Grainger adds firepower to EVS initiative

A longtime supporter of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, The Grainger Foundation, has issued a generous challenge grant 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.
Corporate gifts to engineering scholarship endowments will also be included and matched by The Grainger Foundation.
The foundation will match scholarship gifts 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.
“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 challenge grant 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 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.”
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. Student ACT scores and student graduation rates have also increased.
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 <link>summer scholars program</> and <link>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.