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January 29, 2013

Foundation Gives $100-Million for U. of Illinois Engineering

The philanthropic arm of tool and equipment maker W.W. Grainger has donated $100-million to the University of Illinois's College of Engineering to fund scholarships, faculty recruitment, and advanced research, says the Chicago Tribune.

The gift is both the largest by the Grainger Foundation and the biggest to the prestigious engineering school. William W. Grainger, the tool firm's founder, earned an electrical engineering degree at Illinois in 1919.

More than $40-million will go toward creating 35 endowed professorships to bring top-flight faculty to the school. The gift will also support financial aid for hundreds of engineering students and establish the Grainger Engineering Breakthroughs Initiative, a research effort focused on bioengineering and the use of "big data" to tackle complex problems.