September 17, 2003

HOME

Noble Foundation grant to help fund construction of new technology center at Cameron University

The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation of Ardmore has pledged $750,000 toward construction of a facility at Cameron University designed to promote new technologies and economic development in Southwest Oklahoma. It is one of the largest monetary gifts ever received by Cameron.

The university will use the grant to help develop its Center for Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurial Studies (CETES). This multipurpose facility is intended to be a catalyst for knowledge-based industries in Southwest Oklahoma. CETES will use state-of-the-art technology and the expertise of faculty to develop a trained workforce and provide support services for new industry.

The $750,000 pledge is contingent upon Cameron’s ability to raise the funds for a $2.5 million project. Construction must begin no later than Aug. 1, 2004, in order for CU to receive the Noble Foundation grant.

President Cindy Ross noted that the university has been raising funds for an economic development project for several years, so it already has the money necessary to meet the foundation’s criteria. Construction on the facility is expected to begin this fall.

“As a leader in economic development, one of Cameron’s priorities is to develop partnerships with the business community,” Ross said. “CETES has the potential to change the face of Southwest Oklahoma by increasing the number of knowledge-based companies located here. Not only is the Noble Foundation’s grant is the largest that has been designated for this project, it is the capstone contribution that will make CETES a reality.”

The center will be located on campus in a building that formerly housed the university’s physical science department. The building has been vacant since the completion of the CU Sciences Complex in 1996. Architectural engineers have inspected the building, declared it physically sound and have determined that it is well suited for the proposed center.

When completed, CETES will contain a business incubator, computer systems and support, academic lecture halls, a networking center and teleconferencing facilities. With these assets, CETES can stimulate the birth and growth of technology-based enterprises, create internships for students, provide a focus for an entrepreneurial studies curriculum and produce a technology-savvy workforce.

Overall, the center is expected to enhance the productivity of Southwest Oklahoma businesses and give them a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Cameron is currently recruiting nationally to fill the Virginia Brewczynski Endowed Chair in Management. The chair was created in 1994 to advance the teaching of business leadership. The person selected to fill that position will also direct CETES.

“CETES is based on a shared vision of a future where the university and business are partners in technology, education and job creation,” Ross stated. “Once it is up and running, the center will be a catalyst for a number of crucial economic development activities involving the teaching of technology, providing support to current business, creating new small businesses, reaching out to K-12 schools with business and entrepreneurial education and forging strategic partnerships.”

Contact: Keith Mitchell, 1-580-581-2211