The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is renaming its College of Engineering to honor the contributions of alumnus William W. Grainger.
Announced by Rashid Bashir, dean of the engineering college, the college will soon become ‘The Grainger College of Engineering’ after receiving a $100 million gift from The Grainger Foundation to its college’s endowment.
Considered the largest amount ever given to a public university to name a college of engineering, the foundation has given the college a free hand to use the gift on various programs for the long term.
“Very few colleges have seen this kind of long-term, flexible support,” Bashir said. “We are proud to be one of them, and it will allow our research enterprise and educational programs to flourish. It will also allow us to recruit, reward, and retain the very best faculty with more and larger faculty chairs and professorships.”
School officials said the new gift will be invested into its research enterprises, students and faculty. The foundation is also currently matching all gifts to the Engineering Visionary Scholarship Initiative for undergraduates, dollar-for-dollar, up to $25 million.
“All of us here at The Grainger Foundation are delighted that this gift will further strengthen one of the most distinguished engineering schools in the world,” David W. Grainger, chairman of The Grainger Foundation, said.
The foundation has donated more than $200 million over the last six years toward various projects and initiatives, including a gift of $100 million for the Grainger Engineering Breakthroughs Initiative, the Grainger Power Engineering Awards, the remodel of Engineering Hall, and the construction of the new Electrical and Computer Engineering Building, among others.