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02/14/95

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General Motors gives $1 million for research, minority recruitment

STANFORD -- Thomas W. Evernham, senior vice president of General Motors¹ Delco Electronics division, handed a check for $200,000 to Provost Condoleezza Rice on Friday, Feb. 10, in a small ceremony in the General Motors Corp. classroom in the recently completed Thornton Center for Engineering Management on campus.

The check was the first installment on a five-year, $1 million grant from the auto maker that will be used for research and minority recruitment at both the School of Engineering and the Graduate School of Business.

"General Motors is pleased to continue its support of the Stanford School of Engineering and the Graduate School of Business. Both have done excellent research for the automotive industry and provided high-quality graduates, many of whom are now employed by GM. In addition, Stanford has made great strides in its efforts to recruit women and minorities to its programs," Evernham said in a news release on the award.

Both the Graduate School of Business and the School of Engineering are designated General Motors Key Institution schools. In the last 20 years, the company has committed more than $6 million in gifts and grants to Stanford through this program.

"It is particularly impressive that your company, that has faced many challenges in the past few years and responded imaginatively and effectively, has also managed to maintain the kind of long-term involvement with, and investment in, our programs," said business school dean A. Michael Spence at the ceremony.

The new grant will be divided up in a number of ways. The Graduate School of Business will receive a total of $25,000; $125,000 will go to Engineering; and $50,000 will support the joint GSB/Engineering Global Manufacturing Associates program. Forty- four percent, $87,500, will be used for general research and teaching. Fifty-six percent, $112,500, will be directed to programs for minorities and women.

The specific programs that will receive support:

  • GSB's Global Management Fund gets $25,000 per year to support research and teaching focused on international business, specifically the studies of program director John Roberts, the Jonathan B. Lovelace Professor of Economics, who is investigating the effects of globalization on the automotive industry, and Assistant Professor Robin Wells, whose research involves the application of game theory to labor contracting and international debt negotiations.
  • Mechanical Engineering receives $15,000 per year to purchase new equipment for the Internal Combustion Engineering Laboratory and $10,000 per year to allow Assistant Professor Thomas W. Kenny to augment the capabilities of the microsensor testing laboratory in the Thornton Center
  • Electrical Engineering gets $25,000 per year to allow Assistant Professor Gregory T. Kovacs to add new equipment and partially support a graduate student who works with him on designing, testing, fabricating and packaging micromachined sensors for a variety of applications, including sensors that may be able to directly measure the quality of oil and coolant in automobiles.
  • Computer Science picks up $20,000 per year to further Associate Professor Oussama Khatib's efforts to develop a common hardware/software environment in the Robotics Laboratory. The goal of the research is to integrate real-time vision with motion planning and real-time control.
  • Operations Research gets $5,000 per year to provide Professor Arthur Veinott with partial support for graduate assistants working with him on optimization and competitive analysis of manufacturing and distribution systems in a competitive environment.
  • The School of Engineering will apply $21,000 per year to establish GM Graduate Fellowships for Women and Minorities. The fellowships will help the school provide full tuition and stipends for a record number of incoming Stanford minority graduate students who arrived last fall, when the number nearly doubled to 73. With 23 of the new graduate students, Mechanical Engineering will pick up $15,000 and, with 12 new students, Electrical Engineering will get $6,000.
  • The pre-college and undergraduate programs for targeted minority engineering students will gain $10,000 per year from the GM award. The money will be directed toward tutoring programs, scholarships and travel grants to allow students to participate in meetings of organizations such as the Society of Women Engineers, the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, and the Society of Black Scientists and Engineers.
  • Just as support from an existing Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant is ending, the GM grant provides $9,000 per year to support women and minority students in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program. SURF gives juniors and co-term seniors research experience by supporting them for three months while they work with a faculty member, and often an industry partner, on a research project.
  • Associate Professors of Mechanical Engineering Reginald Mitchell and Godfrey Mungal, who are both African American, receive $10,000 per year to support their research and their efforts to attract an increasingly diverse engineering student body.
  • The Future Professors of Manufacturing program acquires $50,000 per year to establish a GM Fellowship. The money will support a candidate in the doctoral program, which is designed to produce new faculty who "will be key leaders in manufacturing education and research in the United States well into the next century." The program is supported by the Global Manufacturing Associates, a joint effort by business and engineering schools.

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