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UW College of Engineering gets $32 million to expand student body, add scholarships

UW College of Engineering gets $32 million to expand student body, add scholarships

UW-Madison engineering fountain

Students take a break outside Engineering Hall on UW-Madison's campus.

UW-Madison’s College of Engineering received its largest donation in the college’s history that will start a new scholarship program, help expand the undergraduate student body and create several professorships to keep top talent in Madison.

Ian Robertson


The Grainger Foundation of Lake Forest, Illinois, committed $32 million to the college, Dean Ian Robertson announced Thursday.

The college currently enrolls about 4,500 undergraduates but expects to add 1,000 more students by 2025 with the help of a new scholarship program that will provide competitive offers to top students. The largest portion of the pledge, $20 million, will go toward scholarships, with an emphasis on diversifying the undergraduate student body.

The college plans to match the $20 million amount over the next five years, though any amount from the foundation left unmatched at the end of that time will continue to go toward the scholarship program, according to Robertson.

Another part of the donation will fully endow or create seven professorships, which helps the college recruit and retain the best faculty members. These additions bring the college’s total named professorships to 104.

The donation also establishes an endowment to provide the college with financial flexibility to “make strategic investments in opportunity areas,” according to the college’s announcement.

“This new funding will greatly increase our ability to extend an outstanding engineering education to an even broader pool of the nation’s talented scholars, ultimately expanding the wave of UW–Madison engineering alumni who already are known for their skills and leadership at all levels of industry, academia, government and society,” Robertson said in a statement.

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