Last Updated March 6th, 2003








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Clemson, BMW, and South Carolina Unite for Economic Development

Clemson University, BMW Manufacturing Corporation, and the Governor's Office announced a partnership to build an automotive engineering graduate education center in Upstate South Carolina in order to meet the academic and research needs of BMW, its suppliers and the state's growing automotive industry.

BMW has pledged $10 million to endow the academic programs, and the state will provide $25 million to construct and equip a state-of-the-art facility to house the graduate center. The BMW gift is the largest cash donation in Clemson history.

James F. Barker, president of Clemson University, called the premier automotive engineering center a major step in Clemson's quest to be a top 20 public university and in South Carolina's drive to build a knowledge-based economy.
The graduate center, which will be built in Greenville, SC, will feature state-of-the-art facilities for automotive research and development and graduate engineering programs in mass customization. The program will offer masters and doctoral degrees in automotive engineering.

Clemson recently developed an academic strategic plan that calls for the university to build nationally recognized programs in eight emphasis areas, one of which is automotive and transportation technology.

The new graduate program will build on existing strengths. Researchers have collaborated with some of the world's top automotive companies and federal agencies, as well as leaders in the motorsports industry.

Begun in the early 1990s, Clemson's motorsports initiative was the first of its kind in the nation. Today, the motorsports engineering program is the most visible arm of Clemson's Brooks Institute for Sports Science, which combines the interdisciplinary studies of sports engineering, management, marketing and communications.


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Send any comments/questions to: Ron Grant (email:
College Relations/Marketing Director, Clemson University, College of Engineering and Science
21 Riggs Hall · Box 340901, Clemson, South Carolina 29634-0901 -- 864/656-5711