skip to main content

Ways to Give

We count on the generosity of alumni to support students as they embark on earning a world-class education, and faculty members, as they conduct research that is changing the world. Your investment in our people makes a difference. And, your support of our facilities gives our people the tools they need to be successful.

Our top giving priority for incoming undergraduate students is the Engineering Visionary Scholarship (EVS) Initiative. The opportunity to improve the quality, diversity, and global influence of our undergraduate students has never been greater.

Scholarships bring the nation’s best students to the College of Engineering and Illinois ECE by making college more affordable. Since the EVS fund’s launch, the College has seen:

  • 55% increase in the number of women in the freshman class
  • 55% increase in the number of under-represented minority students in the freshman class
  • 6 times more first-generation college students offered scholarships than in 2012

To take advantage of this generous match, contact our advancement team.

You may choose to give to an existing fund, or create your own scholarship, fellowship or award. No matter the size or scope your gift, you will be helping students succeed.

World-class faculty are critical to the success of Illinois ECE. Faculty support is crucial to maintaining the department’s stature as one of the best in the world.

Our top giving priority for faculty is the Faculty Catalyst Award Fund.

Illinois ECE seeks to attract more than 40 top faculty members in the next five years. As it does so, the department must compete with peer institutions and top corporations who not only offer competitive salaries, but also start-up funding.

These start-up packages act as catalytic agents, helping new faculty with the resources they need to create, equip, and initiate cutting-edge laboratories to launch their careers. The average start-up package is about $500,000. Therefore, our goal is to raise $20 million to hire the best and brightest faculty.

Gifts toward the Faculty Catalyst Award Fund will enable the next generation of Illinois ECE legendary faculty, who will shape the minds of students for decades to come.

You may choose to support the fund in one of three ways:

  • Add to the Faculty Catalyst Award Fund
  • Establish and name your own Faculty Catalyst Award (each $250,000 gift will be matched)
  • Combine both a Faculty Catalyst Award and an endowed faculty scholar, professorship, or chair

In addition, attracting and retaining top faculty salaries by endowing faculty scholars, professorships, or chairs is crucial for supporting salaries and honoring top faculty in the department. We currently have more than 25 endowed faculty positions, named for legends like Kilby, Bardeen, Holonyak, Van Valkenburg, Everitt, and Lo.

You may choose to establish an endowed faculty position at one of these levels:

  • Endowed faculty scholar ($250,000)
  • Endowed professorship ($500,000)
  • Endowed chair ($2 million)
  • Endowed department head ($4 million)

To establish your own fund or for more information, please contact us.

Your support of our facilities gives our students and faculty the tools they need to be successful.

Our top priority is naming opportunities in the new ECE Building.

The ECE Building, located at 306 N. Wright St., Urbana, is nearly twice the size of the department‘s former home, Everitt Laboratory. At 230,000 square feet, the new building is full of more than 20 lab spaces intended for student instruction and learning. These labs continue the Illinois ECE  tradition of hands-on learning, especially on cutting-edge topics like nanofabrication, optics, control, and robotics.

Naming opportunities include:The building is meant to produce as much power as it consumes, and is expected to be one of the largest net-zero buildings of its kind in the country. It’s targeting LEED Platinum certification. The $95 million ECE Building project was paid for half by the State of Illinois, and half with the support of donors and corporate partners through THE BUILDING CAMPAIGN FOR Illinois ECE.

  • Classroom or Student Spaces ($500,000)
  • Laboratories ($1 million - $10 million)
    • Instructional Optics Lab
    • Robotics & Control Systems Labs
    • Microwave Communications Lab
    • Digital Signals & Communications Lab
    • Circuits & Systems Lab
    • Bio-Imaging Lab
    • Electromagnetics, Optics, and Remote Sensing Labs
    • Nanofabrication Lab
    • Open Projects Lab
  • Conference or group study room ($250,000)

In addition to giving to the new ECE Building, we encourage in-kind gifts.

To name your own space in the building or for more information, please contact us.

Unique ways to support Illinois ECE:

  • Siddharth"Sid" Muthal
    The Siddharth “Sid” Muthal Memorial ECE Undergraduate Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award Fund was established by family and friends to honor Sid. Sid graduated from Illinois ECE in May 2015 with his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering. He planned to start graduate school in the Fall of 2016 when his life was tragically cut short. An entrepreneur himself, the award is dedicated to the spirit with which Sid lived and illuminated every moment of his life and of those around him. An ECE faculty member has agreed to match the first $500 of donations made by ECE students.

