Ford commemorates William Clay Ford with 20 years worth of design scholarships image

The Ford Motor Company Fund will commemorate William Clay Ford, the last surviving grandchild of Henry Ford, who passed away this Sunday, with $1 million in automotive design scholarships.

The Fund will award college sophomores or juniors who seek a degree in automotive design by committing $50,000 a year over 20 years with grants of $10,000 each to five students.

“Design was Mr. Ford’s passion, and his creative vision transformed vehicle design at Ford,” said Jim Vella, president of the Ford Fund. “We are honoring William Clay Ford’s legacy by encouraging and supporting the next generation of innovative automotive designers through this scholarship.”

Design was a passion of William Clay Ford, which chaired the automaker’s design committee for 32 years and is most famous for the Continental Mark II revealed in 1955.

“I wanted the spare tire in the back. That was the trademark of a Continental,” Ford said in an interview on the subject. “We took most of the basic proportions of that car and tried to keep those same proportions in the Mark II, and I think we did pretty well at it.”

The Ford Fund supports design and art education through such partnerships with schools like the Detroit Institute of Arts, College for Creative Studies in Detroit and Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.