April 14, 2003

BMW Canada donates $50,000 to York University

Whitby, Ontario – BMW Group Canada and York University’s Canadian Centre for German and European Studies (CCGES) recently initiated a partnership with the inauguration of the BMW Award for Excellence. BMW Group Canada presented a $50,000 endowment to the CCGES, a derivative of which will be an annual scholarship award. The yearly BMW Award for Excellence will recognize outstanding academic performance and a strong record of research in German/European/Canadian relations in a graduate student undertaking the CCGES diploma program.

The $50,000 grant was presented at a recent ceremony to York University President Dr. Lorna Marsden and CCGES Co-Director Dr. Mark Webber by Hendrik von Kuenheim, President and CEO of BMW Group Canada. Baris Karagaac, a graduate student at the CCGES, received the inaugural BMW Award for Excellence.

“Innovation management in the BMW Group involves very close ties to universities, academic institutes and research organisations. We see them as a vital source of innovative thinking,” stated Mr. von Kuenheim. “This award further cements the BMW Group’s commitment to encouraging the growth of new ideas, as well as expanding upon research in the arena of Canadian – German relations.”

Mr. Karagaac, a PhD candidate in Political Science at York, is a BA graduate of International Relations at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. He spent one-year of his undergraduate degree studying at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and most recently completed his Masters in Political Science at York, focusing on the political economy of the European Union.

In the first five-years of its existence, the internationally focused CCGES has established itself as the expert authority on German and European issues, and as Canada’s only national Centre. As a cooperative venture between York University, Université de Montréal and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Centre is successfully preparing the next generation of Canadian experts on German and European issues.

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