Insurance Giant Gives To WIU

3-6-14 WIU State FarmWestern Illinois University will be able to give one of its business college’s majors a shot in the arm thanks to a donation from a major insurance company.

Bloomington-based State Farm Insurance today gave Western’s School of Computer Science in Macomb a $50,000 grant that the company says should re-energize technology education, and possibly provide a workforce for its firm in the future.

Doctor Tom Erekson is the Dean of Western’s College of Business and Technology, and tells WGIL the money will give a classroom a major upgrade designed to help students interested in Information Technology.

“The grant will be used to establish a new computer lab and advance computer applications and networking for the students so that they can have the latest technology to develop knowledge and skill in the networking and application area,” says Erekson. “Our intent is to use the core of a new lab that will have enhanced visual media for our computer graphics, we’ll do advanced 3-D, a lot of other things like that.”

Erekson says WIU also hopes the Advanced Application and Development Lab, which will be named for State Farm, will become a sort-of “showcase” lab that will be the crown jewel of Stipes Hall.

While he says about $20,000 to $30,000 more is needed for the project; it’s expected to be ready in time for the fall semester.

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