EVS Impact Report

Engineering Visionary Scholarship Impact Report 2023-24

Established in July 2012, The Grainger College of Engineering Visionary Scholarship Initiative addresses the needs of highly qualified, diverse and talented students. Gifts of all sizes contribute to the endowed funds, allowing Grainger Engineering to distribute more scholarships with enhanced regularity. 

The initiative successfully increased the number of underrepresented students in engineering by 55% during the past ten years. In fall 2023, we welcomed the largest first-year class in Grainger Engineering history, and we are poised to repeat this achievement in 2024.

Student Story: Saliyah As-Salaam

Writing a high school paper about plastic pollution in the ocean inspired Saliyah As-Salaam to study and pursue a career in environmental science.

An internship with the Friends of the Forest Preserves, where she helps with seed collecting, planting and researching invasive species, solidified the civil engineering junior’s resolve to help communities with environmental concerns such as continued access to clean water. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering, eventually working in either site remediation or air and water quality.

Saliyah says the Engineering Visionary Scholarship gives her the opportunity to pursue her career goals and have a significant impact on her Grainger Engineering community.

“There are very few Black female civil engineers. Currently, only 16% of civil engineers are women and Black women only account for 3.8% of those positions … I realize that based on the historical data, accomplishing this is a tall feat, but I promise you that I’m up to the task. Nothing will stop me from achieving my academic and career goals, and receiving this scholarship has aided me in this process.

“My primary goal is to ensure that through my life’s work and community service. I will continue to provide a positive social impact on my community and the world.”


total number of scholarship recipients (AY23-24)


of scholarship recipients are women


of scholarship recipients are first-generation students


of scholarship recipients are from backgrounds under-represented in engineering


total number of gifts (FY23)


unique donors


total endowment income


total market value

Student Story: Vishnuh Bala

Vishnuh Bala chose an aerospace engineering major because he wanted to dedicate his life to exploration. He chose The Grainger College of Engineering to expand his knowledge beyond his major. As a Grainger Engineer, Vishnuh can pursue a career in sustainable aviation and expand his technical skills in an environment that encourages multidisciplinary studies.

Vishnuh is the first person in his family to be born in the United States, and among the first to seek an education in the country. The second-year student says the Engineering Visionary Scholarship eased the financial burden of tuition and living expenses.

The support also gave Vishnuh the opportunity to join the Illinois Space Society and work on a competitive rocketry team, as well as help organize the Engineering Open House, an annual event showcasing Grainger Engineers’ cutting-edge innovations and attracting more than 20,000 visitors.

“To receive this gift has helped me work harder, as I can focus more on my studies and also taught me that my hard work won't go to waste. The aid your donation has given me opened up my interest in studying abroad later in college, and I'm now sure I want to study abroad before I graduate. I'll never get these years of my life back, and your gift has helped me make the most of them.”

“My dream job would be to work at a space agency like NASA to further humanity’s reach into the stars.”