- Associated Press - Thursday, April 9, 2015

SALINA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas Wesleyan University says it will use a $1 million donation from Sunflower Bank for a much-needed upgrade to its voice and data network.

University President Matt Thompson said Wednesday the donation will cover most of a $1.2 million contract to install a one-gigabit fiber network across the campus in Salina, including in residence halls. It will also provide infrastructure for the university to provide online courses.

“This is a life-changing, and institution-changing, moment,” Thompson said. It’s not a “visible, bricks-and-mortar project,” but will nonetheless make a difference at Wesleyan for years to come.

The president says that in his almost two years at the university, students have consistently requested faster Internet access.

“As I started thinking about how to get support for this project, as often happens, providence stepped in,” Thompson said.

Mollie Hale Carter, president and CEO of Sunflower Bank, says that she and her family wanted to assist the school as it moves into the future. She says the technology upgrades will help students on campus and beyond Salina.

The campus upgrades are expected to be completed by December.

The Salina Journal also reports (http://bit.ly/1aN4mEH ) that Nex-Tech will donate $150,000 to support construction of the Graves Family Sports Complex. Nex-Tech began as a telephone cooperative, but because of customer needs, its services now include Internet technology.

“A university goes through similar transformations,” Todd said. “We are tremendously privileged to be a part of this.”

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Information from: The Salina (Kan.) Journal, http://www.salina.com

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