The Toshizo Watanabe Foundation - Scholarship Program
The 5 Pillars of Health® that represent the Nikken philosophy are endorsed in every level of the organization. One example is a scholarship that provides material assistance in supporting a healthy society. It was created by Toshizo (Tom) Watanabe as a means to help others, based on experience that helped shape his own success in life. The Toshizo Watanabe Foundation provides financial assistance to help young men and women complete an undergraduate or graduate degree.
The founding of this program was inspired in part by Mr. Watanabe’s own history. As a student, he received a similar scholarship administered by the government of Japan. Later, the future Nikken president, CEO, and now chairman emeritus was the beneficiary of other awards including a prestigious endowment that allowed him to attend Brandeis University in the United States.
In the spirit of paying it forward, he established a scholarship program in 2008 with an initial contribution of $5 million, donated by Mr. Watanabe personally. This was increased in 2012 to $10 million. The scholarship program grants awards to recipients in amounts determined by financial need and other qualifications, including prior academic performance and recognition, recommendations from instructors and colleagues, community involvement, and more.
2016 Scholarship Recipients
Gabrielle Lohrenz, the latest recipient of a scholarship from the Toshizo Watanabe Foundation, is currently a freshman at Michigan Technological University. She says, "Never give up and keep doing better. That's what I live by." Losing a friend to heart failure inspired Gabrielle to pursue biomedical engineering, a field she believes can help "prevent this experience of tragedy for many people."
Rachel Danzig, third-time recipient of the Toshizo Watanabe Foundation Scholarship, is a medical student at Emory University. “The foundation has taught me how significant giving back can be in improving someone’s daily life—by helping my patients, I hope to influence the fourth Nikken pillar: that of my society."
Applications are accepted during the annual application period only, currently January 1 to March 31 for scholarships to be awarded in the upcoming academic year. Application forms are available for download here.
Scholarship awards are paid directly to the eligible educational institution in the United States on the recipient’s behalf, for studies commencing in the traditional fall enrollment period each year. At the discretion of the selection committee, recipients may be awarded a scholarship for all or a portion of their tuition bill. Committee decisions are final, and will be announced this year on May 31, 2016.
Recipients are required to provide academic progress reports to the committee throughout the year of scholarship.
Today, The Toshizo Watanabe Foundation is proud to assist deserving students from diverse backgrounds in their pursuit of higher education, in accredited US institutions where they can learn, grow, and make their own start toward a bright future.