October 29, 2008 — The University of Virginia will benefit from a new five-year, $2.1 million education initiative from Volkswagen Group of America Inc., designed to support students and teachers interested in advanced automotive technology and next-generation automotive engineering.
The company announced its "Partners in Education" program — a partnership with schools and technical institutions throughout Virginia and the Washington, D.C., area — at the Sept. 17 grand opening of the company's new U.S. corporate headquarters in Herndon, Va.
Besides U.Va., the donations will provide financial, educational and other needed resources to George Mason University, Virginia Tech, the Fairfax County Public Schools, Northern Virginia Community College and the Washington-based Excel Institute.
Stefan Jacoby, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, and Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Group, unveiled the philanthropic initiative.
At U.Va.'s School of Engineering and Applied Science, Volkswagen Group will fund two full-time scholarships. One will support the Rodman Scholars program, an honors program within the school. The second will provide funding for a fellowship program for graduate engineers.
"This partnership with the Volkswagen Group will benefit our school on several levels," Engineering School dean James H. Aylor said. "It will make an international experience possible for our Rodman students, and will benefit our research programs through funding of a graduate fellowship. We are very appreciative of this support and we hope to be a valued partner in Volkswagen's efforts to advance the field of next-generation automotive engineering."
The partnership with high schools, universities, technical schools and community colleges is designed to positively impact students throughout their educational experience and throughout the region.
"At Volkswagen, economic success and corporate responsibility walk hand-in-hand," Winterkorn said. "Our group is a committed partner of the regions in which we do business. Education is high on our agenda, since this is key to a strong future for people all around the world. Volkswagen already has close links with high schools and universities worldwide and we are proud to announce another major education initiative here."
Volkswagen Group of America Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, the world's fourth-largest automaker and the largest in Europe. It houses the U.S. operations of a worldwide family of brands, including Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Volkswagen. Its operations also include VW Credit Inc. Volkswagen Group of America was founded in 1955. Its headquarters are located in Herndon, Va.