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SNET gives $500,000
to School of Engineering
February 8, 1999

Thanks to a $500,000 donation from SNET, UConn's engineering program will get a huge boost with a new named professorship and a new program to encourage more high school students to pursue careers in communications technologies.

With SNET's support, the University will recruit a top faculty member to conduct state-of-the-art research in information technology and train undergraduate and graduate research assistants. The new professor will also direct the SNET Program for Future Focus, a new initiative to recruit young scholars to information technology and to UConn's School of Engineering.

"UConn and SNET enjoy a longstanding partnership in education and research," said University President Philip E. Austin. "As the state's only public research university, we are delighted to partner with SNET to help address the state's labor shortage in information technology. The School of Engineering is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, resources, and experienced faculty to attract and train the technology professionals that Connecticut will need to compete in the 21st century."

Tom Morgan, SNET president and CEO, said, "We're proud to be providing this support and are thrilled with the University's plans to expand its engineering program. As a company that understands the importance of technology to Connecticut, we recognize the critical role that engineering education plays in the success of our state's economy and its technical industries. All of Connecticut stands to benefit, as UConn engineering graduates provide the talent needed to develop the information and communication technologies of the new millennium."

The SNET donation - paid in a single installment in December - fulfills a commitment SBC Communications Inc. made to fund technology education in the state as part of its merger agreement last fall. Under the UConn 2000 endowment matching grant program, the state will provide $250,000 in matching funds, which makes the value of SNET's contribution $750,000.

The new program aims to address a growing problem: As the state's technology industry has expanded, the number of graduates with engineering and technology degrees has not kept pace with demand. According to Amir Faghri, dean of the School of Engineering, "Many high school students aren't sure what information technology is or how it will affect their futures, so they don't choose to study it in college. By exposing top students, and their teachers, to information technology at an early age we hope to reverse this trend."

The UConn School of Engineering - with a faculty of 100 nationally and internationally recognized scientists - offers the most comprehensive engineering and information technologies program in the state. More than 1,500 students are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate-level programs in six disciplines. The school provides a rich spectrum of programs in information and communication technologies in the Departments of Computer Science and Engineering and Electrical and Systems Engineering, leading to B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. The school's core faculty in information and communications technologies are also actively involved in the Booth Research Center and Precision Manufacturing Institute.

SNET is a leading information, communication and entertainment company in Connecticut, offering a full range of wireline products including SNET All Distance service, as well as wireless voice and data services, Internet access and cable TV. In the latest J.D. Power national customer satisfaction survey, SNET was ranked the number one long-distance company in America among mainstream users for the second straight year. SNET is a company of SBC Communications Inc. (, a global leader in the telecommunica tions industry, with more than 37 million access lines and 6.9 million wireless customers across the United States, as well as investments in telecommunications businesses in 11 countries.

Under the Southwestern Bell, Pacific Bell, SNET, Nevada Bell and Cellular One brands, SBC, through its subsidiaries, offers a wide range of innovative services. SBC offers local and long-distance telephone service, wireless communications, data communications, paging, Internet access, and messaging, as well as telecommunications equipment, and directory advertising and publishing.

SBC has more than 129,000 employees and its annual revenues rank it in the top 50 among Fortune 500 companies.