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Intercultural Center Groundbreaking 2018
Toyota Donation Helps Manchester University Build Intercultural Center Honoring Civil Rights Activist and Educator Jean Childs Young

For Release: Dec. 19, 2017

North Manchester, IN -- Toyota announces a $250,000 donation to Manchester University to support the building of the all-new Jean Childs Young Intercultural Center and to name the “Toyota Round,” a multipurpose space that will become a campus focal point for multicultural discussions and programming.

Manchester, a leader in equipping graduates to value, respect and learn about and from their differences, will use the space as a gathering place for students, community and business leaders from the region. Programming will focus on diversity and inclusion, civic engagement and building diverse communities.

The Center is named in memory of Manchester 1954 Alumna Jean Childs Young.  She had a distinguished career as a teacher and served as an advocate for education, children’s welfare and civil rights.  She worked alongside her husband U.S. Ambassador and former City of Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement.  In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed her chair of the U.S. Commission of the International Year of the Child.  She also established the Atlanta Task Force on Education, served as co-founder of the Atlanta-Fulton Commission on Children and Youth, and helped develop Atlanta Junior College.  She served Manchester University as a trustee from 1975 to 1979 and received an honorary doctorate from Manchester in 1980.  She died of liver cancer in 1994 at the age of 61.  

“We are deeply grateful for this donation from Toyota Motor North America,” said David F. McFadden, president, Manchester University.  “The Toyota Round will be a valuable resource for our students as well as the communities that surround us.”

The 5,000-square-foot building will feature a circular domed space named the Toyota Round. “The circular design of the Toyota Round evokes the symbolic importance in many cultures of gathering in a round when discussing difficult issues,” said McFadden.  “It is welcoming, inclusive and non-hierarchical.”

“Our education community partnerships help to develop programs that empower students to learn, achieve and succeed,” said Al Smith, Jr., group vice president and chief social innovation officer, Toyota Motor North America.  “Bringing the campus and communities together around issues of diversity and inclusion fits well with Toyota’s commitment to Diversity & Inclusion, which is grounded in our guiding principles:  continuous improvement and respect for people.  We are focused on educating today’s students to build tomorrow’s leaders.”

Jean Childs followed two older sisters to Manchester and earned a degree in elementary education.  Weeks after graduating, she married Andrew Young, who remained at the side of his close friend, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., throughout the Civil Rights Movement.  

Andrew Young stated, “Much of my story is a result of Jean’s study at Manchester.  I doubt that it could have happened if I’d married anyone else.”  Young says that it was through Jean’s meeting of Coretta Scott King that he was introduced to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“This project is especially timely for us since the University is holding a number of events in 2018 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” McFadden said.  “Dr. King’s last speech on a college campus, titled, ‘The Future of Integration’ was delivered at Manchester on February 1, 1968, just a few months before he was slain.” 

The Jean Childs Young Intercultural Center official groundbreaking is expected to take place on February 1, 2018, with completion in the fall of 2018.  Some work on the site began this month.

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About Toyota
Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. and North America for 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. During that time, Toyota has created a tremendous value chain as our teams have contributed to world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 33 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 46,000 people (more than 36,000 in the U.S.).  Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold almost 2.7 million cars and trucks (2.45 million in the U.S.) in 2016 – and about 85 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 15 years are still on the road today.  For more information about Toyota, visit

About Manchester University
Manchester University, with campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, Ind., offers more than 60 areas of academic study to nearly 1,600 students in undergraduate programs, a Master of Athletic Training, a Master of Pharmacogenomics and a four-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy. It has students from 20 nations and is home to the world's first undergraduate peace studies program, established in 1948. Learn more about the private, northern Indiana school at

Media Contacts:

Crystal Williams (for Toyota Motor North America)

Anne Gregory
Manchester University - Office of Strategic Communications