The General Motors Foundation is donating $2.5 million to the College for Creative Studies, which is one of the leading art and design schools in the world.
The CCS has about 1,400 students and offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in 11 disciplines and Master of Fine Arts degrees in two majors. This grant will be used for the ongoing $145 million redevelopment of the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education.
GM has a soft spot for the Taubman Center, which is in the former Argonaut Building, as it had been a GM research laboratory at some point. In a statement, GM North America President and GM Foundation board member Mark Reuss said that CCS graduates are a “tremendous resource” of designers for Detroit and the world.
GM stated that supporting CCS is vital in its plan to hasten the economic recovery of Detroit and to take the lead in the market. It was in 2008 that GM donated the site.
And in 2009, the Taubman Center was opened. In the statement, CCS President Richard Rogers said that over $50 million was donated to the redevelopment project by the CCS trustees, private foundations, corporations and individuals.
Rogers said for the project to remain on track, it will need at least $4 million more. Rogers said that aside from developing first-class creative talent, the project generates 200 jobs and brings 2,000 people each day. It gives Midtown a bustling ambience and contributes to its renewed vigor.
General Motors and The GM Foundation have paid their support for the College for Creative Studies (CCS). The new curriculum for Transportation Design is on its way to be mentored by GM project leaders and designers. General Motors is also giving away basic software tools with the help of PACE (Partners for Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education) to be used in designing transportation.
This announcement was held today at the General Motors Auditorium. CCS members and Board of Trustees gathered at the top floor of the Taubman Building known to house GM’s Design and Photographic HQ in the past.
Ed Welburn, GM vice president for Global Design and CCS Board of Trustee, recalled how Harley Earl established the first and only automotive design school in the 1920’s-1930’s. The formal college was then located at 11th floor of the same building now dedicated for the same purpose. He strongly believes that using the same space will help aspiring designers to reach for their dream.
General Motors Foundation was established in 1976 and has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide. This includes donations for disaster relief efforts, educational organisations and reputable charities across the United States. The foundation also aims to support the development of GM operated communities in terms of Environment & Energy, Health & Human Services as well as in Education. The GM Foundation has made its latest contribution as of 2001. Funds for the foundation are all coming from General Motors.