University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations

September 11, 2006
Contact: Jennifer Z. Ekman, USA Office of Public Relations, (251) 460-6360

Alabama Power Foundation Donates $500,000 To Two New Engineering Labs Total Giving to USA Tops $1 Million

The Alabama Power Foundation recently donated $500,000 to University of South Alabamas College of Engineering for two new laboratories. From left, Alabama Power Co. Mobile Division Vice President Cheryl Thompson, senior electrical engineering student and Alabama Power Scholarship recipient Ann McCrory, USA College of Engineering Dean Dr. John Steadman and Dr. Joseph F. Busta, Jr., USA vice president for development and alumni relations.
The Alabama Power Foundation Inc. has donated $500,000 toward the construction of two new instructional and research laboratories at the University of South Alabama’s College of Engineering. The gift to the department of electrical and computer engineering brings Alabama Power’s combined giving to the University to over $1 million.

Alabama Power’s recent gift is part of Campaign USA, the University’s first comprehensive fund-raising campaign that seeks to raise $75 million for USA programs, faculty, students and construction over the next three years. Campaign USA was launched in March, and, to date, has raised $44.2 million.

Cheryl Thompson, vice president of the Mobile Division of Alabama Power, said “This contribution to the University of South Alabama's School of Engineering by the Alabama Power Foundation makes a total of $1,000,000 to fund engineering scholarships and laboratories at USA. We employ many USA engineers who are strong contributors to our company. With this contribution, we hope to inspire more students to study engineering and graduate to productive, rewarding careers".

Dr. Joseph F. Busta Jr., vice president of development and alumni relations, said, “Alabama Power is one of the University’s longest and best corporate partners and this most recent charitable gift commitment demonstrates their belief that a high-quality College of Engineering is important to the future economic growth of this region.”

USA College of Engineering Dean John Steadman said the Alabama Power gift will help students learn to apply the latest techniques in electrical engineering.

“The students and faculty of the College of Engineering deeply appreciate the generous gift from the Alabama Power Foundation to fund new laboratories in Electrical and Computer Engineering,” Steadman said. “Alabama Power has been a wonderful partner in engineering education as well as an outstanding utility company serving the people and industry in Alabama. The Alabama Power Foundation has been one of the University's most loyal corporate partners and this most recent major gift commitment will add significant momentum to our first ever campaign, CAMPAIGN: USA Leadership!”

Campaign USA will enrich all aspects of USA, from its academic colleges and schools to its hospitals, athletic programs, libraries and campuses. The money raised will be used to fund such items as undergraduate and graduate scholarships, professorships, classroom and laboratory equipment, and health care innovations. Funds will also be used for capital enhancements to USA’s track and soccer programs, a University archives building and campus bell tower.

The campaign is led by some 50 outstanding local and national business leaders.

For information on Campaign USA, go to or call (251) 460-7032.

The Alabama Power Foundation Inc.

The Alabama Power Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the nation, supporting thousands of worthy projects throughout the state. The foundation's mission is to improve the quality of life of Alabamians and to strengthen the communities in which they live. Since its founding more than 15 years ago, the foundation has provided more than $90 million in grants to a wide spectrum of non-profit organizations in the state, including educational institutions. Details about the Alabama Power Foundation are available at

The University of South Alabama

Since its founding in 1963, the University of South Alabama has been one of Alabama’s fastest growing universities, currently enrolling more than 13,300 students in a wide range of academic programs in Allied Health Professions, Arts and Sciences, Mitchell College of Business, Computer and Information Sciences, Continuing Education and Special Programs, Education, Engineering, Medicine, and Nursing. The University has awarded more than 57,000 degrees.

In addition to teaching and research, USA is one of the largest health care providers in the Mobile region, with its faculty physicians and two hospitals – Children’s & Women’s and USA Medical Center – involved in more than a quarter million patient encounters annually.

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