The Grainger Institute for Engineering

The Grainger Institute for Engineering


The Grainger Institute for Engineering

Announcement Plan

An effective and public launch of the Grainger Institute for Engineering is key to the success of this venture. The objectives of the announcement plan are:

  • To create national awareness of the Grainger Institute for Engineering
  • To leverage this commitment, inviting other donors to consider related giving opportunities
  • To attract the attention of top experts from other institutions

To maximize the Institute’s ability to recruit top faculty and enhance the College’s visibility and expertise, it is essential to utilize all appropriate promotion opportunities. To that end, the College of Engineering proposes the following schedule for announcing the creation of the Institute:

May 1-29Finalize agreement documentation

UW Foundation agrees to accept The Grainger Foundation commitment documentation.

Grainger document includes:

  • payment schedule
  • reporting requirements and
  • attached proposal as criteria for how commitment will be used

Identify a campus team to oversee the announcement of the Institute:

  • Cathleen Walters, Associate Dean of Advancement
  • Renee Meiller, Director of Communications, College of Engineering
  • Alissa Robertson, Chief Development Officer, UW Foundation
  • Dennis Chaptman, Assistant Director, University Communications

Identify the College of Engineering team to create the Grainger Institute for Engineering

  • Ian Robertson, Dean
  • Susan Hagness, Associate Dean for Research
  • James Blanchard, Chair of Engineering Physics
  • Jaal Ghandhi, Chair of Mechanical Engineering
  • Tom Kuech, Chair of Chemical and Biological Engineering

May 15-30Finalize announcement plans and obtain approval from The Grainger Foundation on

the press release (See attachment)

May 26-June 2

Use language from the press release to develop other elements needed for announcements, including

  • Advertisements
  • Announcement Script
  • Response to media and other questions
  • Signage

June 1-12Obtain approvals from The Grainger Foundation on all elements listed above

June 6

College of Engineering Implementation Team to send the Position Vacancy Listing (job description) for Director to The Grainger Foundation for review and approval.

June 13Formal execution of the commitment letter at The Grainger Foundation offices at Lake Forest, IL

  • Attendees: David Grainger, John Chapman, John Howard, David Kendall, Gloria Sinclair, Ian Robertson, Rebecca Blank, Sarah Mangelsdorf, Mike Knetter, Cathleen Walters.
  • Event Timeline:

8:15Depart campus. Ian Robertson will pick up Chancellor Blank at:

Olin House

130 N. Prospect Ave


Drive should take 2 hours, 15 minutes from Madison in no traffic.

Mike Knetter will already be in Chicago. Sarah Mangelsdorf and Cathleen Walters will drive separately.

10:50Arrive at Grainger

100 Grainger Parkway

Lake Forest, IL 60045

Stop at guard station to complete paperwork and get directions

11:00Arrive at Grainger executive offices

11:15Sign documents

The original commitment documentation to be signed by

Chancellor Rebecca Blank, Dean Ian Robertson,

and Mike Knetter, President of UW Foundation

11:30Lunch will be served in Grainger food court. Menu provided

beforehand, items will be chosen before arrival and pre-set at table.

In context of casual lunch conversation, Chancellor to talk with David and others about the challenges and opportunities facing the University of Wisconsin (Alisa Robertson managing talking points. Not a “speech”).

Dean Robertson to speak about the challenges facing the College and how this Institute will transform the College of Engineering

1:30 pmDepart Grainger (Chancellor to O’Hare, others return to campus)

  • Media announcement: College of Engineering will announce the

largest private gift in the College’s history

June 13, 16Private Announcement

  • Ian sends an email to each member of the College of Engineering Industrial Advisory Board
  • Ian makes personal phone calls to the College’s top 20 donors
  • Card printed to announce to peer institutions

June 16Public Announcement

8:00 amEmail sent to all faculty and staff in the College of Engineering with reminder of major announcement and celebration

11:30 amPress Release sent to local and national media outlets

Announcement placed on the College of Engineering and University


11:30UW Foundation President Mike Knetter and Dean Ian Robertson announce gift at the College of Engineering

Event Timeline:

11:30 College of Engineering faculty, staff and graduate students gather in 1800 Grainger Auditorium, Engineering Hall

11:40 Dean Ian Robertson introduces UW Foundation President Mike Knetter

11:41 Mike Knetter talks about the transformative nature of the campaign, and how there are key moments that have the power to change the culture and create a new climate of innovation and collaboration


  1. Introduce Campaign
  2. Priorities: Student Support, Faculty Support, Educational Experience, Changing our World
  3. Timeline and Importance of Silent Phase in securing transformative gifts
  4. Significance of this gift
  5. First (?) transformative gift announcement of the campaign
  6. Gathered today to announce the largest gift to the College of Engineering
  7. This is an historic moment, a leap forward in the research mission of the college
  8. What Dean Robertson is about to share will create a new climate of innovation and collaboration that will reach beyond the walls of the College, rippling through the campus, the state and beyond.

11:45 Dean Ian Robertson announces the creation of the Grainger Institute for Engineering, discusses its transformative effect on the college and introduces the Implementation Team.

NoonCollege of Engineering all staff lunch celebration

1:00 pmAnnouncement emailed to all active College of Engineering

email addresses (alumni, donors, etc.)

Card mailed to peer institutions

Announcement emailed to peer institutions

June 16- Ads placed in key publications, such as Nature, Science, Prism, Chronicle of

July 15Higher Education and others.

July 15Cover Story in the College of Engineering Perspective Magazine

October Opening of New Space for the Grainger Institute for Engineering

Invite The Grainger Foundation representatives to come to campus, tour

the space and have lunch with the team involved in the implementation.