STATE FARM GIVES $35K TO SUPPORT PROGRAMS AT MTSU
Dec. 11, 2008
CONTACT: Tom Tozer, 615-898-2919
MURFREESBORO—State Farm Insurance Company recently presented MTSU with a check for $35,535 to support a professorship in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business as well as the MTSU Science Olympiad, the annual Invention Convention and various activities that support the Salute to Armed Services/Veterans.
G. Ron Nichols, vice president of operations for State Farm Insurance Companies, presented the check to several MTSU officials.
The largest portion of State Farm’s donation, $25,000, was earmarked for supporting a professorship in the Jones College of Business. Dr. E. James Burton, business dean, said that State Farm has been a generous supporter of the college for many years.
“This grant will help address numerous needs,” Burton commented. “Our need now is to recognize and reward excellent professors.” Burton also stated that this will be particularly helpful now because the anticipated budget cuts will mean it is unlikely they will be able to raise the income of their professors.
Nichols noted that the company’s support for the Science Olympiad and Invention Convention programs stems from a concern about America’s falling behind other nations in the sciences.
“We need high school students to get excited about math and science with hands- on activities. These programs at MTSU are stimulating their creativity,” Nichols said.
Dr. Tracey Ring, professor, elementary and special education, and Dr. Tom Cheatham, dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, accepted the donations earmarked for the education and science programs.
Cheatham said, “The donation [$4,000] for the Science Olympiad program will allow us to fund several teams of high-school and middle-school students to come to the Olympiad in the spring. We bring in teams from as far away as Chattanooga to participate.”
Ring, organizer of the Invention Convention, which is sponsored every year by State Farm, added that the gift [$3,335] will have a similar impact on children who participate in the program. “We bring in 4th- through 6th- graders for the convention. …We take the students through all the stages of an invention. They must come up with the invention, write and explain the invention, and all the math and the parts or the invention must be identified,” she said.
The students create either a new game or something to make life easier. More than 300 students come each year and exhibit between 150 to 175 inventions, she noted.
Nichols also spoke about State Farm’s support of the Salute to Armed Services/Veterans program. “We want to show our appreciation to MTSU for saluting our veterans,” he said. Representatives of MTSU said that State Farm, with this most recent contribution of $3,200, has been instrumental in keeping the program running.
Everyone who attended the check presentation agreed that State Farm and MTSU enjoy a strong relationship based on several years of partnership.
PHOTO CUTLINE: G. Ron Nichols, center, vice president of operations for State Farm Insurance Companies, recently presented a check for $35,535 to MTSU to support programs in various disciplines. Recipients are, from left to right, Dr. Tom Cheatham, dean, College of Basic and Applied Sciences; Dr. Tracey Ring, professor, elementary and special education in the College of Education and Behavioral Science; Nichols; Dr. Jim Burton, dean, Jennings A. Jones College of Business; and Joe Bales, vice president, Development and University Relations.