The launch in 1957 of the Soviet Sputnik satellite came as a shock to Americans. Not only was the launch unexpected; it seemed to herald scientific dominance by our cold war opponents. Refusing to accept this possibility, a group of philanthropic women came together to found ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists®) Foundation, which they established in 1958.
Today ARCS Foundation partners with more than 50 of America’s highest-ranking universities in science, engineering, and medical research. These institutions identify the best students in the best STEM programs, and ARCS supports the students’ research with unrestricted funding that they may use at their discretion. Many of these scholars are from underrepresented populations.
Since its founding in 1977, the ARCS Illinois Chapter (originally named ARCS Chicago) has provided members with the opportunity to participate in a wide range of scientifically oriented programs, interacting with the region’s top researchers, visiting laboratories and scientific facilities throughout the state, and meeting many of the talented students and faculty of the Chapter’s five academic partners:
By the start of its 40th year, the Illinois Chapter had cumulatively awarded $3,083,900 to 466 scholars.
ARCS Illinois alumni have distinguished themselves by demonstrating leadership in scientific discovery, achieving recognition from their peers, mentoring future scientists to fill the STEM pipeline, founding or leading organizations that have significant impact on the US economy, and increasing awareness of the importance of national competitiveness.
ARCS enhances science and technology by providing financial awards to academically outstanding students studying science, engineering and medical research.