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UT System to launch public TV series

By Anthony de Bruyn
Assistant to the Vice Chancellor and Assistant Director for Public Affairs, UT System

(April 19, 2006)--The University of Texas System announced April 18 it will produce "Transforming Texas," a series of 13 half-hour public television programs. The series, which addresses many of the critical issues facing Texas in the early 21st century, is supported by title sponsors AT&T, Inc., and its philanthropic arm -- the AT&T Foundation -- and Exxon Mobil Corp.

"Transforming Texas" will focus on challenges Texans are facing and on the significant work in progress at the state's public higher education institutions to provide solutions to these challenges. Segments in the series will highlight issues such as the state's rapidly growing population of the elderly, improving K-12 education, and advancements in cancer treatments and research.

"Public higher education is a big part of the solution for all the major challenges facing Texas. We are very proud of this public television series and the work it will showcase. And, of course, we are tremendously grateful to AT&T and Exxon Mobil for their sponsorship of the series," said UT System Chancellor Mark Yudof.

"Public-private partnerships such as this create innovative solutions," said John Montford, AT&T senior vice president, legislative and regulatory affairs. "We hope this sponsorship encourages and challenges other corporate citizens to continue stepping forward as partners in future endeavors like these."

"ExxonMobil is pleased to be a title sponsor of Transforming Texas and to highlight the work of higher education institutions throughout Texas in addressing the challenges facing the state over the coming years. Having recruited a significant number of graduates from Texas colleges and universities, we are well aware of the tremendous contribution being made by educational institutions across the state to the health, wellbeing and lives of all Texans," said Rex Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil.

Transforming Texas will air on public television stations around the state. Partners in producing the series include the nine UT System academic institutions, including UT campuses in Austin, Arlington, Brownsville, Dallas, Edinburg, El Paso, Midland-Odessa, San Antonio and Tyler; and the six UT System health institutions: the UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas; UT M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (Houston); UT Medical Branch at Galveston; UT Health Science Center at San Antonio; UT Health Science Center at Houston and the UT Health Center at Tyler. A number of other state universities with major research capabilities in Texas also will be featured in the television series.

Episodes will address the contributions and advances made possible by higher education in technology, medicine, health, economic development, and education.

The UT System is one of the nation's largest higher education systems with 15 campuses, including nine academic and six health institutions, and an annual operating budget of $9.6 billion (FY 2006). Student enrollment exceeds 184,000 in the 2005 academic year. The UT System confers one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates three-fourths of Texas health care professionals. With more than 76,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in Texas.

The new AT&T Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AT&T Inc., supports programs that build communities and improve access to information technologies, technology training and professional skills development. AT&T Inc. is one of the world's largest telecommunications holding companies and is the largest in the United States.

Exxon Mobil Corporation is a leading international energy company whose subsidiaries have operations in approximately 200 countries and territories. In the United States, Exxon Mobil has significant exploration and production, refining and marketing and chemicals operations.

For more information, contact Randa Safady or Anthony de Bruyn at (512) 499-4363.

Read more at the UT System Office of Public Affairs Web site.

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