The John Deere Foundation has awarded a $500,000 grant to St. Ambrose University to support its bachelor's degree programs in Industrial Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.

The Davenport university will use the grant to purchase and upgrade equipment to enhance the learning environment for engineering students.

“St. Ambrose University and John Deere have had a long and fruitful partnership, and more than 700 St. Ambrose alumni are employed with John Deere worldwide,” said Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, St. Ambrose's president.

Mara Sovey, the foundation's president, said Deere has partnered with colleges and universities around the world to help prepare tomorrow's leaders. "We believe it is important for St. Ambrose University to attract and educate young people who will become significant contributors in the Quad-Cities and around the world,” she said.

The new enhancements to St. Ambrose’s engineering studies come on the heels of other advancements in the program. In 2012, St. Ambrose was one of 85 schools nationwide to receive $600,000 from the National Science Foundation to provide $10,000 renewable scholarships in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

In addition, St. Ambrose has created an outreach program to showcase engineering career opportunities to K-12 students in rural Iowa and Illinois. It also has implemented a dual admissions program to provide community college engineering students a seamless transfer to attend St. Ambrose.

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