Williams and Williams Communications Support OU Engineering With $1.1 Million Donation and Mentoring Programs

Thursday, November 8th 2001, 12:00 am

By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla., Nov 8, 2001 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Williams (WMB) and Williams Communications (WCG) are presenting a $1.1 million gift to the University of Oklahoma's College of Engineering to assist in constructing a new student services center and endow the Williams Professorship in Engineering.

Williams and Williams Communications will continue to support the university through volunteerism by hosting the OU Engineering Leadership Retreat, conducting campus presentations on high-tech trends and by mentoring students about workplace ethics, resume writing and professional interviews.

"The generosity of Williams and Williams Communications and their growing partnerships with OU will help the university provide the intellectual talent needed to build our state's economy. This gift is deeply appreciated by the university," said Dr. Arthur W. Porter, dean of the OU College of Engineering and secretary for science and technology development for the state of Oklahoma.

Renovations to part of OU's Felgar Hall will include the construction of the new Williams Student Services Center. The project will begin in November and is anticipated to be complete by the fall 2002 semester.

The new facility will provide a consolidated and comprehensive location for engineering faculty and students alike, including offices for the student advising center, associate dean for academic programs, and the multi-cultural engineering program that are currently in several buildings. The center will also include a conference room with telecommunications capabilities available for student use as well as for the center's programs and a student lounge, which will be wired for laptop network hookups.

"Quality education is a primary focus for Williams and the state of Oklahoma," said Keith Bailey, Williams chairman and chief executive officer. "This student-focused investment should help the university fulfill its mission in preparing its students for a career following graduation and will provide the students better resources during their time at the university."

"The center provides state-of-the-art technological tools for students, which will further high-tech innovation. This partnership is an ideal way to build a robust workforce of the future and we look forward to strengthening our relationship with OU," said Howard Janzen, Williams Communications chairman, president and chief executive officer.

"Williams is constantly looking for ways to partner with the universities and colleges in Oklahoma. We feel that this center will provide us with a channel to reach students and faculty within the College of Engineering at OU," said John Ha, engineering recruiter for Williams' college relations. "We're planning to use this opportunity to continue building relationships at the school and to attract graduates to Williams."

Dr. Porter agrees and says he believes this is a commitment that will benefit future generations of OU engineering students and potential Williams employees.

Williams recruits a wide variety of engineers with emphasis on chemical, mechanical, electrical, civil and industrial as well as computer science students which are included in OU's engineering college. Williams Communications primarily recruits students in the areas of electrical and computer engineering and computer science. Both companies plan to use the new building for career development counseling days and special campus interviews with top students.

"The OU College of Engineering sees this partnership with the companies as a model for the way academics and industry can work together to benefit students," Dr. Porter said. "There will always be a close tie between Williams, Williams Communications and our students."

OU will utilize the Williams Student Services Center to continue recruiting outstanding high school students from across the United States.

"Our mission is to create the most sought-after engineering graduates in the world," says Porter. "With these new facilities we'll be able to recruit the best and brightest to help us fulfill that mission because it shows students we're in touch with their need for a top-flight education."

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