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Tennessee State University  (TSU) has announced a $100,000 donation in support of its remote learning initiatives. The donation was made by Chattanooga Gas, Southern Company Gas, and its parent, Southern Company. According to TSU, the investment will benefit 6,000 undergraduate students.

Since the historically black college transitioned to remote learning in March, the university has ensured that students and faculty have digital devices, such as laptops, to successfully complete their coursework.

The 100K gift is part of the Southern Company Foundation’s $50 million Historically Black College and Universities Initiative announced in January, which aims to provide HBCU students with scholarships, internships, leadership development, and access to technology and innovation.

“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 in a statement. “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.

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.

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