Virginia Natural Gas donates $500K to Hampton University
Funding to support IT infrastructure upgrades for remote learning
Virginia Beach-based Virginia Natural Gas and its parent company, Southern Co., announced Thursday that the companies are donating $500,000 to Hampton University to support information technology infrastructure upgrades in light of new remote learning needs brought on by the pandemic.
The funds, which are part of the Southern Co. Foundation’s $50 million HBCU (historically Black colleges and universities) Initiative, will be used for technology upgrades in the Center for Technology Excellence. The initiative grants funding to HBCUs for scholarships, internships, leadership development, technology access and career readiness programs.
“After speaking with many institutions across our footprint, we heard the call loud and clear: New and better technology is needed to deliver quality education to students, now and in years to come,” Southern Co. President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning said in a statement. “The goal is to provide resources that will stimulate the kind of critical thinking that will allow students to embrace ideas that will drive the change required for success today and into the future.”
The university intends to use the funding to improve remote instruction, secure data, authenticate signatures and develop a mobile campus communications app.
“Hampton University appreciates this generous donation from Virginia Natural Gas and Southern Co.,” university President William R. Harvey said in a statement. “These funds will further enhance Hampton University’s commitment to employing advanced technological tools to our students and faculty especially during these unprecedented times where virtual learning is key.”
Founded in 1868, Hampton University is a private university with more than 4,200 students. Virginia Natural Gas delivers energy to nearly 300,000 southeastern Virginia customers.