  • George Anner
    This fund honors the memory of Professor George Anner and his nearly three decades of service to Illinois ECE. It’s being expanded to establish the George Anner Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, with the support of alumnus Gerald T. Marcyk (BSEE ’73, MS ’76, PhD ’78). Marcyk is matching all new contributions to the Anner Fund, up to $100,000.

  • Joseph W. Lyding
    Professor Joseph W. Lyding has been mentoring students and conducting brilliant research since being recruited to campus by John Bardeen. Lyding’s work focuses on applying carbon nanoelectronics for future semiconducting device applications. The Joseph W. Lyding Endowed Scholarship Fund benefits deserving undergraduate students who exemplify that same passion and commitment to advancing engineering.

  • George Swenson, Jr.
    Professor Emeritus George Swenson, Jr., was a pioneer in radio astronomy and RF sensing. He joined the faculty of Illinois in both the electrical and computer engineering and astronomy departments in 1956. He went on to serve as department head for each. Swenson and his colleagues developed North Alice I and II, two of the earliest radio beacon transmitters launched with NASA’s Discover satellites. He established the first ionospheric research lab in ECE, spearheaded the construction of the Vermilion River Radio Observatory, and chaired the design of the Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico. The Professor George W. Swenson, Jr., Memorial Scholarship Fund was established to honor his lasting legacy.

  • S. L. Chuang
    Beloved Professor Shun Lien Chuang passed away in 2014, and is remembered for his affable and generous personality, as well as his esteemed work on the physical theories that govern photonic devices like lasers, photodetectors, modulators and more. The Chuang Memorial Fund was established in his memory.

  • Milton Feng
    The Milton Feng Scholarship in ECE honors Dr. Feng, who with Nick Holonkyak Jr. invented the first transistor laser and demonstrated with oxide VCSELs the fastest U.S. transmission of error-free data over fiber-optic networks.

  • Elsa and Floyd Dunn
    The Elsa and Floyd Dunn Endowed Fund has been established in the ECE Department at Illinois to honor the memory of Floyd and Elsa. Floyd was a pioneer in the science of ultrasound and bioacoustics, and is known for almost singlehandedly keeping the field of research alive in the 1960s.

  • Pete Sauer
    The Peter W. Sauer Endowed Fund is being established to honor Professor Sauer’s longstanding, outstanding commitment as a dedicated teacher, mentor, researcher, and collaborator. Nicknamed the “Sauer Power” Fund, it will support both undergraduate and graduate students.

  • George Gross
    The George Gross Engineering Visionary Scholarship in Electrical and Computer Engineering fund will be established in honor of his 70th birthday and decades of scholarship and innovation. It will help attract and retain the best and brightest undergraduate students to Illinois ECE. Gifts will initially support the ECE Engineering Visionary Scholarship (EVS) fund. When the Gross fund reaches endowment of $25,000, it will become a named scholarship, still supporting the EVS initiative.

  • Wen-mei Hwu
    Since 1987, Professor Wen-mei Hwu has been a pioneer in computer engineering teaching and research for Illinois ECE. Over the years, he has been a steadfast mentor, teacher, and positive influence on numerous students. The Wen-mei W. Hwu Endowed Fund will support outstanding computer engineering graduate students.

How to Make a Gift

When deciding to make your gift, you have many choices. You may consider these giving methods:

  • outright gift (check, cash, wire, transfer, stock)
  • multi-year pledge (with installments up to five years)
  • bequest or estate gift
  • a gift from your IRA or qualified plan
  • charitable remainder trust
  • gift annuity
  • a gift of land or property
  • family foundation
  • in-kind gift of equipment, art, or other assets

If you have questions, or would like help in making sure your gift has the most impact, please contact Heather Vazquez.

In addition, remember that you may qualify for a matching gift through your company. Learn more about matching gifts.

If you would like to make your gift to Illinois ECE by check, please send your gift, payable to the University of Illinois Foundation, with your gift designation mentioned in the memo line to:

University of Illinois Foundation (UIF)
1305 W. Green Street
Urbana, IL 61801

The University of Illinois Foundation (UIF) manages philanthropic gifts to ECE and all units on campus. UIF is a 501(c)3 charitable organization exempt from federal income tax. The Tax ID for the University of Illinois Foundation is 37-6006007.

Contact Us

Nikki Slack

Heather Vazquez
Senior Director of Advancement
1060 ECE Building
(217) 333-2517
hfv@illinois.edu