Why I Give
Private support is essential to Bioengineering’s continued success. Contributions from alumni and friends help sustain an environment that fosters creativity and critical thinking and enables the department to offer more scholarships, attract the best faculty, and support critical educational and research programs and facilities.
BS 1964 CE, MS 1965 CE
An Illinois Civil Engineering alumnus, Larry Sur, vice chairman of Sur and Associates, Inc., and his wife Rosie generously support Bioengineering and Civil Engineering students through the Engineering Visionary Scholarship (EVS) initiative. While a student in the 1960s, Larry was the recipient of a scholarship that enabled him to study at Illinois. The Surs chose to support students in both Civil Engineering and Bioengineering because of Larry’s affinity for his home department and personal experience with bioengineering-related products.
“We wanted to give back and encourage the best and brightest [students] in engineering to come to Illinois.”
BS 2016 BIOE
Alumna Rachel Walker, a Rhythmia mapping specialist at Boston Scientific, supports Bioengineering at Illinois through gifts to the general fund because she wants current students to have access to the best technology and tools. When she was a student, Walker was a member of BMES and says she loved working on Engineering Open House projects. She and her teammates designed and built an ankle brace that monitored stress on an athlete's ligaments to combat ankle strain during physical activity.
“This was the first time I actually developed a prototype,” she said. “We not only learned the theory but we hed to physically manufacture a device to show a proof of concept. That was amazing for me — and it was possible because we had the resources we needed.” Today she trains and assists medical personnel on how to safely use her company's Rhythmia electrophysiology system, which creates a 3D image of a patient's heart chamber to diagnose and treat arrhythmia, or an irregular heartbeat.
“I want to help the department keep bringing in technology and making it available for students to use so they can make a major impact right out of school or even while still in school.”
BS 2015 BIOE
Alumnus Vikram Reddy, senior associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory, supports the Bioengineering department at Illinois through gifts to the Engineering Visionary Scholarship (EVS) and general funds out of a sense of pride and gratitude for the department. While at Illinois, Reddy received a merit-based scholarship, which enabled him “to be successful at Illinois and in the field of my choice,” he said. “I want to pay that forward to a new generation of students.”
Reddy said the Bioengineering program prepared him well for his consulting career, giving him numerous opportunities to develop analytical and communications skills, “which sharpened my critical thinking,” he said. “I also was able to work with a diverse set of people through several team-based projects in Bioengineering, which is critical for working in business.”
“I’m proud of the Bioengineering department — its faculty research, collaboration with the new Carle Illinois College of Medicine, and renovation of the Everitt Lab facilities — and am excited by the direction it’s headed in. I want to do what I can to contribute to that innovation and forward-looking vision.”