Academy of Art University School of Industrial Design Students Awarded Prestigious Phil Hill Scholarships at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®

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The university, in partnership with the Pebble Beach Company Foundation, awarded two scholarships valued at $50,000 each.

Academy of Art University, in partnership with the Pebble Beach Company Foundation, has awarded the annual Phil Hill Scholarships to two promising automotive design students attending the university’s School of Industrial Design.

The scholarships are named in honor of Phil Hill, the legendary Formula One driver and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® supporter. The scholarships were presented to Samuel Diaz Romo, Jr., of La Verne, Calif., and Ustav Shah of Surat, India, at a ceremony at the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® on August 18, 2016. Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® is one of the top collector car competitions in the world.

The two-year scholarships are valued at $50,000 each and will further the educational paths of this year’s winners, both of whom will graduate in 2017 with BFA degrees with a concentration in Transportation Design.

“Samuel and Ustav are really strong talents with a great future ahead of them,” said Tom Matano, an industry veteran who held design positions at Mazda, General Motors and BMW prior to joining the Academy of Art University as Executive Director of the School of Industrial Design.

Car design and the art of car restoration have long been a passion of Academy of Art University President Dr. Elisa Stephens. Her family’s extensive rare car collection is showcased at the Academy of Art University Automobile Museum in San Francisco and provides inspiration for design students wishing to study and draw vehicles dating to the early 1900s.

“The Academy is devoted to having the best auto design program in the world and the Phil Hill Scholarships are part of the program’s continued success. We’re very proud of Samuel and Ustav,” said Dr. Stephens.

The Pebble Beach Company Foundation Phil Hill Scholarships program was founded in 2009 and supports students pursuing degrees in fields related to Hill’s many passions, including automobiles.

At this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, the Academy of Art University Automobile Museum showed a 1930 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan by Murphy. The Murphy coachwork is considered one of the finest examples of American craftsmanship, and was produced in Pasadena, Calif. Introduced in 1928 at the New York Auto Salon, the Duesenberg Model J became an instant superstar, considered by many to rival Rolls Royce in quality and prestige. Previous owners included Hollywood’s MGM art director and set designer Cedric Gibbons, husband of movie star Dolores del Rio. The Duesenberg Model J had subsequent owners but remained in California throughout the decades. It was acquired by the Stephens family in 2012.

Pebble Beach® and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® are trademarks and service marks of Pebble Beach Company. Used by permission.

About the School of Industrial Design

The Academy of Art University School of Industrial Design, which includes automobile design and other transportation fields, helps students prepare to be ready to work for the industry upon graduation. In addition to traditional hand drawing, digital drawing, and rendering classes, students take 3-D model-making studio classes in which they learn and develop their model-making surface execution skills. The Academy’s mission is to prepare students for the art and design jobs of the 21st century and since the industrial design program launched in 1998, Academy graduates have been hired by BMW Designworks, GM, Mazda, Toyota, Ford, Chrysler, Fox Racing, Black & Decker, Adidas, CamelBak, Hasbro, Mattel, Microsoft, Nike, Samsung, Fuseproject, Sony, Skechers, North Face, Tesla Motors and Timbuk2 Designs.

About Academy of Art University

Academy of Art University is the largest accredited private art and design university in the nation. Founded in 1929, the school offers accredited AA, BA, BFA, BS, B.Arch, MA, MFA, and M.Arch degree programs in 30 areas of study, as well as continuing art education, pre-college art experience programs, certificates and teacher grants. Classes are available in Acting, Advertising, Animation & Visual Effects, Architectural Design, Architecture, Art Education, Art History, Art Teaching Credential, Automotive Restoration, Costume Design, Fashion, Fashion Journalism, Fashion Styling, Fine Art, Game Development, Game Programming, Graphic Design, Illustration, Industrial Design (Transportation & Product Design), Interior Architecture & Design, Jewelry & Metal Arts, Landscape Architecture, Motion Pictures & Television, Multimedia Communications, Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media, Photography, Studio Production for Advertising & Design, Visual Development, Web Design & New Media, and Writing for Film, Television & Digital Media. Students can also enroll in flexible online degree programs in most areas of study. Academy of Art University is an accredited member of WSCUC, NASAD, CIDA (BFA-IAD, MFA-IAD), NAAB (B.Arch, M.Arch) and CTC (California Teacher Credential). For more information, visit or call 1.800.544.2787 (U.S. only) or 415.274.2200.

Media Contact:
Wendy Tanaka/Sitrick And Company, (415) 369-8447

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