In keeping with its commitment to advancing opportunities for women in engineering, the Ford Motor Company has pledged $10 million to Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, to underwrite the cost of a new state-of-the-art engineering teaching and research facility.
The gift, the largest single gift to the college from a corporation, brings Ford's financial commitment to Smith's program to $12.5 million. A previous gift of $2.5 million, awarded last summer, continues to support academic program development, outreach, recruitment, and scholarships for engineering students at Smith, the first and only women's college in the country to offer an engineering degree.
"Ford's commitment to our new program has been decisive and pivotal," noted Smith president Ruth J. Simmons. "We are grateful for their interest and support which, from the outset, has enabled us to envision engineering education that will not only benefit our own students but could serve as a model for bringing women into engineering."
Established in February 1999, Smith's Picker Program in Engineering and Technology is focused on developing broadly educated, well-rounded engineers capable of assuming leadership roles in corporations, non-profit organizations, and technology-related fields. The program's unprecedented linkage of engineering education and the liberal arts is designed to attract women not only strong in scientific and technical aptitude but also capable of exceptional creativity and humanistic understanding.