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Philanthropic Priorities

Dream Big

Vanderbilt engineers not only build rockets, bridges and nanobots, they also build dreams. For victims of spinal cord injury who dream of walking again, for parents who dream of secure futures for their children who have autism, for citizens who dream of sustainable communities—for these and other challenges, the School of Engineering asks new questions in order to help solve big problems. We advance by collaboration, and you are a vital team member. Please join us on this journey to make dreams come true.

Photo of sparsh gupta


BE'18 Russell C. Chambers Scholarship

Sparsh Gupta, whose parents are IT professionals, has technology in his DNA. Were it not for his love of engineering, and his scholarship, Gupta might have missed the opportunity to discover his passion for collaboration and invention at Vanderbilt.

“I love biomedical engineering because it allows for the translation of pure science into tangible applications. I’ve been fortunate to work on bio-nanotechnology research at Vanderbilt, developing a cheaper, more efficient way to diagnose malaria using a mobile phone,” says Gupta.

Gupta knew Vanderbilt was the right school for him, but it was the university’s financial support that helped him get here. “Attending Vanderbilt has been the best decision. It’s put me on a path toward success, and I’ll always be grateful for that.”

Points of Pride

32 PERCENT OF OUR STUDENTS STUDY ABROAD— Nearly three times the national average
No. 16 BEST UNDERGRADUATE ENGINEERING PROGRAM Among private research institutions according to U.S. News & World Report
82 PERCENT GRADUATING SENIORS WHO HAVE JOB OFFERS in their field before graduation

Our Priorities


Scholarship support is key to competing with the best schools for the most talented students.

Opportunity Vanderbilt replaces need-based undergraduate student loans with grants and scholarships. Support for engineering graduate study enhances Vanderbilt’s ability to attract the advanced problem solvers that society needs to meet evolving and critical challenges. For instance, our new master’s degree in cyber-physical systems will prepare experts in cybersecurity, the smart grid and defense—all areas of critical importance to our economy, safety and quality of life. The generosity of our alumni, parents and friends helps us meet a national need for engineering leaders by supporting diverse, gifted students who are prepared to solve complex problems.


Our faculty advance and improve the world as we know it through research and education.

Faculty support ensures that we attract and retain the very best scholars who, in turn, create robust academic programs and spark a love for learning and discovery in their students. Whether it is an endowed chair, a dean’s faculty fellow or an endowed research fund, philanthropy can provide seed money to launch intriguing new research projects that otherwise might go undeveloped.


Constructing a weight-bearing bridge in competition. Testing models in an aerospace lab. Prototyping in a maker space at the Engineering and Science Building.


Early exposure to these types of immersive, hands-on learning experiences are fundamental to developing talented engineers. In this way, students can apply lessons gleaned to lifelong learning. These opportunities are critical and costly. Philanthropic support allows us to go beyond the classroom to transform our students’ understanding of their roles as builders and leaders.


Annual gifts put your generosity to work immediately and provide us the flexibility to seize opportunities and pursue new initiatives. When you invest in the School of Engineering by making an annual gift, you provide:

  • Additional scholarship support for students who would otherwise be unable to afford a Vanderbilt education.
  • Innovative programs that extend growth beyond our boundaries and into the world.
  • Assistance for student needs like expenses related to hackathons, travel, research and emerging program support.


Planned gifts, including bequests and life income gifts, help you meet your financial and philanthropic goals while supporting great research and teaching. 

For example, researchers like Peter Pintauro, who holds the McBrayer Chair in Chemical Engineering, are investigating limitations in portable energy sources. His work on innovative membranes for fuel cells promises to transform power applications. Through a combination of annual gifts and his $2 million bequest, H. Eugene McBrayer, BE’54, pays homage to his Vanderbilt experience while promoting discovery.

“Engineers are responsible for revolutions throughout history. Today, they drive the technical revolutions that demand talent, collaboration and global awareness. Vanderbilt’s culture of collaboration motivates how we teach and how we innovate. We graduate engineers who improve our world as problem solvers, creative thinkers, entrepreneurs and leaders.”

– Philippe M. Fauchet, Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Dean, School of Engineering

Financial Snapshot

How the School of Engineering's $179 million endowment is used

Chart: How Engineering's endowment is used

Endowment peer comparison

Chart: Endowment Peer Comparison *These figures are calculated using fiscal year 2017 endowments and fall 2016 full-time equivalent students, as reported by the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

For more information about how you can join us in strengthening the School of Engineering’s future, please contact or call (615) 322-3934.