Ford Centenary Quercus Scholarships
This year Cork celebrates the 100th anniversary of Ford in Ireland. One century on from the opening of the Henry Ford & Son Limited manufacturing plant on the Marina in Cork city, which brought considerable socio‐economic benefits to the city and the surrounding areas, the company’s links to Ireland remain strong.
As part of the centenary celebrations, Ford have announced a new five‐year scholarship with UCC. At a ceremony in UCC on 21st April, William Clay Ford, Jr., Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company and great grandson of Henry Ford, announced Ford’s support for UCC’s Quercus Talented Students’ Programme over the next five years beginning in the 2017‐18 academic year. Established to commemorate the centenary of Ford in Ireland, the Ford Centenary Quercus Scholarship will run for five years, from the 2017‐18 academic year until 2022. UCC’s Quercus Talented Students’ programme has been running since 2014, supporting and promoting excellence for prospective undergraduate students and students already registered in UCC.
The new Ford Centenary Quercus Scholarship will target in particular students who show outstanding promise in the areas of Active Citizenship, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, seeking to nurture the talent of each student through support, challenge and mentoring. Over the five‐year scholarship period, the new Ford sponsored programme will help approximately 50 talented students to realise their potential and to fully develop their talents through educational and practical support. “With both deep personal and business connections to Ireland, I am delighted to celebrate not only 100 years of Ford in Ireland this week, but also to support the advancement of talented students at UCC with this new scholarship programme” said William Clay Ford, Jr. “While we have a lot to celebrate about our past, I’m especially excited that this scholarship provides the opportunity for us to support a new generation of innovators and leaders that can help shape the future for the next 100 years.” Professor John O’Halloran, Vice‐ President for Teaching & Learning and Director of the Quercus Talented Students’ Programme said that “The alignment of values of Ford and UCC is clear: entrepreneurship, innovation, sustainability and citizenship. We look forward to our Scholars engaging with Ford during these scholarships, and into the future.”
Following the announcement of the Ford Centenary Quercus Scholarship, William Clay Ford, Jr., was conferred with an honorary Doctorate of Economic Science from UCC and the National University of Ireland, at a ceremony in UCC’s Council Room. This is the latest chapter in the longstanding relationship between Henry Ford & Son Ltd. and UCC which itself stretches back to the early twentieth century. In 1927, UCC President Professor PJ Merriman arranged for the conferral of an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws on Henry Ford in order to ‘reflect the appreciation of the great advantage conferred on the City of Cork by Ford in locating his factory there”. And through the decades, many graduates of the University have found employment with the company through graduate recruitment programmes which continue right up to today.