Southern Company Foundation is contributing $145,000 to Fort Valley State University in support of the institution’s effort to digitize textbooks and save students money.
FVSU is one of six historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in Georgia to recently receive funding from the Georgia Power parent company as part of a $50 million multi-year effort to support technology tools, infrastructure, professional development and tech support. Other Georgia institutions to receive funding include Albany State University, Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Savannah State University and Spelman College.
FVSU President Paul Jones applauded Southern Company Foundation’s gift, saying it would allow the university to continue efforts to support increased reliance on technology in higher education.
“Corporate support like Southern Company Foundation’s is key to Fort Valley State University enhancing and expanding the latest technology in support of a 21st-century learning environment for our students,” Jones said. “We thank them for investing in the future of our students, for expanding their opportunities and for being such committed educational partners.”
Along with reducing the textbook cost for students by transitioning to digital publications, FVSU will use the funds to provide technology classroom integration training to full-time faculty members.
“We also plan to use some of the funds to develop a repository of technological devices that students will be able to use when needed,” said T. Ramon Stuart, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.
In a press statement, Chris Womack, president of Georgia Power, said he was proud to build on the company’s ongoing support of HBCUs through the technology grants.
“Not only are these schools innovating for the future, they are also helping lead racial equity efforts across Georgia,” Womack said. “Every dollar we are able to invest in them is an investment in future leaders for our state and our communities.”
The technology grants being awarded were up to $500,000. They sought to alleviate challenges created by the pandemic through funding technology tools, infrastructure support, professional development and IT services to select HBCUs within Southern Company’s service footprint, which along with Georgia, also include Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia.