Personal Giving Stories


Grateful UIC Alumna Funds Scholarship and Receives Income for Life with CGA

Niva Oghigian (’69 BS,’71 MS)
Niva Oghigian

Niva Oghigian (’69 BS,’71 MS) did what few women of her generation were able to do. She earned a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), received an MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and built a successful career that culminated in 17 years at the aerospace and defense giant Northrop Grumman/TRW in California.

As a woman in male-dominated spaces, Niva blazed her own trails. Today she’s helping women follow in her footsteps with the Niva S. Oghigian Scholarship. Oghigian established the fund at the University of Illinois Foundation in part with a gift that created a charitable gift annuity ("CGA") to provide her a stream of fixed payments for the rest of her life. The remainder from her CGA will be directed to her scholarship in the College of Engineering to provide student support based on both financial-need and merit-based factors.

Oghigian knows that education and hard work are the keys to a better life. She says, “We improve our lives by helping others transform their lives and add value to the world. It’s important to give back because women have a lot to contribute to engineering and other fields.”

“UIC facilitated my life’s transformation and the scholarship fund is one of my ways to give back,” says Oghigian.


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