More than 100 people gathered in the Driscoll Alumni Center to watch BP donate $225,000 to The University of Toledo to create the BP Scholars Program Feb. 24.Devoted to increasing the number of women and minority professionals in business and engineering disciplines, the leadership gift will provide scholarships for both first-year and continuing students.
“Beyond our core business, BP invests in communities across more than 80 countries worldwide. One of our major priorities is supporting education, and we are pleased to be partnering with The University of Toledo,” said Mark Dangler, president of the BP-Husky Refinery LLC in Oregon, Ohio.
Paid out over three years, annual scholarships of $2,500 will be awarded to more than two dozen students in the colleges of Engineering and Business and Innovation. BP also will mix the scholarships between high-achieving current and incoming students and target residents of northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.
Dr. Thomas Gutteridge, dean of the College of Business and Innovation, and Dr. Nagi Naganathan, dean of the College of Engineering, praised the longtime partnerships BP has had with both colleges.
“BP has demonstrated repeatedly its commitment to the next generation of business leaders, and this scholarship is just the latest example,” said Gutteridge, who pointed out that the scholarship fund is for students majoring in finance or entrepreneurship. He added the college will utilize $25,000 of its BP funding to establish a Minority Business Development Program.
Naganathan said, “A longtime partner in our co-op program, BP has repeatedly supported the research and academic activities of this college and our students. I can think of no more fitting occasion for BP to demonstrate its continuing generosity than during this week set aside nationally to honor engineers.”
Vern Snyder, vice president for institutional advancement, said that $25,000 of the donation would go to support women and minority initiatives in the College of Engineering. “BP is an organization that gives strategically, with purpose, and as a result sees a tremendous return on its investments in the community. I have no doubt that trend will continue with this gift,” he said.
Scholarship winners also will take part in a tour of the Oregon, Ohio, refinery and lunch with BP leadership.
“Northwest Ohio has so many talented men and women, and BP is proud to support students in their studies,” Dangler said. “Currently, our refinery in Oregon has over 50 University of Toledo graduates working at the site, by far the largest representation of any one university working at our refinery. This scholarship program with UT is an excellent opportunity to support education in the communities in which we work, live and raise our families.”
UT President Lloyd Jacobs said BP is a great community partner.
“We strive every day to make sure the education UT provides is relevant to a student’s growth, professionally, personally and culturally. Partners like BP help students along that path, and the result is an increase in college graduates prepared to thrive in the professional world.”