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December 18, 2013

Google Grant to Help Fund Technology Backbone for New RSU Pryor Campus

Google has awarded the Rogers State University Foundation a $40,000 grant to help fund the technology backbone for the school's new Pryor campus at MidAmerica Industrial Park.

The grant came through the Google Inc. Charitable Giving Fund of the Tides Foundation. The grant will be used to help RSU install a robust and flexible multimedia communication system and wireless Internet connectivity for the new Pryor campus, which opens for classes on Jan. 13.

"Google has certainly been a game changer for both Mayes County and for Rogers State. The RSU family is profoundly grateful for Google's investment in science, technology, engineering and math initiatives in Oklahoma, and specifically for its support of our new campus at the MidAmerica Industrial Park," said RSU President Dr. Larry Rice. "RSU is honored to partner with Google on initiatives that improve the region's quality of life, strengthen our workforce and advance education for all Oklahomans."

RSU and Google also have worked together for the past two years to offer the AeroGames competition for area middle and high school students who participate in hands-on events related to science, technology and math.

The improvements to the Pryor campus technology infrastructure will better connect RSU students with educational activities across the state or around the world. The facility's auditorium and meeting rooms will feature multimedia communication systems to allow instructors, students and public users access to high-definition audio and video, as well as interactive and remote conferencing technology.

"We are continually impressed and inspired by the good work being done in northeast Oklahoma by RSU," said Mike Wooten, operations manager for Google's Oklahoma data center. "Their efforts to expand into Pryor and provide better access to education and technology in our area will make a momentous impact, and Google is delighted to be a part of it."

The new location at MidAmerica Industrial Park, which will make the local campus more convenient to Google and other companies operating at the state's largest industrial park. The expanded Pryor campus will help extend the university's close alliance with the area public schools, business and industry to serve northeastern Oklahoma.

The RSU campus in Pryor campus serves a variety of student needs, whether for traditional students just entering college or adult learners returning to school after working in business or industry.

RSU in Pryor has a distinguished track record for serving as a gateway for students seeking an associate degree or a bachelor's degree, either by exclusively attending RSU Pryor or combining traditional classes with RSU's pioneering distance learning program. Through a combination of on-ground and online classes, students can earn one of five bachelor degrees or 11 associate degrees via the Pryor campus.

Students attending the Pryor campus consistently praise its small, closely knit academic community that helps them succeed and make a smooth transition into a university environment.

The new RSU campus more than doubles the size of the current Pryor operations, as well as provides students and faculty with more and expanded learning facilities. A public dedication for the new building will be held Jan. 7, with the first classes beginning there on Jan. 13.

Google's community grant program supports organizations and initiatives that focus on the issues of technology literacy and innovation, renewable energy innovation, access to high-speed Internet and new economy entrepreneurship. Since 2010, Google has awarded more than $603,000 to Oklahoma nonprofits and schools. To learn more about Google's community grant program, visit www.google.com/mayescounty.