GM Foundation donating $2.5 million to the College for Creative Studies

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 27, 2011

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.

Press Release

GM Foundation Grants $2.5 Million to Art and Design College

The General Motors Foundation today announced a $2.5-million donation to the College for Creative Studies (CCS), strengthening a longstanding commitment to the world’s leading educator of automotive designers.

CCS, a world-class school for art and design education located in the heart of the city, is an economic engine and leading supplier of creative talent in Michigan. The foundation’s grant will support the ongoing $145-million redevelopment of the college’s A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education.
“The quality of young designers that CCS educates and trains is a tremendous resource for Detroit and the world,” said GM North America President and GM Foundation board member Mark Reuss. “Working to strengthen CCS is critical in our attempts to help Detroit rebound economically and for us to win in the marketplace.”
In 2008, GM donated the former Argonaut building, workplace for industry pioneers such as Charles F. Kettering and GM’s first design chief, Harley Earl, to CCS. A national historic landmark, its design and construction was directed by legendary GM Chairman and CEO Alfred P. Sloan.

In 2009, CCS opened the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education, a $145-million integrated educational and creative community focused on art and design that extends from middle school through graduate school and into professional development.

“In addition to developing world-class creative talent, the project is generating 200 jobs, bringing 2,000 people a day and creating a bustling ambience to Midtown, adding to this area’s renewed vitality,” said College for Creative Studies President Richard L. Rogers.

Rogers said CCS trustees, private foundations, corporations and hundreds of individuals have donated more than $50 million to the project. At least $4 million more is needed to keep the redevelopment on track

GM and The GM Foundation also support CCS through development of the Transportation Design curriculum, and GM designers teach and mentor project leaders. Through the Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE), GM donates software integral to transportation design as well as helping students gain proficiency with industry tools.

As part of the day’s announcements, the CCS Board of Trustees dedicated the General Motors Auditorium, located on the top floor of the Taubman Center building and the onetime home of GM’s headquarters for its Design and Photographic Departments.

"It is gratifying to see that the GM Auditorium space has come full circle," said Ed Welburn, GM vice president for Global Design and member of the CCS Board of Trustees. "There were no formal colleges dedicated to automotive design in the 1920s and '30s, so Harley Earl established the industry's first transportation design school on the 11th floor of the Argonaut Building. Over time, it produced some of the world's top automotive designers. Now, the space is helping young people reach their potential, and has become a training ground for the 21st Century."

About the GM Foundation
Since its inception in 1976, the GM Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to deserving American charities, educational organizations and to disaster relief efforts worldwide. The GM Foundation focuses on supporting Education, Health and Human Services, Environment and Energy and Community Development initiatives, mainly in the communities where GM operates. Funding of the GM Foundation comes solely from GM. The last contribution to the GM Foundation was made in 2001. For more information, visit

About General Motors
General Motors (NYSE: GM, TSX: GMM), one of the world’s largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 202,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in more than 120 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 30 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Daewoo, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall, and Wuling. GM’s largest national market is China, followed by the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and Italy. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on the new General Motors can be found at

About College for Creative Studies
College for Creative Studies (CCS) is an integrated learning community located in Detroit. A private, fully accredited college, CCS enrolls nearly 1,400 students pursuing Master of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees. CCS also offers visual art opportunities for learners of all ages through its Community Arts Partnerships and Continuing Education programs. The Advancing the Creative Spirit campaign enables CCS to provide a world-class art and design curriculum and innovative programming. The $55 million campaign has raised more than $50 million to date, and the College is working hard to keep its promise to the community. For more information, visit

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