The Enterprise Holdings Foundation has donated $1.5 million to the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering.
The three-year, $500,000 annual contribution marks the SOE’s largest gift to date, and further solidifies the nationally-recognized SIUE SOE as a top tier institution cultivating academically and technically prepared talent.
The donation will be used to support the renovation of the school’s atrium into a collaborative student workspace. The technologically reimagined and renovated “Enterprise Holdings Foundation Atrium” will prominently display the strong partnership between the SOE and Enterprise Holdings.
The Enterprise Holdings Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Enterprise Holdings, which, through its integrated global network of independent regional subsidiaries and franchises, operates the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands.
Enterprise is repeatedly recognized as one of the largest college recruiters in the U.S. – largely for hiring into the company’s renowned Management Training Program. Locally, Enterprise also hires for its robust team of more than 2,000 Information Technology professionals, who work to build tech solutions that are redefining how customers buy, rent and share vehicles.
Enterprise Holdings has partnered with the SIUE School of Engineering for several years to connect students and graduates with career opportunities in its IT department. And with SIUE’s rigorous academic standards and aggressive approach to innovation, the partnership has created an ongoing talent pipeline to meet changing demands for technical talent. In the past five years alone, Enterprise has hired more than 80 SIUE engineering students and graduates into full-time roles as well as the company’s IT internship program.
“With this generous gift from the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, our role as a prime source of technical talent is being recognized by one of our valued industry partners, and for that we are extremely grateful and proud,” said SIUE SOE Dean Cem Karacal, PhD. “This gift is both timely and meaningful, as our School of Engineering is increasingly integrating with St. Louis area companies and becoming part of the technology ecosystem of the region. Such a mutually beneficial collaboration is destined to have a strong, positive impact on the economic well-being of our region.”
The Enterprise Holdings Foundation was established by Enterprise founder Jack Taylor in 1982 to give back to the communities where partners and employees live and work. Since then, the Enterprise Holdings Foundation has contributed more than $405 million to thousands of local nonprofits focused on community improvement, education and environmental stewardship. Commitments range from global philanthropic initiatives to community-focused projects.
“As a business that has been headquartered in St. Louis for more than 60 years, we are committed to supporting the growth and development of the St. Louis community,” said Carolyn Kindle Betz, president of the Enterprise Holdings Foundation. “Our donation to the SIUE School of Engineering represents an investment in the next generation of IT talent and the future of the Greater St. Louis community as a whole.”
Once complete, the Enterprise Holdings Foundation Atrium will feature multiple IT ports, projection capabilities, ample charging stations and numerous electrical outlets. In addition, new, high-quality furnishings will offer students, faculty, alumni and industry stakeholders a welcoming place to convene for the sharing of ideas and to comfortably accomplish academic and professional goals.
The first installment of upgrades to the atrium space is slated for completion in spring of 2020. A ribbon cutting ceremony will follow to unveil the new Enterprise Holdings Foundation Atrium.
“We value innovative curricula and an educational environment that fosters intellectual excitement among our students and encourages them to reach their highest potential,” noted Karacal. “The redesigned atrium space supports our commitment to collaboration and interdisciplinary activities as driving forces in the education of our students.”
The SIUE School of Engineering is one of the largest engineering schools in the region. It offers comprehensive and affordable engineering programs with eight undergraduate degrees, five master’s degrees and two cooperative doctoral programs. Students learn from expert faculty, perform cutting-edge research, and participate in intercollegiate design competitions. Companies in the metropolitan St. Louis area provide students challenging internships and co-op opportunities, which often turn into permanent employment. Students gain hands-on experience in the School’s state-of-the-art facilities, including the new Fowler Student Design Center.
Photo: (L-R) Enterprise Senior IT security administrator Miranda Haeuber; Enterprise Engineer 2 Nicole Blumhorst; SIUE School of Engineering (SOE) Dean Cem Karacal, PhD; Enterprise Holdings Chief Information Officer Mike Nolfo; SOE Associate Dean Chris Gordon, PhD, and SOE Director of Development Brian Moeller.