Verizon Sponsors Art Competition at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

NEW YORK - To recognize and support continued artistic achievement by African- American youth, Verizon is sponsoring the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Student Art Competition in 2002. The competition runs through May 10, with the winning entries selected May 23 by a panel of academic and fine arts representatives.

The winning student will receive a $1,500 cash prize and a 12-week paid creative internship. In addition, Verizon Foundation will present an art and technology grant of $25,000 to his or her school's art program. Semi-finalists will receive cash prizes of $500.

"Creativity by African-Americans has a profound influence throughout the world," said Jill Wagner, vice president of consumer marketing for Verizon. "By sponsoring this art competition, Verizon hopes to encourage gifted African-American youth to express themselves artistically in ways that are engaging, exciting, and reflective of the modern Black experience."

Schools participating in the 2002 HBCU Student Art Competition are Howard University and the University of the District of Columbia, both of Washington, D.C.; Lincoln University, Lincoln University, Pa.; Coppin State University, Baltimore, Md.; University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, Md.; Hampton University, Hampton, Va.; Norfolk State University, Norfolk, Va., and Delaware State University, Dover, Del.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities -

A Positive Force for Today's African-American Youth

HBCUs are postsecondary academic institutions founded before 1964 whose educational mission has historically been the education of Black Americans. Located primarily in the Southeastern United States, there are now about 120 HBCUs in existence, a mix of community and junior colleges, four-year colleges and universities, and public and private institutions. HBCUs enroll less than 20 percent of African-American undergraduates, but award one third of all bachelor's degrees and a significant number of the advanced degrees earned by African- Americans. For more information on HBCUs, visit www.hbcu-central.com.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 132.1 million access line equivalents and 29.4 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with more than $67 billion in annual revenues and approximately 247,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.