Vijay Kumar, Professor and Nemirovsky Family Dean of Penn Engineering, has a big goal in mind for his tenure – grow to become the top engineering school in the nation. Accomplishing this means recruiting and retaining the world’s best faculty and students, giving them state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, and enhancing the interdisciplinary programs that make Penn unique.

The School relies on private philanthropy – especially unrestricted funds that can make an immediate impact on the School’s greatest areas of need. A gift to the Engineering Annual Giving Fund may be used to recruit top faculty, support student-run programs like Penn Electric Racing, purchase computer and laboratory equipment, upgrade facilities, and more.

Recently, Alex Kruger ENG’96, W’96 came up with an innovative idea to boost the School’s Annual Giving Fund by issuing a challenge. He promised an additional $50,000 if the number of donors could grow to 1,921—an increase of 100 donors—by the close of the 2016 fiscal year.

Penn Engineering donors heeded the call, meeting and exceeding the goal well ahead of schedule. As part of the challenge, current graduate students and created the first Graduate Student Challenge, which was also incredibly successful.

Click here to watch a video about the Graduate Student Challenge.