The largest gift in the university's history will support the business school's key initiatives, which include efforts to deliver undergraduate excellence, create exceptional graduate programs, expand the boundaries of theoretical and applied business knowledge, and use technology to democratize education. More specifically, the gift will be used to fund scholarships, student programs, and faculty recruitment and retention, Jeffrey R. Brown, dean of the business college, told Crain's Chicago Business. In recognition of the gift, the school will be renamed the Gies College of Business.
"This investment makes a bold statement about the future impact the Gies College of Business will have on our campus and beyond," said UI chancellor Robert J. Jones. "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."
After graduating from the business school, Larry Gies became a CPA, earned an MBA from Northwestern University, and worked for Heico founder and investor Michael Heisley before founding Madison Industries in 1994. Beth Gies graduated from what was then the College of Agriculture.
"The College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a very special place to me," said Larry Gies. "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. 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."