FEATURES • Winter 2001

St. Louis-based Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company donates $25 million to Washington University to endow scholarships.

African-American and financially disadvantaged students nationwide will have the opportunity to apply for scholarships at one of the country's premier universities thanks to a $25 million donation Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company has pledged to Washington University.

This gift, which will endow a permanent fund, is the largest ever made for undergraduate scholarships in the University's history and will establish the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Endowed Scholarship Fund. Scholarship recipients will be known as Enterprise Rent-A-Car Scholars.

"The Enterprise Rent-A-Car gift is the largest the University has ever received for undergraduate scholarship support, and it guarantees that a minimum of 30 to 40 deserving students will be able to attend Washington University as undergraduates each year," says Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. "The gift will provide scholarships that will continue in perpetuity."

Each year, one half of the Enterprise Fund's earnings will be directed to African-American students who will be selected based on criteria established by Washington University's John B. Ervin Scholars Program, which administers scholarships to exceptional African-American students on the basis of academic merit, leadership skills, and commitment to community service. The John B. Ervin Scholars Program is named in memory of Washington University's first African-American dean.

The other half of the fund's earnings will support students who require financial assistance. Additionally, approximately 10 percent of the scholarships awarded will be reserved for high school graduates and community college transfers from the St. Louis region.

"Washington University is one of the top-ranked institutions in the country, and Enterprise wants to help it develop the best and brightest minds from all segments of our society," says Andrew C. Taylor, Enterprise Rent-A-Car chairman and chief executive officer. "We hope this gift will encourage many students to pursue their undergraduate education here, and that our gift will inspire others to support scholarships."

Taylor also says that he; his sister, Jo Ann Taylor Kindle, Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation president; and their father, Jack C. Taylor, chairman emeritus of Enterprise and a longtime friend of Washington University, initiated the gift to support a "world-class university located in Enterprise's hometown of St. Louis." The Taylor family strongly believes that the strength and overall excellent reputation of Washington University serves as a magnet to attract talented individuals to the St. Louis region. Both Jack and Andy Taylor serve on the University's Board of Trustees, and Jack attended Washington University prior to serving in the U.S. Navy in World War II.

Accepting the Enterprise gift on October 19, 2001, Chancellor Wrighton said, "The Taylors are great citizens of our community in so many ways. Their company's gift to the University demonstrates Enterprise Rent-A-Car's commitment to expanding opportunities for deserving young scholars from throughout our society to attend Washington University."

Founded in 1957, Enterprise Rent-A-Car is the largest rental car company in North America, with nearly 4,800 offices located throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, and Ireland.

The Enterprise gift supports the Campaign for Washington University. One of the major objectives of the Campaign is to raise $175 million in new scholarships and fellowships for students.

 

 

Andrew C. Taylor (left), Enterprise Rent-A-Car chairman and chief executive officer and University trustee, talks with Mrs. Jane Ervin, widow of Dr. John B. Ervin, and Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton at a luncheon following the announcement of Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company's $25 million gift to the University. Each year, half of the Enterprise Fund's earnings will go to African-American students who will be selected based on criteria established by the University's John B. Ervin Scholars Program.