University of Pittsburgh
October 8, 2001

University of Pittsburgh Alumni Association's African American Alumni Council Receives Grant from Verizon Foundation

Contact:  412-624-4147

October 9, 2001

PITTSBURGH––The University of Pittsburgh Alumni Association's African American Alumni Council has received a $500 grant from Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, to promote the University's diversity through networking among Pitt African American staff, faculty, and student organizations.

Marian Watkins, president of the African American Alumni Council, said, "This grant will aid the funding of expenses for our Oct. 12 networking event at Dowe's on Ninth restaurant downtown, providing networking opportunities and unity for University students and alumni."

Among other things, the African American Alumni Council assists the University in its recruitment efforts, its promotion of campus diversity, and the maintenance of an ongoing scholarship fund.

The grant was given as part of Verizon Foundation's Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP) on behalf of Pitt alumna Erroline Williams, who earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in communication from the College of General Studies in 1980. Williams is a team leader at Verizon and a board member of the African American Alumni Council. VIP recognizes Verizon employees who volunteer at nonprofit organizations in their communities and rewards their efforts with grants.

"Many Verizon employees volunteer their time, talents, and resources to make important personal contributions to the communities where they live and work," said Soraya Rodriguez, director of employee and community volunteerism for Verizon Foundation. "Our Volunteer Incentive Program encourages and rewards employee participation in community affairs and provides much-needed support for nonprofit organizations."

Verizon Foundation supports a variety of programs that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, bridging the digital divide, enriching communities through technology, and creating a skilled workforce. The Foundation promotes partnerships in technology with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, and the economically and socially disadvantaged. In addition to sponsoring VIP, the Foundation underwrites matching gift programs for Verizon employees.

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