Doosan and Bobcat Company have announced their continued support of innovation in education by donating $3 million to North Dakota State University (NDSU) to fund a STEM-related scholarship program. The State of North Dakota will match the donation, adding $1.5 million, making the combined gift of $4.5 million the single largest gift to establish a scholarship endowment in NDSU history.
Prior to a press conference announcing the gift, the formal agreement was signed by NDSU President Dean Bresciani and Doosan Group Chairman YM Park. Scott Park, President and CEO of Doosan Infracore Bobcat Holdings Co., Ltd.; and Rich Goldsbury, President of North America and Oceania, were also present. Chairman Park traveled to Fargo for the ceremonial signing from Seoul, Korea. He is also chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
When fully funded, the endowment will distribute approximately $180,000 in scholarships per year in perpetuity, benefiting countless students and their families. STEM programs, focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, are particularly important to Doosan and Bobcat, and this expanded partnership with NDSU becomes the centerpiece of the company’s STEM-related community involvement efforts. Some scholarship distribution will start this year as endowment funding begins.
“STEM-related areas help fuel innovation, which is the very foundation of our business and the key to our future,” Goldsbury said. “This endowment will help students fulfill their aspirations in engineering and other innovation-related professions. They may end up working for Doosan and Bobcat Company, but even if they stay and put their talents to work at other companies in the state or region, it’s a benefit to our communities.”
Doosan and Bobcat Company began a research partnership with NDSU in 2005, becoming the anchor tenant at the NDSU Technology Incubator, part of the NDSU Research and Technology Park. Through the partnership, Bobcat established engineering and product testing facilities that include 15,000-square-feet of floor space for up to 50 Bobcat employees, a working technology lab and an indoor machine testing area. The partnership expanded in 2013 with a one-time $400,000 donation from Doosan and Bobcat Company, and $200,000 in additional grants through North Dakota’s Centers of Excellence. The program paired research and development hubs across the state’s university and college campuses with private companies, in an effort to stimulate greater economic growth.
“Our collaboration with NDSU has already resulted in great things for the university and Doosan and Bobcat Company,” Goldsbury said. “We consider our presence at the NDSU Technology Incubator an additional R&D hub for Doosan and Bobcat, so we are committed to ensuring it remains strong and attracts the brightest, most promising young individuals with access to some of the best facilities and resources in the country.”
Goldsbury added that much of the work done collaboratively between Doosan and Bobcat, and NDSU students, can impact global development and production of equipment, as Doosan continues to emerge as one of the top global manufacturers of construction and industrial machinery.
“There are natural benefits of this relationship and scholarship endowment to the community, state and region,” Goldsbury said. “But it’s important to note that much of the work being done through this R&D collaboration has a global reach through Doosan and Bobcat, and other Doosan Group brands, which can provide very powerful experience for students in STEM programs at NDSU.”
The current Doosan and Bobcat gift, paired with the State-matched funds, is the result of the Education Challenge Fund, a “two-for-one” scholarship match program approved by the North Dakota State Legislature in 2013. “Dedicated to the advancement of academics,” it covers donations made to approved North Dakota institutions for scholarship endowment.
Bresciani said the gift from Doosan and Bobcat is a powerful illustration of the benefit NDSU brings to the region. “NDSU is increasingly becoming a respected national higher-education leader — a distinctive and recognized student-focused, land-grant research university. With the support and collaboration of this gift, I am convinced NDSU’s future will be even brighter as we offer quality educational programs, research and service to the state, our nation and the world,” he said. “On behalf of the people of NDSU and the future students, I want to express our deep gratitude to Doosan and Bobcat Company for this generous investment, and North Dakota Legislature for generously matching and catalyzing gifts of profound impact.”