The University of Illinois has received its largest-ever donation—a $150 million gift—from the head of a Chicago private equity firm, school officials announced Thursday.
The gift from Larry Gies, chief executive of Madison Industries, and his wife, Beth, means the university’s business school at the Urbana-Champaign campus will now be known as the Gies College of Business. School officials confirmed the $150 million gift was the largest gift in Urbana-Champaign history.
The donation comes as the University of Illinois system embarks on an ambitious, five-year multibillion-dollar fundraising drive across its three campuses in the wake of the state's recent budget impasse that has drastically reduced the system’s state funding.
“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,” Jeffrey R. Brown, dean of the College of Business, said in a news release announcing the gift.