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Ford Motor Company gives $7.3 million to UT Austin engineering, business schools

The College of Engineering and the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin announced today (Feb. 19) Ford Motor Company gifts totaling $7.3 million for a range of student programs.

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AUSTIN, Texas—The College of Engineering and the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin announced today (Feb. 19) Ford Motor Company gifts totaling $7.3 million for a range of student programs.

The multiple gifts are designed to foster the overarching goals of developing leadership, diversity, technical excellence and business acumen.

“The Ford Motor Company has a long history of support to The University of Texas at Austin and we are delighted and humbled at this latest, most generous gift,” said UT Austin President Larry R. Faulkner. “This contribution will have a far-reaching impact on UT Austin and will help ensure our position as one of the great public research universities in the nation.”

Brian P. Kelley, vice president of Ford Motor Company, said the gifts are designed “to assist the University in addressing a critical need to provide facilities and programs that promote teamwork and diversity, increase student retention and achievement, and develop just-in-time learning and alternative instruction techniques.”

The gifts will be used for multiple purposes, including the following:

  • Renovating part of the second floor area of the Engineering Teaching Center II to create a Ford Motor Company Academic and Student Life Center

  • Creating two technology learning laboratories that will equip engineering students and faculty to interact with their counterparts at other universities and industry representatives

  • Funding scholarships, continuing education and other programs that will promote student diversity in the business school

  • Renovating and re-equipping 10 mechanical engineering laboratories to accommodate a new curriculum known as Project-Centered Education (PROCEED), an educational paradigm that simultaneously teaches theory and practical application

  • Providing undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, an engineering honors program and other support programs

  • Supporting Business for Engineering Graduates, a program co-designed by business and engineering to teach business disciplines to recent graduates

  • Launching the Center for Technology Commercialization and Enterprise Education, which will foster leadership, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship among students

  • Adding a third university-wide LeaderShape — Texas Institute, a retreat where students work with industry, faculty and their peers on individually conceived projects involving leadership skills.

“We are both excited and grateful that Ford is investing so creatively and, we think, productively in the education of engineering students,” said Ben Streetman, dean of the College of Engineering.

“Ford has put a great deal of thought and foresight into this grant, which will better equip our engineering students for the professional challenges they will face,” he said.

Robert May, dean of the McCombs School of Business, said, “The infusion of business acumen into engineering education will help the engineers of the future better market their ideas in the world of commerce.

“We are thrilled at the possibilities that lie ahead because of Ford’s generosity,” May said.