Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards joined officials from Southern University and Entergy to announce that the state will provide a $2 million match to Southern University, which will be used for much needed deferred maintenance and additional infrastructure improvements to Fisher Hall, Southern University's science and engineering building. Those matching funds are in addition to the $2 million grant Southern University received from Entergy and the Entergy Charitable Foundation to support classroom and lab infrastructure improvements, as well as curriculum and faculty professional development for the university’s engineering program.
“When we invest in our students, we are investing in their futures and ours, which is why I was pleased to announce that the state will support Southern University in restoring its main science and engineering building, Fisher Hall, with $2 million in state matching funds,” said Gov. Edwards. “Southern University is the only Historically Black College and University System in the nation and Louisiana should be proud of that. It is critical that we prepare our students to meet the needs of employers and be competitive in the global market, which is exactly what Southern University is doing while ensuring African-American students receive the high quality education necessary for developing a diverse workforce. The long standing partnership between Entergy and Southern is a successful blueprint for both industry and higher education.”
The partnership between Southern and Entergy will further support their mutual commitment to developing engineering talent for the future. This multi-year initiative will focus on enhancing Southern’s engineering curriculum and staff development as well as state of the art improvements to labs and classrooms to enable students to obtain hands-on experience. In addition, the grant will also fund the creation of internship and mentoring programs to enhance and strengthen the relationship between Entergy and Southern University.
“As a national leader in educating minority and women engineers and STEM professionals, Southern University is an ideal partner for Entergy to continue to build on our investments in growing a diverse workforce,” said Leo Denault, Entergy chairman and chief executive officer. “Entergy has a long history of working with universities within the Gulf South to develop the professional and technical employees that can support the continued economic development across the region as well as Entergy’s internal long-term workforce needs.”
Entergy has an extensive track record of supporting the communities it serves, and the company believes that reinvesting in these cities and neighborhoods will enhance the quality of life for everyone. Entergy also works to attract talented, diverse employees through its college recruiting efforts and relationships with minority professional organizations. Having contributed more than $2.3 million over the past five years to historically black colleges and universities in the company’s service territory, Entergy hopes to continue to play a key role in keeping talented graduates employed in our region.
“Our ongoing partnership with Southern University is an example of how industries and universities can work together to advance common goals,” said Phillip May, president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana. “Entergy Louisiana’s diverse and talented workforce includes some of the best and brightest engineers. We are committed to supporting programs that will help develop and enhance the next generation of engineering innovators.”
“Southern University is one of the top producers of African-American engineers in the state of Louisiana and beyond,” said Ray L. Belton, Southern University System president. “This partnership with Entergy will ensure that we not only continue this great legacy, but that we also expand opportunities so that students are poised to make valuable contributions to our global society through STEM disciplines.”
The Entergy Charitable Foundation is a non-profit focused on contributing to the quality of life in communities served by Entergy through investments in poverty solutions, education/workforce development and environmental programs.
Entergy Louisiana, LLC provides electric service to more than 1 million customers and natural gas service to nearly 93,000 customers in the greater Baton Rouge area. With operations in southern, central and northeastern Louisiana, the company is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation.
Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 9,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of approximately $11 billion and more than 13,000 employees.
Southern University and A&M College, founded in 1880, is a public institution of higher education offering undergraduate, graduate, professional, and doctorate degree programs. The university is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC).
Southern University Baton Rouge is part of the Southern University System, the only system of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the nation. The System’s other four campuses are located in New Orleans and Shreveport.