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UT System to Launch Public Television Series “Transforming Texas”
AT&T Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp. Agree To Be Title Sponsors of Series

AUSTIN - The University of Texas System announced today (April 18) it will be producing Transforming Texas, a series of 13 half-hour public television programs. The series, which addresses many of the critical issues facing Texas in the early 21st century, is supported by title sponsors AT&T, Inc., and its philanthropic arm - the AT&T Foundation - and Exxon Mobil Corporation.

Transforming Texas will focus on challenges Texans are currently facing and on the significant work going on at the state’s public higher education institutions to provide solutions to these challenges. Segments in this series will highlight issues such as the state’s rapidly growing population of the elderly, improving K-12 education, and advancements in cancer treatments and research.

“Public higher education is a big part of the solution for all the major challenges facing Texas. We are very proud of this public television series and the work it will showcase. And, of course, we are tremendously grateful to AT&T and ExxonMobil for their sponsorship of the series,” said UT System Chancellor Mark G. Yudof.

“Public-private partnerships such as this create innovative solutions,” said John Montford, AT&T senior vice president, legislative and regulatory affairs. “We hope this sponsorship encourages and challenges other corporate citizens to continue stepping forward as partners in future endeavors like these.”

"ExxonMobil is pleased to be a title sponsor of Transforming Texas and to highlight the work of higher education institutions throughout Texas in addressing the challenges facing the state over the coming years. Having recruited a significant number of graduates from Texas colleges and universities, we are well aware of the tremendous contribution being made by educational institutions across the state to the health, wellbeing and lives of all Texans," said Rex Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer of ExxonMobil. "Furthermore, with nearly 20,000 employees in the state and a presence in Texas for over 100 years, the issues being addressed by colleges and universities throughout Texas promise to have a positive impact on ExxonMobil and its people."

Transforming Texas is being produced to air on public television stations around the state. Partners in producing the series include the nine University of Texas System academic institutions, including UT campuses in Austin, Arlington, Brownsville, Dallas, Edinburg, El Paso, Midland-Odessa, San Antonio, and Tyler; and the six UT System health institutions: the UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas; UT M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (Houston); UT Medical Branch at Galveston; UT Health Science Center at San Antonio; UT Health Science Center at Houston; and the UT Health Center at Tyler. A number of other state universities with major research capabilities in Texas will also be featured in the television series.

“The purpose of Transforming Texas is to highlight the contributions public higher-education institutions make to improve the lives of all Texans,” said Randa S. Safady, vice chancellor for external relations for the UT System. “While higher education may be known for its private economic benefit to an individual, its broader public benefit to society is often not conveyed. This television series will demonstrate how higher education provides solutions to some of the most critical issues facing Texans. We’re greatly excited by the opportunity to tell this compelling story and express our gratitude to AT&T and ExxonMobil for their generous support.”

Episodes will address the contributions and advances made possible by higher education in technology, medicine, health, economic development, and education.

Examples of episodes include:

  • Living With It. Cutting-edge programs and treatments offered by Texas institutions that are enabling increasing numbers of Texans not only to survive cancer but to live with disease and treatment after-effects.
  • The Aging of Texas. Examines the health, medical and social advances that are confronting the new problems of an increasing elderly population.
  • Thinking Small. Some of the best scientists in Texas are focusing on nanotechnology – the science of using atoms and molecules to create new and different materials for medicine and industry.
  • Learning Curves. To improve K-12 teaching and learning in public schools, education experts are developing new research-based approaches for public education.

“American higher education will not be able to do the job that our country wants and needs without strong, consistent public support for our teaching, research and innovation. And having that support, we believe, requires that the full range of benefits of higher education be widely recognized,” said Terry W. Hartle, senior vice president for government and public Affairs at the American Council on Education. “Efforts like Transforming Texas are critical to higher education making its case with the public – and it is why we launched our national Solutions for Our Future public awareness campaign (http://www.solutionsforourfuture.org). The University of Texas System should be applauded for this effort, and I hope colleges and universities around the country follow its example.”

With the generous support of AT&T and ExxonMobil – along with other contributions – the UT System will soon begin production of the television series. Episodes should begin airing on public television stations around the state in the late fall of 2006.

About The University of Texas System
The UT System is one of the nation's largest higher education systems with 15 campuses, including nine academic and six health institutions, and an annual operating budget of $9.6 billion (FY 2006). Student enrollment exceeds 184,000 in the 2005 academic year. The UT System confers one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates three-fourths of Texas health care professionals. With more than 76,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in Texas.

About the AT&T Foundation
The new AT&T Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AT&T Inc., supports programs that build communities and improve access to information technologies, technology training and professional skills development. The new AT&T Foundation will provide more than $60 million in 2006 in charitable contributions, thereby, placing it among the top five largest corporate foundations in the country. The new AT&T Foundation combines more than 40 years and $1.7 billion of philanthropic commitment to communities across the country.

About the New AT&T
AT&T Inc. is one of the world's largest telecommunications holding companies and is the largest in the United States. Operating globally under the AT&T brand, AT&T companies are recognized as the leading worldwide providers of IP-based communications services to business and as leading U.S. providers of high-speed DSL Internet, local and long distance voice, and directory publishing and advertising services. AT&T Inc. holds a 60 percent ownership interest in Cingular Wireless, which is the No. 1 U.S. wireless services provider with more than 54 million wireless customers. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and AT&T products and services is available at www.TheNewATT.com.

About the Exxon Mobil Corporation

Exxon Mobil Corporation is a leading international energy company whose subsidiaries have operations in approximately 200 countries and territories. In the United States, ExxonMobil has significant exploration and production, refining and marketing and chemicals operations. ExxonMobil is one of the largest oil and gas producers and reserves holders in the United States, with a portfolio including Alaska, onshore Gulf Coast and deepwater Gulf of Mexico. In addition, there are approximately 13,000 Exxon and Mobil branded service stations in the U.S., as well as seven refineries, four of which are integrated petrochemical facilities. For more information about ExxonMobil, please visit the company's website at www.exxonmobil.com.

 

 
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