May 6, 2000
CLEMSON, S.C. – Clemson University joins with NASCAR team Roush Racing to paint the town – or, at least a car – in Clemson colors as part of an innovative scholarship program. The collaboration, announced Saturday at a special unveiling, is a first between a university and a NASCAR team.
The Clemson color scheme, complete with tiger paws, will run on the No. 16 FamilyClick.com Ford Taurus driven by Kevin Lepage at the May 20 Winston Open in Charlotte, N.C.
Proceeds from sales of Clemson racing merchandise will be earmarked for the Jack Roush Motorsports Scholarship Fund. The fund, named in honor of Roush’s CEO, will provide scholarships and fellowship grants for graduate and undergraduate students in pursuit of motorsports-related degrees. As much as $100,000 in royalties could be generated through the sale of collectible scale-model cars and other memorabilia.
Clemson’s Brooks Institute for Sports Science, one of the only research centers in the nation to specialize in sports technology and management, will oversee the scholarship program.
The car was unveiled in all its orange-pawed, purple-skinned glory at an early afternoon news conference today (May 6) at the Richmond International Raceway prior to the Pontiac Excitement 400 race.
“This program is an excellent opportunity for us to further motorsports education and increase awareness for Clemson University’s Brooks Institute for Sports Science,” said Jack Roush, owner and CEO of Roush Racing.
“We’re glad to play a part in helping students develop the skills necessary to build a career in motorsports. We hope that this program will mark the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship for Roush Racing, Clemson and students that will continue in the future.” Roush is the largest motorsports team in the world with nine teams in NASCAR’s three major series.
Said Clemson University President James F. Barker, “We thank Roush for establishing a scholarship that will help students and, in turn, benefit the motorsports industry by providing graduates for that growing field. Thomas Green Clemson believed that one person could make a difference. An endowment is the foundation upon which Clemson University was built and will help Clemson continue to provide quality education in perpetuity.”
Roush and university officials are proposing the continuation of the innovative scholarship program for several years to come, although details are not yet finalized.
The May 20 race will be televised at 7:30 p.m. on TNN.
Merchandise reflecting the Clemson colors includes two limited-edition series of collectible diecast cars – intricate 1:24th scale models of the original, with one series featuring working suspension and in-car camera details. Clothing, toys and decals will also be available. The merchandise is sold only through Roush Racing, QVC and specialty vendors. It may be ordered through Roush Racing’s customer service office at (888) 332-9700 or through Roush’s website at www.roushracing.com.
“Clemson fans, like NASCAR fans, are known for their loyalty. We’re optimistic that this one-of-a-kind opportunity will meet with a receptive audience,” said R. Don Rice, the Brooks Institute director who created the innovative scholarship program.
The Roush scholarship project is in conjunction with Clemson’s athletic department, licensing program and the Collegiate Licensing Co.
Clemson’s motorsports engineering program – considered the nation’s leading university-based motorsports program – is the most visible arm of the Brooks Institute, which addresses the interdisciplinary studies of sports engineering, management, marketing and communications.
“Motorsports has become the aerospace industry of the 21st century,” said Rice. “We cannot educate our students fast enough to meet the extraordinary demand.” Sports and recreation is a $160 billion industry nationwide and provides more than 25,000 jobs in South Carolina alone, according to the Brooks Institute.
The Brooks Institute was established in memory of four people killed in an airplane crash en route to a NASCAR race in 1993 – including team driver Alan Kulwicki and Mark Brooks, son of the institute founder Robert H. Brooks.
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