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U. of Illinois Announces $100-Million Gift to Its Engineering School

Officials at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign announced on Monday a $100-million pledge to the institution’s College of Engineering that will support student scholarships and help the college recruit dozens of new faculty members. The gift, from the Grainger Foundation, will establish the Grainger Engineering Breakthroughs Initiative and create an endowment to support research collaborations. Bioengineering and “Big Data” are two prime areas intended to receive significant resources for new faculty positions and research support, the university said.

A large portion of the donation will be used to create 35 new endowed professorships and chairs, the Chicago Tribune reported. Some of the positions will be used to retain current faculty members, but most will be used for new hires as the college looks to add 130 to 150 faculty members in the next five years.

The contribution is being made in memory of William W. Grainger, a 1919 Illinois graduate in electrical engineering and the founder of W.W. Grainger Inc.

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