press release

Unocal pledges $1.5 million in grants to support major educational initiatives in Thailand, United States

Thailand Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai (left) greets John F. Imle, Jr., Unocal president, during ASEAN reception in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., March 12, 1998 -- Unocal Corporation has pledged nearly $1.5 million over the next three years to two international organizations to help fund a financial assistance program for Southeast Asian students attending U.S. colleges and universities and to help launch job re-training programs for newly unemployed workers in Thailand.

"Education will play a vital role in helping Thailand, Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries regain their economic strength and develop their future leadership," said John F. Imle, Jr., Unocal president. "These grants will provide hundreds of students from throughout Southeast Asia with the assistance they need to continue their education, particularly as the Southeast Asian currency decline has presented financial difficulties for these students and their families. They also will help recently displaced Thai workers regain their footing during this economic downturn. We hope that other corporations will join us in these efforts."

The grants were announced by Imle during a reception honoring the visiting Thai Prime Minister, Chuan Leekpai, on March 12 in Washington, D.C.

ASEAN Students Assistance Awards Program

Unocal will award $500,000 annually for two years to launch the new ASEAN Students Assistance Awards Program (ASAAP). This program was created by NAFSA, an international organization of educators, in conjunction with the US-ASEAN Business Council. ASAAP will award scholarships of $2,000-$5,000 to approximately 500 Southeast Asian students currently enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities. All awards will be tied to matched funds or in-kind support from colleges and universities, which, in effect, doubles the amount of financial aid available.

To be eligible for ASAAP grants, students must be citizens of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines or Thailand -- member countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) that have experienced currency devaluations of more than 30 percent. They must be upper-division undergraduates enrolled in an accredited four-year college or university. Financial need and academic eligibility will be certified by university or college financial aid offices.

Established in 1948, NAFSA is a non-government, non-profit membership association that provides training, information and other services to professionals in the field of international educational exchange and specialized programs for international students. It has conducted similar programs for students from East Central Europe and the Baltic nations and the former Soviet Union. The organization's 8,000 members represent every U.S. state and more than 50 other countries.

Kenan Institute Asia

A three-year, $450,000 grant will help the Kenan Institute Asia (KIA) establish local educational and training institutions that will help recently unemployed Thai workers gain new job skills. Training programs may be established at up to 40 community colleges in Thailand. KIA, the successor to the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) in Thailand, serves as a gateway for greater cooperation between Asia and the U.S. It is based in Bangkok.

"Unocal has been doing business in Southeast Asia for more than 35 years," Imle noted. "We have always stood by the people of our host countries, in good times and in bad. These grants are one way we can help during this current economic turmoil."

Updated: March 1998