AT&T Awards USAO Grant for Emergency System
CHICKASHA -- One of the nation's largest communications companies is teaming up with the University of Science and Arts to help get the word out. The AT&T Foundation, the corporate philanthropy organization of AT&T Inc., recently awarded a $20,325 grant to the USAO Foundation to purchase and implement a new emergency information delivery system at key campus locations.
" AT&T is proud to provide the majority of the funding for this important project," said Jan Moran, AT&T area manager for external affairs. " We're excited to help fund a project that blends technology and communications, two areas that are primary interests for AT&T."
The grant, awarded last month, enables the university to set up large electronic monitors at the three most heavily used locations on the campus. The monitors will be used to disseminate important information and provide a way to notify students, faculty, staff and visitors of any emergency.
Dr. Michael Nealeigh, vice president for university advancement and executive director of the USAO Foundation, said AT&T's contribution is representative of the company's enduring commitment to Oklahoma and to education.
" We are grateful to AT&T for realizing the importance of this project and providing this grant," Nealeigh said. " This new information system will provide an important link in the process of keeping students and faculty informed and alerting them when there is an emergency."
In the wake of campus shootings at other universities, and with the potential for other emergencies, the university recognizes the high priority of campus-wide emergency notification. The new Drover 1 network, or " D1" for short, provides additional sources of both campus and emergency information for the university community.
More than just an emergency system, D1 also will serve as a way to promote university events, special news and other campus information. Plans are underway to implement the system this summer.
This new digital signage system is the latest in security enhancements at USAO. Security cameras have been installed in and around campus residence halls and other buildings. A new Code Red emergency notification system allows for instant messaging to phones, email accounts and home telephones for all members of the campus community. The campus telephone system now permits instant notification to all phones simultaneously. Finally, various hardware and software enhancements further strengthen USAO's ability to provide campus security.
Moran commended Chickasha-area legislators â€” state Sen. Ron Justice and state Rep. Susan Winchester â€” for their strong support of Chickasha and USAO.
" This grant extends a long tradition of Oklahoma businesses supporting the educational facilities that they serve," Justice said. " We need to grow and encourage the public-private partnership between education and business for our state to continue to excel."
Winchester said having the right technology in place to ensure better campus security is critical today.
" I'm pleased to see that today's technology is being used in such an important way," Winchester said. " We have an obligation to make sure that our students, faculty and staff are safe when on the USAO campus."
According to its website, AT&T and the AT&T Foundation have committed $1.8 billion to philanthropic programs for more than 60 years, supporting education, community development, the arts, health and human services, and technology access in communities across the country. Additional information is available online at http://www.att.com" >www.att.com.
The USAO Foundation's website is http://www.usaofoundation.org" >www.usaofoundation.org.