On September 15, LAD and Southern Oregon University announced a philanthropic partnership that will serve as the bedrock of future innovations at the school. Lithia’s commitment exceeds $12 million – the largest-ever single gift to the university.
The company’s contributions will create the Lithia & GreenCars Momentum Fund, which will invest in people and programs to move forward a shared vision of sustainability and diversity. It is also a catalyst to invite other companies and individuals to participate in making a significant difference in both social and environmental change.
The Lithia & GreenCars Momentum Fund includes three major components.
A $5 million Lithia & GreenCars Scholarship program is designed to recruit and retain first-generation and/or minoritized populations traditionally underrepresented in higher education.
$4 million is designated for the Institute for Applied Sustainability – to identify and implement initiatives that move the university toward a sustainable campus including the creation of a national sustainability conference, an academic credential in corporate sustainability and a national sustainability demonstration site.
Finally, a $1 million President’s Fund will support the university president’s efforts to develop new ways of solving complex problems and support innovation and entrepreneurship.
“The Lithia & GreenCars Momentum Fund provides critical financial support in our dual drive to promote higher education and corporate sustainability within our local communities,” Bryan DeBoer said. “These academic scholarships champion students from diverse and underserved backgrounds, and the Institute for Applied Sustainability will advance our commitment to sustainable best practices and the shift toward electrification in the auto industry.”
Lithia & GreenCars are also committed to “electrifying” SOU by providing electric vehicles to the university and installing charging stations across campus.