RICHARDSON, Texas (August 2, 2004) — Cingular Wireless and The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) today announced the creation of a $20,000 scholarship to benefit students planning a career in telecommunications.
Cingular is funding the scholarship in celebration of the company’s 20th anniversary as a leading wireless provider in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area, said Steve Schoonmaker, Cingular vice president and general manager. It will be awarded to students enrolled in UTD’s Bachelor of Science in Telecommunications Engineering degree program.
“This is a landmark year for those of us at Cingular Wireless,” Schoonmaker said. “What began as a small company dedicated to mobile communications in 1984, when mobility meant bulky suitcase phones, has grown into a phenomenon that literally has changed the way we live and work. Today phones that fit in a purse or pocket are powerful tools that double as cameras, streaming video phones, phones that have e-mail capability — a full range of voice and data applications.”
Wireless service began in Dallas July 31, 1984, under the Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems name as part of San Antonio-based SBC Communications. Cingular is now a joint venture owned by both SBC and BellSouth.
“Today we have the distinction of serving more customers in Dallas/Fort Worth than any other provider. We want to celebrate this truly historic milestone in our business life by giving back to the community, where some of this country’s first tentative steps in mobile communications began,” Schoonmaker added.
The scholarship will be awarded to a student in his or her junior year and again in the senior year, as long as the student remains in the program and maintains a certain grade-point average. In the third year, another junior will be awarded the scholarship for two years.
“The University of Texas at Dallas is grateful to receive this unique scholarship bequest for two of our telecommunication engineering students,” said Dr. Bob Helms, dean of UTD’s Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. “And we are proud that Cingular Wireless thought of UTD in marking its important milestone.”
“We are delighted to have this opportunity to support students who have made the commitment to make telecommunications their career,” Schoonmaker said. “Cingular Wireless employees have always supported efforts to improve the communities in which we live and work. Through this commitment to UTD, we are taking a major step to support those who will be the future leaders of our industry for the next 20 years — and longer. What will wireless communication be like in that time? We don’t know, but we look forward to our scholarship helping students define that future.”
UTD was the first school in the country to offer an ABET-accredited B.S. degree in telecommunications engineering and in 2002 began granting the nation’s first Ph.D. degree in telecommunications engineering. The school also is one of only a handful in the U.S. that offers undergraduate and doctoral degrees in software engineering.
About Cingular Wireless
Cingular Wireless, a joint venture between SBC Communications (NYSE - SBC) and BellSouth (NYSE - BLS), serves more than 25 million voice and data customers across the United States. A leader in mobile voice and data communications, Cingular is the only U.S. wireless carrier to offer Rollover SM, the wireless plan that lets customers keep their unused monthly minutes. Cingular is the largest provider of GSM services in the United States, and has a 100 percent digital GSM/GPRS footprint across its service area. It also launched the world’s first commercial deployment of wireless services using Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) technology. Cingular also provides corporate e-mail and other advanced data services through its GPRS, EDGE and Mobitex packet data networks. Details of the company are available at www.cingular.com.
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor, enrolls more than 13,700 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s web site at www.utdallas.edu.