$100 million donation to rename College of Engineering

By Samantha Boyle, News Editor

After the newest $100 million gift from The Grainger Foundation and more than $300 million in total support, the College of Engineering will be renamed The Grainger College of Engineering, pending approval by the University Board of Trustees.

James Bell, executive director for marketing and communications for Engineering, said this is a huge and exciting gift for the college.

The proceeds from the gift are unrestricted in terms of what programs it will support long-term, according to the Engineering website.  

He said the college is in the middle of strategic planning right now, so the gift was perfect timing.

“This money is going to allow us to execute on that as we finish developing (the plan),” Bell said.

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This newest donation is apart of the With Illinois capital campaign, with a goal of $2.25 billion having been set for the entire University. For Engineering, the goal is $550 million; 85% of this goal has already been reached.

William Grainger graduated from the University’s electrical engineering program in 1919. He founded his company, W. W. Grainger, Inc., in 1927; a Fortune 500 company that employees more than 25,000 people worldwide.

The donation will be the largest amount to go to a public university to rename an engineering college. More than $200 million has been provided over the last six years.  

While the details of where the money will go to are not completely set yet, Bell said a portion of it will definitely be invested in research of “students and faculty who are making the world better through engineering research.”

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