The Scholarship Program

Speech Announcement by Kurt Fulle
President and CEO of Nikken
From N. American Leadership Conference, October 2012

It is my privilege today, to announce to you a very special program created by our Chairman, Mr. Watanabe. In 2008, the Toshizo Watanabe Foundation was established with a $5M initial contribution, donated by Mr. Watanabe. In October 2012, the endowment was increased to $10M.

Under the Foundation, the scholarship program was created to provide a charity, which offers no greater gift than the gift of an education. The Program will offer financial assistance in the furtherance of education to the children of independent Nikken consultants, everywhere. This financial assistance will be offered at the undergraduate and post-graduate collegiate level, for attendance at an institution of higher learning in the United States. Each scholarship is granted for the term of one academic year to any student who is a citizen of a country where Nikken currently maintains operations.

Mr. Watanabe began his academic studies in 1968 at Keio University in Tokyo, where he benefited from a scholarship administered by the government of Japan on behalf of students from single-parent backgrounds. Mr. Watanabe was eligible as a result of his father having succumbed to disease contracted during the Second World War.

In 1971, Mr. Watanabe received additional financial aid to study abroad, from Mr. Konosuke Matsushita, the founder of electronics manufacturer, Panasonic. Concurrently, Mr. Watanabe had also been accepted to Wien Scholarship Program. The financial support he received from these 2 sources allowed him to attend Brandeis University in Massachusetts from 1971-1973, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science.

Inspired by his gratitude for these expressions of generosity, Mr. Watanabe is pleased to respond in kind and "pay it forward", by extending similar benefits to today's students.

As I mentioned earlier, the scholarship program grants awards to recipients in amounts based on financial need and qualifications. The awards will allow these individuals to pursue academic goals at the collegiate and post-graduate levels in the United States.

Annually, in December, the Foundation's Scholarship Committee will post on the Nikken website,, the open period to submit scholarship applications. Generally, this period will be from January 1 to March 31 of the upcoming academic year. Application forms will also be available from this website. The applications will be reviewed by July month-end of the upcoming academic year. Applicants will then be notified of the Scholarship Committee's decisions. Scholarships will be awarded each year for study beginning with the traditional Fall enrollment period. 

The scholarship will be used to pay for tuition. The award will be made directly to the eligible educational institution in the United States of America on the recipient's behalf. At the discretion of the Scholarship Committee each recipient may be awarded a scholarship for part or all of the tuition.

The Committee will require each scholarship recipient to provide a report of the recipient's work in each academic period.


The open period to obtain and submit the scholarship application will be January 1- March 31


All recipients of a scholarship will be selected solely by the Foundation's Scholarship Committee. The criteria evaluated by the Committee for selection of scholarship recipients include, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. The applicant must be the child or legal ward of a Nikken Consultant. The consultant must hold a pin level of Silver or above and be active and in good standing with a member company of Nikken International;
  2. Prior academic performance;
  3. Financial need;
  4. Recommendations from instructors and/or colleagues;
  5. Entrance exam scores;
  6. Community involvement & extracurricular activities; and
  7. Educational awards, honors & achievements;
  8. Preference will be given to applicants who have been raised by a single parent whose spouse suffered an untimely death.
  9. For every scholarship awarded, the scholarship foundation will require an annual report from the recipient, of courses taken and grades received as verified by the educational institution attended by the recipient. A recipient may apply again for a subsequent scholarship; however, a recipient who does not submit the annual report will not be eligible for another scholarship. If a scholarship recipient fails to fulfill the terms of the award, the scholarship funds shall be subject to immediate return to the foundation