Austin College Campus Lighting to Become Brighter

SHERMAN, TEXAS—Things are about to get brighter at Austin College. A grant from the Hillcrest Foundation of Dallas provides $200,000 that will allow current outdoor lighting on campus to be upgraded and retrofit, as well as add some additional lighting. The Austin College Student Assembly also has given $5,000 toward the project.

The project will help create a lighter and brighter environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors navigating the Austin College campus in the evening, said College President Marjorie Hass. “I truly appreciate that our student government members recognized the value of investing funds toward a College project like this one.”

In addition to increased lighting, the upgrade is expected to result in lowering the College’s carbon footprint and create significant annual electricity cost savings and return on the investment in new equipment.

Fixtures and bulbs in some of the current outdoor lighting are high pressure sodium and metal halide lights that have become outdated and can take as long as 30 minutes to reach full luminescence. John Jennings, executive director of Physical Plant, said the existing lights will be replaced with LED lights, which are brighter and come on immediately. The project is expected to be completed by early summer.

The Student Assembly had surveyed students regarding campus lighting and students identified some areas that they felt were inadequate. The Student Assembly unanimously voted to pledge the initial $5,000 to the project, recognizing that designating student funds would show commitment to the project and help leverage foundation support. A grant was already in process to the Hillcrest Foundation, and the student statement of support was added. The grant was approved.

Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 36 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of 1,250 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 12:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.

Media Contacts:

Lynn Z. Womble, [email protected], 903-813-2891 or 214-450-3317

Vickie S. Kirby, [email protected], 903-813-2414