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Toyota honors Martin Luther King, Jr. legacy with donations to HBCUs

Contributions designated to further boost college retention and graduation rates

1/20/2015, 6 a.m.
In honor of the life and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Toyota Financial Services (TFS) announced today that ...

— In honor of the life and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Toyota Financial Services (TFS) announced today that it has made a donation totaling $50,000 to five Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs).

The five recipients of a $10,000 TFS donation, Bowie State University, Saint George’s County, Maryland; Delaware State University, Dover, Delaware; Howard University, Washington, D.C.; Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia; and Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland all provide exceptional educational opportunities within many of the communities in which TFS operates.

“While at Morehouse, Dr. King observed that ‘Education must enable a man to become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the legitimate goals of life,’” said Mike Groff, TFS president and CEO. “To help further the principles he so effectively championed, and in keeping with TFS’ deeply held commitment to diversity and inclusion, TFS is honored to support the mission of HBCUs and the dreams they help make possible.”

“In the years since we launched our Making Life Easier program to support education initiatives, after-school programs and financial literacy among underserved youth, TFS has provided millions of dollars in scholarships to deserving students across the nation and our associates have devoted their time and talents to many meaningful national- and community-based programs,” noted John Ridgeway, Corporate Manager, Customer Service Center - East for TFS, who presented the donations to each institution on behalf of the company. “As an extension of our existing relationship with HBCUs, including a partnership with the Toyota Green Initiative, we believe our contribution to these fine institutions will help them with the critical task of addressing issues that impact student retention and will help create a bright future for the populations they serve.”

Dr. David Wilson, president of Morgan State University, said the gift honors the legacy of Martin Luther King. "It is fitting that this gift to Morgan from Toyota Financial Services is being made during the time that we are celebrating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King," he said. "Dr. King believed so strongly that young people should be given an opportunity to receive the best education possible; that was a part of his dream. Unfortunately, many students at Morgan are unable to fulfill their dream because of the lack of financial aid. This gift will go a long way in helping so many of our students to fulfill Dr. King’s dream.”

TFS has been recognized for its longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, including being named as a DiversityInc Top 50 company for six years in a row and has been consistently recognized by Black Enterprise, Hispanic Business and the Human Rights Campaign as a best company for diversity and best places to work. TFS executives actively support and sponsor the company’s many diversity and inclusion initiatives. For more information about Toyota's commitment to diversity and inclusion, please visit www.toyota.com/diversity.