The Gies Foundation
The Gies Foundation is dedicated to creating life-altering educational opportunities in K-12 and higher education for children living on Chicago’s West Side through scholarships. Furthermore, Chicago Jesuit Academy is supported through this foundation with full scholarships available for West Side residents attending this institution.
Larry and Beth Gies (ACES ’89), generous donors who made a $150 million gift in 2017, to name their alma mater’s College of Business with their names in mind, but did not anticipate becoming the focus of much media coverage.
Early Life and Education
Gies is committed to the belief that education provides equal opportunities and empowers each individual to reach their true potential. He donated $150 million to the University of Illinois which enabled it to significantly increase student scholarships, recruit more faculty, and launch online initiatives. Gies also serves on the boards of Amsted Industries, Northwestern University (where he holds a degree) and Accelerate Institute – an initiative that addresses achievement gaps in United States education systems.
Beth, one of the contestants from Total Drama’s Beach Blanket Bogus episode, plays an integral part in Heather’s alliance; although she misunderstands Heather’s intentions and thinks Justin is using them as part of his plan to eliminate Courtney. Additionally, Beth forms part of Lindsay and Owen’s alliance without understanding their strategy.
Gies College of Business provides undergraduate and graduate degrees in Accountancy, Business Administration, Finance, Management and more. Their cutting-edge curriculum and hands-on experiential learning opportunities enable students to transform their ideas into transformative actions.
Students at Gies are encouraged to use their academic study and experience in real-life contexts such as internships, case competitions, study abroad programs and corporate-sponsored projects – something which has earned Gies high praise from acclaimed educational ranking institutions.
Beth and Larry have long been leaders of University of Illinois philanthropy, including making a $150 million naming gift to its College of Business in 2017. Beth currently sits on the board for Chicago Jesuit Academy (CJA), which offers full scholarship education for third through eighth grade boys and girls on Chicago’s West Side.
Achievement and Honors
Gies’ gift of $150 million to the University of Illinois Business School was one of the largest ever given to a business school and transformed its culture, enhanced its sense of pride, and drastically altered its trajectory.
Over the last five years, the college has flourished tremendously, adding new undergraduate programs, accelerated graduate degrees and expanding faculty members. Total enrollment has skyrocketed to 9,500 students with scholarship offerings multiplying accordingly.
Gies is also the founder and president of Madison Industries, a global manufacturing company with annual revenues exceeding $10 billion that boasts market leaders in filtration, medical, safety, rescue & firefighting equipment, heat transfer & industrial equipment as well as process improvement & instruments & controls sectors. He has spoken at various universities as a featured speaker while being instrumental in founding The Gies Campus of Chicago Jesuit Academy on Chicago’s West Side as a full-scholarship school for 3rd-8th grade boys.
Gies is the founder and president of Madison Industries, where he has established market-leading businesses in filtration, medical, safety, rescue & firefighting equipment, heat transfer, industrial equipment, process improvement, instruments & controls, advertising & service outsourcing industries. Furthermore, he is an active philanthropist serving on both The Gies Foundation (which works toward democratizing education & health) as well as The Accelerate Institute boards.
He and Beth made history in 2017 by making history themselves by giving $150 million to the University of Illinois – their alma mater – to transform its leading business school. It was the largest gift ever given in its history.
This couple firmly believes that neither cost nor access should be obstacles to receiving an excellent education, and have dedicated their gift towards supporting students from third grade through college with scholarships. Furthermore, they were key figures in founding Chicago Jesuit Academy as well – an all scholarship school serving third through eighth grade boys on Chicago’s West Side.
As of 2022, Gies’s net worth stands between $7-$15 million. His wealth primarily stems from Madison Industry which specializes in normalizing education and health issues; Gies also makes money as a speaker.
He’s a visionary philanthropist who has given generously to various local causes. Because of his generosity, the University of Illinois Business School was named in his honor.
Gies’s goal is to leave behind a legacy that improves global health and well-being, not by buying businesses but through partnerships. His company partners with businesses rather than buying them; Gies believes local management teams will lead them more successfully this way. He currently owns and manages 178 locations in 31 countries with more than 10,000 engaged employees as well as 500 owner-managers.