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Jeff Rose, laboratory supervisor, guides student Alan Pratt in one of the School of Engineering labs at WIU-Quad Cities.
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WIU-QC School of Engineering Receives Half-Million Dollar Boost from Carver Trust

August 20, 2018

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MOLINE (IL) - The Western Illinois University School of Engineering has received $494,917 from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust to support laboratories and programs in the Quad Cities.

"This is an exciting gift for the students of Western Illinois University. It provides the means for our students to continue learning their highly specialized discipline using state-of-the-art equipment and technology," said President Jack Thomas. "We are thankful to the Carver Trust for their continued belief and support in the University and the students that we serve."

According to Kathy Neumann, interim provost and academic vice president, engineering is one of Western's signature academic programs, and funds will be used to purchase equipment and software to support robotics and three-dimensional printing. Neumann also noted the importance of this gift to the regional economy, as the vast majority of WIU engineering alumni are employed in the Quad Cities region.

Students can earn a mechanical engineering degree with emphases in design, robotics, or advanced manufacturing; or an engineering degree with an emphasis in civil, electrical, robotic, industrial or general engineering. Students must also successfully work with area manufacturers as part of the senior design (graduation) requirements, said William Pratt, School of Engineering director.

"This gift will enhance our students' capabilities and training as they prepare to be a next generation engineer," Pratt added. "This new equipment and updated software makes certain the Engineering program at WIU-QC has what it needs to maximize the learning experience."

"It is exciting that area manufacturers are looking to WIU for help with research and innovation," said Joseph Rives, WIU vice president for Quad Cities and planning. "The fact that regional businesses are looking to WIU School of Engineering students reflects our commitment and alignment with the goals of the Q2030 plan in advanced manufacturing. We are thankful to Carver Trust for a gift that will enhance our role in economic and workforce development of the Quad Cities region."

The Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust is one of the largest private philanthropic foundations in the state of Iowa, with annual grant distributions of more than $16 million. It was created through the will of Carver, a Muscatine industrialist and philanthropist.

Since the beginning of the trust's grant-making activities in 1987, more than $330 million has been distributed in the form of over 2,100 individual grants. Biomedical and scientific research; primary, secondary and higher education; and other issues related to the needs of youth are the program areas of greatest interest to the Carver Charitable Trust.

"We are pleased to support WIU-QC in this endeavor to establish high-quality classrooms and laboratories for scientific and technical instruction, and we look forward to witnessing its benefit to the greater Quad Cities region," said Lynne Sasmazer, program director of the Carver Trust.

"The charitable support that the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust has provided organizations over many years is outstanding. We are pleased and honored that the Carver Trust has once again invested in Western Illinois University. This grant that will have a significant impact on our engineering program and our students," stated Brad Bainter, vice president for advancement and public service.

Posted By: Alison McGaughey (
Office of University Communications & Marketing