03.17.1997|Corporate

Bell Atlantic Announces A Leadership Grant

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Bell Atlantic Announces A Leadership Grant

Funds to support technology development at private colleges and
universities

March 17, 1997

Media contacts:

HARRISBURG, PA - Bell Atlantic today announced a
$100,000 grant to
improve the communications infrastructure of Pennsylvania's private
colleges and universities.

This funding will offer the 82 member institutions of the Association
of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP) the
opportunity to compete for four $25,000 grants through the
Association's Campus Technology Challenge Fund. The recipient
institutions will be required to raise one dollar for every two
dollars received in grants.

The Bell Atlantic grant is the first received towards AICUP's Campus
Technology Challenge Fund. This new fund-raising initiative has a
10-year goal of $6 million as a complement to technology development
dollars provided to private higher education through state grant
programs.

"Bell Atlantic's contribution sets a pace for others to
follow," said
AICUP President Brian Mitchell. "Dollars to support technology
development are of great importance to private higher education. Along
with financial aid, technology has become a significant funding
challenge within private colleges budgets. Grants that come to our
member institutions through the Campus Technology Challenge Fund will
help them keep pace with ever-advancing technology needs," Mitchell
added.

"Bell Atlantic is happy to respond to the Governor's call for
collaborative partnerships to improve our Commonwealth. This program
is a win-win for Pennsylvania, the state's business community, and the
230,000 students in our private colleges and universities. It is part
of The Pennsylvania
Advantage
, an initiative created by Bell
Atlantic to share information, provide grants, and foster projects and
partnerships that improve the business environment and quality of life
in the Commonwealth. This partnership with AICUP demonstrates our
commitment to educating the workforce of tomorrow by preparing them for
the challenges of the 21st century," said Anthony DiGioia, Bell
Atlantic - Pennsylvania vice president for external affairs and public
relations.

Mitchell said AICUP also will work with Governor Ridge and state
legislators to encourage their commitment to providing state funding
for campus technology. Governor Ridge's 1997 budget includes $2.5
million for the Higher Education Equipment Grant Program. "We want
to
see this funding continued, and as we add private sector funding to
the mix, we believe the case becomes even stronger for joining hands
on behalf of Pennsylvania's private colleges and universities,"
Mitchell said.

For all institutions, technology represents a significant budget item
and for many, it has become a budget crisis. Despite past efforts,
higher education all too often lags behind the technological curve,
according to Mitchell.

"Information technology is expensive and its costs - for equipment,
software, infrastructure and user support - are not one-time expenses.
Campuses are racing to reallocate money, find new funds, and hire
people in an effort to keep pace with student and faculty demand,"
he
said.

AICUP is inviting other Pennsylvania-based corporations to join this
partnership by making additional grants to the Campus Technology
Challenge fund.

Bell Atlantic now has given $1.9 million to AICUP's fundraising arm,
the Foundation for Independent Colleges (FIC). Now in its 45th year
of operation, FIC is the only statewide organization dedicated solely
to advocacy and fund-raising on behalf of Pennsylvania's colleges and
universities.

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