USC Announces $1 Million Endowment from BMW Manufacturing Corp. for Business School
The University of South Carolina announced Thursday that The Darla Moore School of Business has received a $1 million gift from BMW Manufacturing Corp. to establish an endowment for international programs and research.
The gift, which is a milestone in the ongoing relationship between BMW and USC, significantly strengthens the partnership between the German automaker and The Darla Moore School of Business, said USC President John M. Palms.
“Naturally, we are delighted to announce BMW’s endowment for the business school,” Palms said. “But we are even more pleased because of its significance well beyond its monetary value. With this gift comes the added opportunity to strengthen our partnership with one of the world’s top corporations by working together on initiatives that not only will benefit BMW and the university, but also the economy and the people of South Carolina.”
BMW President Dr. Helmut Leube said the gift is an investment in the future of the state and the University of South Carolina.
“BMW’s future growth rests upon an ever-competitive educational system, and that will be made possible only by greater investments in education,” said Dr. Leube. “Our gift is evidence of our confidence that this state and this university can and will meet the challenges of the future.”
Joel Smith, dean of The Darla Moore School of Business, said that although the endowment is geared toward international initiatives, it also can be used to support fellowships, scholarships and academic programs and to fund areas of mutual interest between BMW and the business school. Each year, representatives from the business school and BMW will evaluate the needs of the school and BMW and allocate the resources accordingly. Smith said the nature of the endowment definitely will raise the profile of the business school and enable the university to compete for top faculty and students.
“This endowment, because of the way it has been set up, will give BMW and the school flexibility to determine what programs can benefit most from the funds. For example, one year the resources may be put toward an academic program and then shifted to scholarships the next. This way the entire school, including faculty and students, as well as BMW will benefit from this generous gift.”
The business school and BMW have had a 15-year relationship through USC’s prestigious Master of International Business Studies program, which supplies MIBS interns for BMW. This year USC will send four students to intern at BMW facilities in Germany.
BMW, one of the state’s most prominent employers announced its plans to locate in South Carolina’s Upstate in 1992 and began construction on a manufacturing facility in 1993. Since the first American-made BMW was shipped to customers in 1995, the plant has steadily increased its production and employs more than 4,000 workers at their plant near Greer.
The Darla Moore School of Business has earned an international reputation as a pioneer in international business education. For 10 years, the master of international business studies (MIBS) program, which has served as the model for programs around the country, has been ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 in U.S. News and World Report among international graduate business programs. In January, the Financial Times ranked the business school 45th among business schools worldwide with MBA programs.