George and Cynthia Anner Scholarship

Established 2007

George Anner was a pioneer in creating undergraduate semiconductor fabrication laboratory courses, the first of their kind in the United States, in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Anner’s push for the department to move into solid-state electronics was seen as visionary.

Anner received his bachelor’s degree in physics from the College of William and Mary in 1938, and then completed a master’s in electrical engineering at Harvard. He taught at New York University in 1940, but was called to active duty in the Marine Corps in 1941. During his years of service, Anner established and served as officer in charge of the Marine Corps Radar School, then served two tours of duty in the Pacific Theatre. He returned to teaching at NYU in 1946. In 1952, Anner was chosen to represent the University of Illinois in a two-year appointment as visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, India. He served as director for the undergraduate semiconductor fabrication laboratory from 1968-1982.

Anner’s influence on the department has been far-reaching. He developed ECE 344, Theory and Fabrication of Integrated Circuit Devices. This class and the lab where students take it have been recognized as one of the best undergraduate instructional facilities in the country, and remains a staple of the ECE curriculum. That pioneering legacy is being continued as Illinois ECE offers the first undergraduate laboratory to teach nanofabrication in the new ECE Building. Anner died in 2004 at age 86, and is remembered by Illinois ECE alumni as a superlative teacher.


This scholarship was established by George and Cynthia Anner and has been used to support students showing academic merit and also supports incoming freshmen.

Selection Process :

All applications are reviewed for the incoming freshmen scholarships. Applicants are ranked on the College of Engineering PGPA (predicted GPA), which is a calculation based on the student's high school GPA, class ranking, and ACT/SAT scores. The number is weighted to judge math scores higher as they are more relevant to the study of engineering. The ECE department solicits (via email) further information, including an essay and a letter of reference from the top 75 applicants. The scholarship committee reviews these essays and letters in order to decide the recipients of the freshmen scholarships.


The recipient(s) will be recognized during an annual Student Awards Banquet. All student recipients are featured on the second floor of the ECE Building's Student Honors Wall.

Past Recipients of the Award

Year Recipients
2023-2024 Aastha Grover, Marco Frigo
2022-2023 Marissa Lanz
2021-2022 Marissa Lanz, Jennifer Chen
2020-2021 Marissa Lanz
2018-2021 Emma Erickson
2016-2017 Molly Fane
2015-2016 Katherine Chung
2014-2015 David Greer, Sarah Palecki, Emma Tai
2012-2013 Vidya Anjur
2011-2012 David Greer
2010-2011 Gloria Lee
2009-2010 Alexander Hinz
2008-2009 Christine Lee
2007-2008 Gregory Colombo