Engineering Visionary Scholarship Initiative

Scholarships bring amazing engineers to Illinois.

In 2012, in partnership with The Grainger Foundation, we launched an ambitious initiative to raise $100 million in endowment support with a special emphasis on unrestricted scholarships. Our generous community of donors allowed us to reach that goal in 2020.

The Engineering Visionary Scholarship Initiative has paved the way for hundreds of deserving students every year. The Grainger Foundation and our network of donors made EVS students' dreams of becoming scientists and engineers a reality. 

The Engineering Visionary Scholarship Initiative attracts the brightest students, ensures a diverse and talented class, and helps reduce debt. We place a particular focus on highly qualified students from the state of Illinois.

Your gift is the catalyst for access to education, nurturing ambition, and for turning passions into possibilities. Your investment changes lives.

2023 Impact Report

Support from alumni and friends allows the college to put our students first. You are a part of a community of donors whose cumulative support has been invested in an endowment that provides the most flexible scholarship funding for our students. Since their inception, EVS have created powerful opportunities for almost 4,000 Grainger Engineers.

How has philanthropic support made a difference?

  • Gifts to EVS of all sizes are pooled and endowed, maximizing our ability to flexibly distribute ample scholarship awards. More than half of EVS gifts are $100 or less – proving every gift can transform the student experience.

  • Thanks to philanthropic support, larger scholarships can be distributed more consistently to students every year. Engineering Visionary Scholarships will last into perpetuity, allowing alumni and friends of the college to continue to donate to EVS funds and help generations of Grainger Engineers.


Read the Report

Amanda Loutris speaking in front of an academic poster

Student Story

“This scholarship allows me to reduce the amount of loans that I have to take out for college, worry less about finances, and helps me focus more on school, despite everything else happening in the world.

Although I still work part-time, I was able to reduce hours and participate in additional research opportunities during this school year which has been a very big part of my Grainger Engineering experience. This scholarship inspires me to pay it forward by one day also becoming a donor to University of Illinois Grainger College of Engineering undergraduate students.

I wanted to become an engineer to help develop solutions to our climate crisis. I chose materials science so that I can be at the forefront of research pertaining to advanced energy technology such as hybrid and organic solar cells. After I graduate, I hope to continue my education in graduate school and eventually receive a doctoral degree. Then, I would like to work as a staff researcher in a national lab such as Argonne National Laboratory.”

Amanda Loutris, Class of 2022

The Grainger Foundation's Commitment

The Grainger College of Engineering is named in honor of distinguished alumnus William W. Grainger, who founded the Fortune 500 industrial supply company W. W. Grainger in 1927. Our name reflects The Grainger Foundation’s unprecedented and unwavering support, totalling more than $300 million, to drive engineering entrepreneurship and innovation. It is the largest contribution ever to a public university to name a college of engineering, and we are honored to spread our global impact with the Grainger name.

This investment in the college’s bold vision creates endless opportunities for our students, faculty, and researchers that can be seen across our engineering campus—in the Engineering Visionary Scholarship Initiative, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Building, Everitt Laboratory, the Grainger Library and Information Center, the Grainger Chair in Electrical Engineering, and an endowment in support of engineering research.

Learn more about the Grainger Foundation's commitment →