  • 6 times more first-generation college students offered scholarships than in 2012

"This is an amazing opportunity, and it's a great time for our alumni and friends to step up," said Andreas Cangellaris, dean of Engineering at Illinois. "Our supporters have always been tremendously generous. Now we can double the impact of that generosity."

The Engineering Visionary Scholarship Initiative was launched in 2013 with a $30 million gift from The Grainger Foundation as part of its $100 million Grainger Engineering Breakthroughs Initiative. Since then, an additional $22 million has been raised for scholarships. The $25 million Matching Challenge will help Engineering at Illinois reach the $100 million goal for the scholarship initiative that much faster.

"In just a few years, the scholarship support provided by The Grainger Foundation has already changed the face of Engineering at Illinois," Cangellaris said. "By making college more affordable for our students, we've attracted the most diverse and most qualified classes 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."

Since the Initiative's launch, the number of women in Engineering at Illinois' freshman class risen by about 55 percent, as have the number of under-represented minority students. Six times more first-generation college students are offered scholarships than in 2012.

Scholarships funded by the Engineering Visionary Scholarship 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 assist low income and underrepresented students in making the transition to one of the top engineering programs in the world.

About the Grainger Engineering Breakthroughs Initiative

Engineering at Illinois combines rigor and a culture that embraces collaboration and approachability. The Grainger Engineering Breakthroughs Initiative, launched with a $100 million gift from The Grainger Foundation in 2013, is perfectly suited to that distinctive culture. The Grainger Initiative covers all the key elements that make us a truly elite program—people (faculty chairs and named professorships and undergraduate scholarships), world-class facilities, and support for research.

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. Mr. 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.

Help future Illini engineers thrive on campus

Make a gift