AT&T gift to Auburn University backs pilot program to reduce high school drop-out rate

AUBURN – A $400, 000 gift from the AT&T Foundation will support an Auburn University initiative to reduce the drop-out rate in Alabama high schools.

The pilot program involves a partnership between the Truman Pierce Institute in Auburn’s College of Education and five Alabama high schools, which will be announced later. The college’s Truman Pierce Institute focuses on ways to improve schools and communities by creating partnerships, conducting research and providing programs to meet the needs of schools and communities.

Professor and Institute Director Cindy Reed and Jeffrey Brooks, an associate professor in the Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Technology, will direct the new program, “Building Individual Capacity for Success.”

“This generous gift from AT&T will allow us to provide programming to ensure high-risk students in five high schools do not drop out,” said Reed. “Rather than doing more of the same for these young people, we will now be able to provide mentors, engage the students in community service projects and engage them in leadership development and global awareness curriculum.”

Since its initiation in 1982 as the outreach arm of Auburn’s College of Education, the Truman Pierce Institute has worked with Alabama schools and educators to increase individual and organizational leadership capacity and improve the quality of educational experiences for young people.

AT&T is a communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world.

AT&T views education as a priority and has committed $100 million in philanthropy through 2011 to schools and nonprofit organizations that are focused on high school retention and better preparing students for college and the workforce.

“We are committed to making sure our students are prepared for the increasingly competitive global economy. AT&T is proud to partner with Auburn University on this important imitative,” said AT&T Alabama President Fred McCallum.

Contact: Marilyn Ray, (334) 844-3593 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (