Toyota Financial Services Honors Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy with Donations to Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Contributions designated to further boost college retention and graduation rates, seen as key to ensuring the fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream for America
January 16, 2015
TORRANCE, Calif., (Jan. 16, 2015) 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.” 
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

  1. Source of MLK Quote: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., The Purpose of Education,” published at Morehouse College in 1947
  2. Quotes from Recipients:
“We thank Toyota and Toyota Financial Services for furthering the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King by investing scholarship dollars for deserving students at Bowie State University (BSU). We also express our appreciation for this support at a time when BSU is celebrating its sesquicentennial - 150-years of providing academic excellence and access to education. Toyota continues to play an important role in helping BSU retain its students and deliver on the promise of opportunity.”    - Dr. Richard Lucas, Jr., Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Bowie State University
 “Such support is so vitally important for our students at DSU as well as the other HBCU’s.  Toyota’s financial support is in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as its donation is helping students perpetuate the great civil rights leader’s dream for all generations of students.  Sustaining HBCU’s is a passion. We get up each and every day thinking about how to make our schools better. This donation from Toyota is in enhancing our efforts to keep our students on track to fulfill their academic and professional aspirations.” - Dr. Harry L. Williams, President of Delaware State University
“This donation will help a deserving student at Howard overcome life, hurdles and barriers to ride the vehicle of academic excellence toward the realization of their life’s potential. As we celebrate the birthday of our most impactful dreamer, it is noteworthy that HBCUs play a continued critical role in ensuring that students from all walks of life share in the American dream. The superior retention rate and mission to address socioeconomics and health disparities position Howard and other HBCUs as indispensable foundations in the American educational network. …We continue to be inspired by the vision of our greatest pioneers, and Howard University sincerely thanks Toyota Financial Services for their role in helping to keep the dream alive for a deserving student.” - Edward E. Cornwell, III, M.D., FACS, FCCM, The LaSalle D. Leffall, Jr., M.D. Professor and Chairman of Surgery, Dean, College of Medicine (Interim), Howard University College of Medicine
This gift will enable some well-deserving students the opportunity to fulfill a personal dream of obtaining a degree from Morehouse College. Morehouse is committed to producing the next generation of servant leaders who will make a difference in the world, thereby following in the footsteps of our most illustrious alumnus, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” - James Shaw, Interim Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Morehouse College
“We are grateful to Toyota Financial Services for recognizing an area of critical need for a growing number of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and stepping in to provide valuable support. I can assure you that Morgan State University will identify the best possible use for this investment in our students. 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. 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.” - Dr. David Wilson, President, Morgan State University 
About Toyota Financial Services
TFS is the finance and insurance brand for Toyota in the United States, offering retail auto financing and leasing, as well as commercial equipment, truck, and fleet financing, through Toyota Motor Credit Corporation (TMCC) and Toyota Lease Trust. TFS also offers extended service contracts through Toyota Motor Insurance Services (TMIS). Lexus Financial Services is the brand for financial products for Lexus dealers and customers. TFS currently employs approximately 3,200 associates nationwide, and has assets totaling over $102 billion. It is part of a worldwide network of comprehensive financial services offered by Toyota Financial Services Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation. We announce material financial information using the investor relations section of our website ( and SEC filings. We use these channels, press releases, and social media to communicate about our company, our services and other issues. While not all information we post on social media is of a material nature, some information could be material. Therefore, we encourage those interested in our company to review our posts on Twitter at  
For more information about the company’s support of financial literacy, after-school programs, and other community initiatives, please visit

Media Contacts
Justin Leach: (310) 468-5332
toyota financial services martin luther king jr. donation historically black colleges and universities

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Toyota Financial Services - Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Donations
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