The University of Cincinnati Foundation

The University of Cincinnati Foundation
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Marathon Petroleum Gives $360K to UC Engineering Program, UC Matches Gift

Fund to support 15 students enrolled in UC’s Emerging Ethnic Engineers Program each year

CINCINNATI – February 19, 2015 – Marathon Petroleum Company (MPC) has donated $360,000 to the University of Cincinnati’s Emerging Ethnic Engineers (E3) Program, establishing the Marathon Petroleum Company Scholars Program. UC will match the gift, which will be made over three years and will provide annual support for 15 freshmen in the E3 program.

“UC has made remarkable advancements in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education over the past years, and I am excited to continue our upward trajectory with Marathon Petroleum’s support,” said UC President Santa J. Ono. “The company’s gift will have a tangible impact on the lives of 15 freshmen each year, and I am proud of the university for matching it.”

Established in 1989, UC’s E3 program is designed to enhance the recruitment, retention and graduation of underrepresented ethnic students in the College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS). The Marathon Petroleum Company Scholars Program will cover up to $5,000 toward the cost of E3’s Summer Bridge Scholars Program, a seven-week residential program for incoming students. It will also provide up to $10,000 to cover the cost of tuition during a student’s first year.

”Marathon Petroleum Company is committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce, and we see this donation to the University of Cincinnati’s E3 program as an investment in that commitment,” said Rod Nichols, MPC’s senior vice president of Human Resources and Administrative Services. “We’re proud to make this contribution to so many promising engineers, as well as an excellent engineering college.”

Marathon Petroleum has been a major supporter of UC’s CEAS and has made more than 50 gifts to the college over the past 20 years. It recently opted to invest in E3 after seeing first-hand the high quality students the program attracts.

“The E3 program provides a national model that works and has a long track record in graduating and retaining first-generation and underrepresented students in engineering,” said Rob Richardson, a 2002 graduate from UC’s CEAS and vice chairman of the UC Board of Trustees. His mother, Sherri Richardson, a UC Lindner College of Business alumna and owner of the accounting firm Richardson and Associates, initially connected Marathon recruiters to the E3 program after they expressed interest in expanding diversity efforts.

Richardson himself went through the E3 program and is now one of its biggest advocates.

“The E3 model has been so successful because of the infrastructure and support it provides to incoming students,” he said. “This investment from Marathon Petroleum will create more opportunities for students to succeed at the highest level.”

“We sincerely appreciate the investment from the Marathon Petroleum Company and look forward to building on a partnership that increases the educational and career opportunities of our students,” said Kenneth Simonson, director of the E3 program.

The E3 program includes several pre-college outreach programs, campus-wide recruitment and retention activities. It’s the first diversity program in the history of UC’s CEAS and has led to the college’s overall graduation rate of ethnic engineering students that is 20 percent higher than the national average.

“The E3 program has been incredibly successful in cultivating the next generation of minority engineers, and I am grateful to Marathon for supporting our cause,” said Dr. Teik C. Lim, CEAS dean. “We engineer better because of partners like Marathon Petroleum, and our success ultimately translates into a better world thanks to the talents and innovations of our graduates.”

“For more than 25 years, E3 has been ahead of the curve when it comes to empowering students and building success in the College of Engineering and Applied Science,” said UC Provost Beverly Davenport. “E3 and the stories of the lives it has touched and careers it has helped build exemplify the college’s commitment to diversity and to excellence. I’m proud of E3’s students, faculty and staff who exemplify the spirit of UC in their daily work.”

Since May 2013, the E3 program has received more than $620,000 in private support.

“Marathon Petroleum is a great example of the positive effect corporate partnerships can have at UC, impacting the region and beyond,” said Rodney Grabowski, UC Foundation president. “The company’s generous gift supports UC’s bright students who will one day become leaders in their fields. It’s a wise investment in the future.”

The U.S. Department of Commerce projects STEM jobs to grow by 17 percent from 2008 to 2018, nearly double the growth rate for non-STEM occupations.

Media Contact:

Caitlin Whitehurst
Assist. Director of Public Relations
513-556-4395
caitlin.whitehurst@uc.edu