Cameron University receives $50,000 grant from Sarkeys Foundation

Cameron University has received a $50,000 grant from The Sarkeys Foundation which will be used to fund a new Student Computer Center in the Academic Commons. Cameron’s former Student Union is currently undergoing extensive renovation to be transformed into the Academic Commons which is scheduled to open in Fall 2012.

“We are deeply appreciative for this generous grant from The Sarkeys Foundation,” says Cameron President Cindy Ross. “By providing funding for the Student Computer Center, the Sarkeys Foundation’s Board of Trustees is providing a centrally located computer center that will meet the varying needs of Cameron’s students. The Sarkeys Foundation continues to be a valued partner of Cameron University and plays an integral role in Cameron’s status as the University of Choice for Southwest Oklahoma and beyond.”

When it opens, the building will house the state-of-the-art Student Computer Center as well as a Student Tutoring Center for multiple academic disciplines, a campus-wide information technology help desk, modern classrooms and an adjunct faculty support center. The Academic Commons will also be the new home to the Cameron Department of Communication’s cutting-edge convergence journalism option, uniting Cameron’s print, radio, television, and online production capabilities in one location.

The Student Computer Center will provide 55 computer stations that can be flexibly configured for traditional computing, laptop users, collaborative work among small groups and even computer-based testing to support Cameron’s growing distance education program. Additionally, the facility will be equipped to meet student computing needs across several types of hardware and software, including PC and Apple computers as well as software related to graphic arts, authoring software, scientific packages, and business and educational applications.

The Sarkeys Foundation was formed in 1962 by S. J. Sarkeys, a successful entrepreneur and long-time businessman. Since that time, the foundation has acquired assets of nearly $100 million and awarded more than $70 million in grants for education, social services, arts and culture, health care and medical research, and environmental projects

The Norman-based foundation, dedicated to improving the quality of life in Oklahoma, has now given the University more than $750,000 since 1992. Previous gifts include $300,000 for the McMahon Centennial Complex as well as significant gifts for the Center for Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurial Studies, the Sciences Complex, and KCCU.

“We are excited to be a part of the growth and expansion of such a great university as Cameron,” says Kim Henry, Executive Director of The Sarkeys Foundation. “We believe this Student Computer Center will definitely enhance the overall educational experience at Cameron and we are honored to participate.”

The cost to transform the 49-year-old building into the Academic Commons is just over $4 million. The university launched a $2 million fundraising campaign last spring. With the grant from The Sarkeys Foundation, the campaign has raised $1.906 million to date.



January 12, 2012