September 20, 2013

University Communications

$1 Million AT&T Contribution to Support Global Education Initiatives

The new academic, research and service programs will be housed in SLU’s $8.8 million Center for Global Citizenship.

AT&T Global Commons
The AT&T Student Commons in SLU's new Center for Global Citizenship, formerly the West Pine Gym, features abundant natural lighting, comfortable seating, meeting rooms and the internationally themed eatery, the Caffé. Photo by Michelle Peltier

Saint Louis University has received a $1 million contribution from AT&T to fund educational initiatives housed in the University's new Center for Global Citizenship.

"Our Center for Global Citizenship stands as the cornerstone of our enhanced efforts to educate our students as global leaders," said Interim Saint Louis University President William R. Kauffman. "We are proud once again to have AT&T as a supporter on yet another important project at Saint Louis University."

During the past 10 years, AT&T and the AT&T Foundation have contributed more than $2.3 million to Saint Louis University. AT&T's giving encompasses a variety of initiatives, including a $1 million, multi-year contribution to support technology infrastructure in SLU's state-of-the-art Doisy Research Center, as well as a $50,000 contribution in 2010 to the Social Justice Computing Project, which seeks to improve IT access, technical literacy and mentoring.

"Investing in a well-educated, diverse workforce may be the single most important thing that we can do to help develop the next generation of global leaders," said AT&T Missouri President John Sondag. "At AT&T, we recognize that industry-education collaborations like our relationship with Saint Louis University play an important role in helping prepare students for their next steps in life. Education has been AT&T's priority for over a century, and we are proud to support local institutions like Saint Louis University and its efforts to foster academic excellence and global citizenship."

In recognition of AT&T's contribution, Saint Louis University has named the student commons in the Center for Global Citizenship in the company's honor. The AT&T Student Commons is a bright and welcoming space that features comfortable seating, meeting rooms and an internationally themed café.

"The AT&T Student Commons in our Center for Global Citizenship is a place where all of our students - regardless of their country of origin - can come together to connect, to learn and to grow," said Kent Porterfield, Ed.D., Saint Louis University's vice president for student development.

To create the new center, SLU spent $8.8 million to renovate and repurpose the former West Pine Gym, which was originally constructed in 1925. The historic building has played a key role in campus life for nearly 90 years, hosting athletic events, commencements, social activities and even noted speakers, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who gave an address in the facility on Oct. 7, 1964 — one week before he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In addition to the AT&T Student Commons, Saint Louis University's Center for Global Citizenship also features the high-tech, 1,000-seat C.S. Huh Auditorium. Additionally, the center houses offices for international studies, cross-cultural and community outreach programs, and international student groups.

Saint Louis University will officially dedicate the new space during a special ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27.

In keeping with its ongoing commitment to global education, Saint Louis University is developing new academic, research and service programs that will be located in the center. Among them, will be an interdisciplinary initiative that will involve scholars from around the world who are exploring the interactions between different cultures. An additional focus will be increased outreach to area schools and local youth.

Saint Louis University has nearly 1,000 students from more than 70 different countries, and nearly 350 students studying abroad in more than 15 different countries each academic year.

"I am confident that our new Center for Global Citizenship and its associated programs will strengthen our commitment to preparing our graduates for success in an increasingly global world," said Ellen Harshman, Ph.D., Saint Louis University's interim vice president for academic affairs.

About Philanthropy at AT&T
AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives, AT&T has a long history of supporting projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; and address community needs. In 2012, more than $131 million was contributed through corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs.

More about Saint Louis University
Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of nearly 14,000 students on two campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of nearly 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good.

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