Virginia Natural Gas, Southern Company Award $500,000 to Hampton University for Critical Technology Needs

Virginia Natural Gas and Southern Company’s donation is part of a $50 million, multi-year investment in historically Black colleges and

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.  — Virginia Natural Gas and its parent, Southern
Company, are donating $500,000 to Hampton University to support
investments in critical information technology infrastructure upgrades to
effectively deliver remote learning.

The gift is part of Southern Company Foundation and its subsidiaries’ $50
million HBCU Initiative, a multi-year funding strategy announced in
January 2020 that provides HBCU students with scholarships, internships,
leadership development and access to technology and innovation to support
career readiness.

“We are thrilled to partner with some of the country’s leading
institutions of higher learning as we invest in the next generation of
technology leaders,” said Thomas A. Fanning, chairman, president and CEO,
Southern Company. “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.
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. We look forward to
seeing what students from these universities will achieve through the
grants we are providing.”

The funds awarded to Hampton University will be used to support technology
upgrades in the Center for Teaching Excellence to improve remote
instruction and delivery; secure a digital transaction management system
to streamline processes, secure data, and authenticate signatures; and
develop a mobile app for campus communications.

This investment will benefit thousands of current and incoming
undergraduate students.

“Hampton University appreciates this generous donation from Virginia
Natural Gas and Southern Company,” said Dr. William R. Harvey, president
of Hampton University. “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.”

Virginia Natural Gas and Southern Company are honored to be part of a
growing group of corporate and philanthropic partners who have increased
support for HBCUs in the wake of the pandemic and mounting calls for
racial equality. Both businesses believe deeply in the importance of HBCUs
in higher education and in their impact on economic development,
innovation and American life.

“Our hope is that this funding will draw further recognition to schools
like Hampton University and deepen partnerships between business and civic
leaders and these vital institutions,” said Robert Duvall, president of
Virginia Natural Gas. “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.”

Founded in 1868 as Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, Hampton
University is a private university located in the heart of downtown
Hampton. Steeped in tradition, Hampton University is one of the top
historically Black universities in the world, offering a broad range of
technical, liberal arts and graduate degree programs to more than 4,200
students. The university has been ranked in the top 20% of engineering
schools in the country, the third Best Architecture School in the state,
and the first proton therapy cancer treatment center in Virginia.

Virginia Natural Gas and Southern Company are committed to the success of
HBCUs and fostering greater diversity and inclusion across the communities
they serve. Among the 21 HBCUs awarded grants, two institutions are in
Virginia. Norfolk State University also received a grant for $220,000 for
software to support the implementation of the Ellucian Colleague Student
Planning Application which will improve registration, teaching, and
advising processes for students.

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