April 14, 2014
Written by Dailey Fuller
Chancellor Hance and Dean Sacco receive check from ConocoPhillips president Tom Mathiasmeier.
ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) and Texas Tech University announced today (April 14) a $1 million gift from ConocoPhillips to establish a student recruitment and support center in the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering.
The new center will be named the ConocoPhillips Center for Engineering Enrichment and Diversity for a period of five years in recognition of the company’s contribution.
Located in the Engineering Center Building, the ConocoPhillips Center for Engineering Enrichment and Diversity will enhance recruiting efforts among historically underrepresented groups and serve as a central location for student academic support services within the Whitacre College of Engineering. The center also will unite existing programs to better serve current and prospective engineering students at Texas Tech in support of the college’s goal to increase student diversity over the next five years.
The center will house the ConocoPhillips Bridge Program, which provides academic skills training, tutoring, peer mentoring and other academic support services for incoming freshmen engineering students, as well as the ConocoPhillips Diversity Lecture Series, which provides semiannual lectures on diversity and inclusivity in the workplace.
“We are truly grateful for the continued generosity of ConocoPhillips,” said Chancellor Kent Hance. “They have been great corporate partners over the years, and this $1 million gift will further Texas Tech’s commitment to providing the top services and resources for our engineering students to succeed.”
The center will also support a number of existing student diversity programs within the Whitacre College of Engineering, including the Figuerora Family Enrichment Program, the Joella Childress Carlyon Phoenix Program and the college’s tutoring programs. It also will support and coordinate activities for the college’s alliance of student diversity organizations, providing guest lectures, internship opportunities and other activities for student members.
Mathiasmeier is a Texas Tech alumnus.
“Our industry’s future success depends on a highly talented, innovative, diverse and technical workforce,” said Tom Mathiasmeier, ConocoPhillips president, North America Gas & Power, and Texas Tech alumnus. “We’re pleased to continue our longstanding commitment to the Texas Tech engineering program by establishing the ConocoPhillips Center for Engineering Enrichment and Diversity. Diversity and inclusion is a priority for us at ConocoPhillips and we’re proud to be able to extend this important initiative to the engineering students at Texas Tech.”
To help increase enrollments of underrepresented groups in engineering programs, the ConocoPhillips Center for Engineering Enrichment and Diversity will expand the college’s recruiting efforts in diverse Texas school districts. Select high school students from these districts will be invited to visit the Texas Tech campus in Lubbock to experience college life firsthand, with travel costs provided by the center.
“An important priority for Texas Tech University is the diversity of our student body and offering opportunities and support to ensure their success,” said M. Duane Nellis, Texas Tech University President. “Through this generous gift from ConocoPhillips, our engineering students will benefit from the enhancement of what is already a thriving, productive and student-centered environment. Thank you to ConocoPhillips for its contribution to our mission of educating students.”
The center also will invite guidance counselors and advisers from select school districts to visit Texas Tech for the ConocoPhillips Engineering Weekend Showcase, a two-day campus event highlighting the Whitacre College of Engineering and the student diversity and support programs available through the ConocoPhillips Center for Engineering Enrichment and Diversity.
“The ConocoPhillips gift will allow us to help all students be successful in engineering,” said Al Sacco Jr., dean of the Whitacre College of Engineering. “Our students often drop out of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, fields because they did not receive the correct background in high school for the rigors of such fields. This center will allow us to provide the help needed to fill in those gaps and keep good students on track for a successful career in engineering.”
The Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering has educated engineers to meet the technological needs of Texas, the nation and the world since 1925.
Approximately 4,300 undergraduate and 725 graduate students pursue bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees offered through eight academic departments: civil and environmental, chemical, computer science, electrical and computer, engineering technology, industrial, mechanical and petroleum.