URBANA, Ill., Oct. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will be known as the Gies College of Business after an unprecedented investment from a distinguished alumnus. The gift, announced today, will accelerate progress towards being recognized as the best and most innovative business school in the nation.
This monumental gift comes from Chicago businessman and College of Business alumnus Larry Gies (Geese) and his wife Beth. Their intent is to create an immediate and lasting impact for current and future students of the college through their $150 million investment.
"We are incredibly grateful and proud to have two successful U of I graduates reinvest in the very place where their entrepreneurial journey began. This ranks among the largest gifts to any business school in U.S. history," said Dean Jeffrey R. Brown, College of Business, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
"This gift is the result of strong confidence in the excellence of our students, the innovative spirit of our faculty and staff, and the vision and determination to make the Gies College of Business the best undergraduate business college in the country," Brown added.
The investment will grow and strengthen the College of Business' key initiatives: deliver undergraduate excellence, create exceptional graduate programs, expand the boundaries of theoretical and applied business knowledge, and use technology to democratize education.
"The College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a very special place to me. It is on this campus that I developed a foundation for success. We are honored to give back to the college that gave so much to us and I hope our choice to make a decisive investment encourages others to do the same," said Larry Gies. "This investment is, and always will be about the students here and what we can become together - the greatest business school on earth, where purposeful leaders get the tools to pursue their passion to make the world a better place. I'm truly excited for our students and the future of our College."
Larry Gies is the founder, President and CEO of Madison Industries, one of the largest and most successful privately held companies in the world. Madison builds entrepreneurially driven, branded market leaders that are dedicated to making the world safer, healthier and more productive through innovations in filtration, medical, process improvement, energy and safety.
"This investment makes a bold statement about the future impact the Gies College of Business will have on our campus and beyond. A gift of this size will allow us to significantly increase our investment in students, faculty and world-class programs, and will solidify our distinction as a global innovator in business," said University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Robert J. Jones. "As we begin our 'With Illinois' comprehensive fundraising campaign, signature gifts such as this demonstrate the transformational impact our alumni have on the university and the world."
"I want to offer my congratulations to the College of Business on this historic gift," University of Illinois System President Tim Killeen said. "It comes at an important time of renewal and aspiration and will provide wonderful impetus to the recently launched philanthropic fundraising campaign, 'With Illinois.' It will benefit the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in fundamental and transformative ways."
For over a century, the College of Business at the University of Illinois has consistently produced the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators impacting the global economy. Across the globe, it is recognized as a world-class institution for learning and practicing innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. In addition to opening the doors to immediate opportunity, this investment is also a catalyst for additional giving that will seal the college's position as a global leader in the field of business and innovation for generations.
The college naming is pending approval by the Board of Trustees, scheduled for its Nov. 16 meeting in Chicago.
About the Gies College of Business
The Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides a world-class educational experience for the next generation of business leaders. For more than 100 years, the College has delivered on the promise of innovation in business education, with a commitment to cutting-edge curriculum design and delivery, exceptional experiential learning opportunities, and unparalleled academic excellence. Today our faculty prepare more than 5,100 students, including 3,100 undergraduates, to be at the forefront of innovation and leadership in the global economy.
About "With Illinois"
"With Illinois" is the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's largest campaign ever, with the goal of raising $2.25B in gifts to support Illinois students, faculty, research, and infrastructure. The world is a better place "With Illinois."
SOURCE University of Illinois