IDS Thrilled with Surprise Endowment for New Scholarship Competition
Faculty and students from the School of Industrial Design were pleasantly surprised, and even a bit shocked, by a recent generous endowment from the Edwin T. Meyer trust. The school will use the endowment funds for an annual design competition and $10,000 scholarship award to be called the Edwin T. Meyer Automotive Design Competition Scholarship.
“I just couldn’t believe it. I just couldn’t believe someone would approach us with that kind of a proposition,” said Tom Matano, executive director of the School of Industrial Design. “We appreciate this opportunity to nourish the creativity for our department.”
Edwin T. Meyer, who went by the nickname Bud, owned the successful West Hollywood car repair and design shop Eddie Meyer Engineering. Bud bought the company from his father Eddie Meyer Sr. in 1973.
The Eddie Meyer brand is known for the high quality and high performance of their flathead speed equipment and in the repair of exotic cars. Bud and the Meyer family were also successful in all forms of auto and boat racing over the past 80 years.
“So he was one of the founding hot rod biggies,” said Mark Eskander, Meyer’s long time attorney and trustee. “When he passed away, several years ago I formed a charitable trust for him. The automotive industry was such a big part of his life that I wanted to do something in the auto industry.”
Eskander approached the Academy with the idea that they use the money to promote innovation through a design competition. The unique thing about this competition is that anyone can enter, it is offered to all IDS students, not just car design.
“This is innovative with how this scholarship is awarded,” said Eskander. “Most are based on financial need, GPA scores or whether you’re a specialized minority interest. I wanted to promote creativity. This scholarship is going to be based on merit.”
Each year there will be a theme, like creating an eco-friendly car, a car for handicapped people or the safest car. The scholarship will be given to the most innovative design of an IDS student at the conclusion of each spring semester.
“What students will do this year is they’re going to look at the school’s Mark II and design a modern interpretation of this car,” said Eskander, who hopes to get some executives from Ford to be on the judging panel. The Academy has an acclaimed car museum that includes a Continental Mark II, considered by car aficionados to be one of the classics of the post-war period. The Mark II was produced by the Ford Motor Company in 1956 and 1957.
“This fits the spirit of our school, the spirit of our philosophy really well,” said Matano. “I’m happy that the stature of our school is getting higher and inviting opportunity like this.”
The first step is to design a trophy. The School of Industrial Design recently put out a call to students to submit designs for the trophy, which must incorporate the Eddie Meyer company logo. The award for the winning trophy design is $500. Bud’s wife Joan Meyer will award the trophy at a reception to be held at the Academy’s auto museum.
“This is something we will do every year now. So it will be held in perpetuity,” said Eskander. “This will be a fun event for the school and students to look forward [to] each year and it will give us the opportunity to tell about [the] life of Bud Meyer. A man who was self taught, innovative, a genius at what he did.”