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Global Connections

CSU, Coke announce Water Scholars Program

October 14, 2011

Students from four Chinese universities will have the opportunity to take advantage of CSU's 125 years of water expertise.

The CSU Coca-Cola Water Scholars Program will bring students from four Chinese universities to campus to take advantage of CSU's water expertise.CSU and Coca-Cola, in a groundbreaking partnership focused on their expertise in global water issues, are jointly launching the new CSU Coca-Cola Water Scholars Program.  The announcement was made Sunday in Shanghai in conjunction with East China Normal University’s 60th anniversary celebration.

CSU and Coca-Cola aim to inspire the next generation of scholars and leaders to address world-wide issues surrounding water sustainability. CSU, a global leader among academic and research universities in water, and Coca-Cola, leading the way in the industry in addressing water issues world-wide, will sponsor promising college students from China to study and conduct research in CSU’s water programs and apply their knowledge to create a sustainable future for communities around the globe.

CSU will select one student from East China Normal University, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary, and one from Anhui Agricultural University in 2012 to participate in the Water Scholars Program. In 2013, the program will expand to include one student from China Agricultural University and one from Guizhou University will be chosen to participate.

Program funded by CSU, Coke

The program will be jointly funded by CSU and Coca-Cola, which is committing $1 million over the next 10 years to support this program, which will benefit undergraduate students at ECNU and three other universities in China. Amr Kora, regional sales vice president for foodservice and on-premise for Coca-Cola in the northwest region of the U.S., said the program brings talented, dedicated students together to further water education.

“Sustainability is part of everything we do, every day.” Kora said. “We are proud to partner with these leading education institutions helping to build tomorrow’s leaders in environmental sustainability and water stewardship.”

Expanding CSU's partnership with ECNU

The CSU Coca-Cola Water Scholars Program builds on the scholarship support already provided by CSU to ECNU students attending CSU in their junior and senior years while earning degrees from both universities. The new program adds an important dimension to the CSU-ECNU partnership, and combines the expertise in water issues at both universities while emphasizing Coca-Cola’s focus on water sustainability in China and throughout the world.

Colorado State University and ECNU have established a key strategic partnership in the past three years – one of CSU’s 15 strategic partnerships throughout the world. Thirty-seven ECNU students are enrolled at CSU, earning bachelor’s degrees and receiving more than $300,000 in annual scholarship support from CSU. The first group of ECNU students will complete their degrees in May 2012.

Four months ago CSU and ECNU announced a Joint Research Institute for New Energy and the Environment in Shanghai. Both universities have dedicated significant resources to the Joint Research Institute, and the State Administration for Foreign Expert Affairs (SAFEA) in Beijing has been instrumental is providing resources for faculty collaboration.

“Internationalization is one of our top priorities at East China Normal University, and the partnership with Colorado State University is one of our closest relationships,” ECNU President Yu Lizhong said.

CSU President Tony Frank added, “ECNU and CSU have made remarkable progress in our collaboration in the past three years. The ECNU students are outstanding, and the Joint Research Institute is a unique opportunity for our faculty to work with Chinese faculty colleagues. Our link to Coca-Cola takes us to a new level in China.”

CSU to select Chinese students

A committee consisting of representatives from CSU will select students to receive the Water Scholars Program awards. Criteria will relate to leadership and service at the university and in the community, personal characteristics, academic performance and dedication to issues relating to environmental and water stewardship. Applications are due in the spring 2012.

Changbo Bai, Vice President of Coca-Cola Greater China said: “In China, there are critical challenges related to water ranging from water pollution, water quality and water access in rural areas. We take our responsibility to be a steward of water resources very seriously and we are collaborating with our partners at WWF (World Wildlife Fund) and UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), governments and civil society to make a lasting, positive impact in this area.”

CSU a world water leader

CSU has been a world leader in water issues for more than 125 years. With more than 160 faculty and research scientists focused on water questions and problems, the university provides one of the most water-rich educational environments in the world.

“Water is the most valuable resource on the planet, and Colorado State University is a bridge – providing research expertise and outreach that span nearly all areas of global water concern,” Frank said.