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  • November 11, 2022
  • 4 Minute Read
Press Release

SIUE & Enterprise Holdings Foundation Celebrate Innovative Atrium & Robotics Lab Made Possible by $1.5M Gift

The Largest Gift in School History Amplifies SIUE's Position as a Top-Tier Institution

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering (SIUE SOE) and Enterprise Holdings Foundation joined for a long-anticipated ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 10. The event celebrated and showcased the beautifully-renovated Enterprise Holdings Foundation Atrium prominently featured in the Engineering Building as a space for innovation and collaboration among future industry leaders. 

The redesigned space is the product of a generous $1.5 million donation from the Enterprise Holdings Foundation. Announced in 2019, the three-year, $500,000 annual contribution marks the SOE’s largest gift to date and has amplified its position as a top-tier institution cultivating academically and technically prepared talent. 

“The SIUE School of Engineering values innovative curricula and an educational environment that fosters intellectual excitement among our students and encourages them to reach their full potential,” said SIUE SOE Dean Cem Karacal, PhD. “We extend our sincere appreciation to the Enterprise Holdings Foundation for recognizing our impact as a prime source of technical talent and bolstering our commitment to collaboration and interdisciplinary activities.”

The Enterprise Holdings Foundation Atrium features multiple information technology (IT) ports, projection capabilities, ample charging stations and numerous electrical outlets. High-quality furnishings offer students, faculty, alumni and industry stakeholders a welcoming place to convene. The first installment of upgrades was completed in spring 2020. In fall 2022, the SOE opened an adjacent robotics lab that offers a view from the Atrium into the mechanically advanced teaching and learning hub.

“This incredible space inspires innovative ideas, team building and collaborative project development that will set our students up for success as future industry leaders,” added SIUE Chancellor James T. Minor, PhD. "We are transforming lives as we develop professionals who will power the workforce. It is our pleasure to partner with Enterprise Holdings Foundation in that mutually beneficial mission.

”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 brands.

“This donation to the School of Engineering will help strengthen SIUE as an institution and provide a valuable resource for students to learn and grow,” said Enterprise Holdings Foundation President Carolyn Kindle. “We are honored to know that our support will foster an environment where innovation and collaboration can thrive.”

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 IT professionals, who work to build tech solutions that are redefining how customers buy, rent and share vehicles.

Enterprise Holdings has partnered with the SOE 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.

Enterprise Holdings Foundation

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, it has contributed more than $592 million to thousands of local nonprofits focused on community improvement, education and environmental stewardship. Commitments range from global philanthropic initiatives that advance social and racial equity to projects focused on critical conservation challenges. 


SIUE School of Engineering

The SIUE School of Engineering offers one of the most comprehensive and affordable engineering programs in the St. Louis region with eight undergraduate degrees, five master’s degrees and two cooperative doctoral programs, all housed in a state-of-the-art facility. 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. All undergraduate programs are accredited by their respective accreditation agencies.