Olin College of Engineering // 2016 Impact Report

2016 Impact Report Menu


Generous Corporations
Corporate giving and matching gifts

Corporate relationships with Olin benefit the company, the college and our students. Many corporations have found a great deal of alignment with Olin’s mission, and we are thankful for their generous support. For a complete listing of corporate gifts, click here.

Corporate Donor Profile: Autodesk
Corporate-nonprofit partnership to develop low-cost prosthetics


There were several reasons the giant software company Autodesk decided to fund an Olin College SCOPE project in 2016. They wanted the students to develop new skills incorporating design and engineering in the cloud, become better engineers, and most importantly, do some good.

Olin connected Autodesk with LIMBS International, a nonprofit that offers low-cost prosthetics to amputees in the developing world.  LIMBS had its own reasons for wanting to pursue a SCOPE project. As a non-profit its resources are limited, but its mission is a powerful one. The current LIMBS knee is cost-effective, but it lacks some of the functionality of the “intelligent” knees found in more expensive prosthetics. LIMBS was looking for a team of engineers to design and craft a high-tech knee at a fraction of the current cost. 

The Olin student team was told to try to come up with something workable—but not be afraid to think outside the box. The students used a seat belt mechanism as the starting point for their design. They also used new design software provided by Autodesk. By the end of the year, the team had a working prototype.

This is the fourth year Autodesk has provided funding for a SCOPE project, and the money is well spent, according to Erica Nwankwo, a design educator at Autodesk.

“We are happy to fund projects that allow the next generation of engineers to tackle complex challenges and use design thinking methodologies to co-create and invent impactful solutions,” says Nwankwo. “Olin is changing the way engineering is taught and Autodesk is excited to be part of this future of making and learning.”


Corporate Giving Spotlight: Matching Gifts
Alumni generosity and corporate giving: A perfect match

Andy Getzendanner ’10 is grateful for his Olin education. He believes the skills he learned have been critical to his success. And like other alumni, he expresses his gratitude by giving to Olin. But he’s found a way to multiply the effect of his gifts: through the corporate matching gift program.

Group Photo

“If you know about it, there’s literally no reason not to use it,” says Getzendanner.

His employer, Google, makes it easy. Google matches eligible employee gifts to nonprofits like colleges and universities dollar for dollar. The company also allows employees to make donations via payroll deduction.

Andy is not alone. Other Oliners at Google have taken advantage of the program. Last year, the big priority was the Charlie Nolan Candidate Endowment Fund, which provides funds to ensure all candidates will be able to attend Candidates’ Weekend.

Over at Apple, Matt Hill ’06 always makes sure to request the corporate match. He sees it as a no-brainer.

Matt Hill (center), Kristina Raposa, director of family and alumni relations, and
fellow Oliners at Apple.

“For Olin and a few other causes I care about, matching giving has allowed me to double my impact,” says Hill. “For me, it’s about the impact on the causes I support that’s the most important thing and any time I can maximize that while doing what I’m already planning to do, that’s fantastic.”

Shannon Paleologos, director of annual giving and advancement services, said matching gift revenue reached $109,824 last year, no small amount.

“Matching giving is a growing contributor to our overall fundraising effort. We would like to encourage all Olin donors to look into the matching giving programs their employers may offer.”