NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Chattanooga Gas, Southern Company Gas and its parent, Southern Company, are donating $100,000 to Tennessee State University to support remote learning initiatives.
The gift is part of the Southern Company Foundation’s and its subsidiaries’ $50 million Historically Black College and Universities Initiative, a multiyear funding strategy announced in January that provides HBCU students with scholarships, internships, leadership development and access to technology and innovation to support career readiness.
“We are very grateful to Chattanooga Gas and the Southern Company Foundation for their investment in Tennessee State University’s students. It creates a meaningful partnership and a collaboration grounded in shared values for years to come,” said Dr. Michael Harris, TSU’s interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “This generous grant will enhance our technology capabilities in assuring student success during these challenging times of remote learning. It will also impact TSU’s continued commitment to being a leader in online learning innovation, as part of its commitment to academic excellence.”
The funds awarded to TSU will be used to support course redesign software and staff to aid in remote teaching and learning; remote education and delivery resources, tools and materials; and remote streaming equipment, including hotspots, cameras and microphones. This investment will benefit 6,000 undergraduate students.
“We have students who come from all walks of life, and some don’t have the luxury of having electronic resources and other educational aids, particularly at a time like this when they’re really needed for remote learning,” said TSU senior Gabrielle Kershaw, a Nashville resident majoring in political science and economics. “This donation will be of tremendous help to those students.”
Kim Greene, chairman, president and CEO of Southern Company Gas, said the company is glad to “invest in the next generation of technology leaders,”
“Our goal is to provide resources that will stimulate strategic thinking and creativity, enabling the students attending these schools to create a better future,” said Greene. “We look forward to seeing the great things these students accomplish.”
Pedro Cherry, president and CEO of Chattanooga Gas, said he hopes the funding will “deepen partnerships between business and civic leaders and these vital institutions.
“HBCUs are at the forefront of innovation and academic excellence in the United States, and we hope our company’s investment will only accelerate this important work,” said Cherry.
Since TSU students transitioned to remote learning in March as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the university has made sure that they have digital devices, such as laptops, to successfully complete their coursework. And TSU officials said going forward they will continue to make sure students have what they need, as well as faculty.
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Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees. TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee. With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.