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Otterbein University Receives Generous Gift from AEP

June 05, 2017
Otterbein University

(Westerville, OH) – Otterbein University recently received a generous $500,000 gift from American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation to advance completion of The Point at Otterbein University. The gift adds to the success of the “Where We Stand Matters” comprehensive campaign currently underway at Otterbein.

“We appreciate the AEP Foundation’s leaders for embracing Otterbein’s vision of supporting The Point and how we will redefine higher education in the future,” said Otterbein President Kathy Krendl. “Their financial support will help further develop the building to impact hundreds of students, faculty and our community at large through hands-on experiences, internships and job placements in Central Ohio.”

The grant awarded to Otterbein this week, will support The Point - Otterbein’s new platform for opportunity, sustainability, innovation and lifelong learning - that includes a maker space and lab space for STEAM (Science, Technology Engineering, Arts and Math) learning. Specific equipment will support an advanced manufacturing lab; electrical lab; art and design studio; maker space and an automation lab. In addition to students, companies in the business accelerator suite will use the equipment to create prototypes and innovative products. In recognition of the support, Otterbein will name the business accelerator suite for AEP Foundation.

Students, educators, business, industry and community partners work together at The Point, which is currently home to five resident companies. This collaborative model provides unique opportunities for a variety of businesses, as well as students. At The Point, students can share ideas with fellow students, faculty and working professionals. They collaborate with successful entrepreneurs and businesses through on-site internship and experiential learning opportunities that could lead to employment in the community. In fall 2017, a makerspace will open to the community.

“We are impressed with the hands-on opportunities offered at The Point alongside the integration of the liberal arts and the one-to-one teaching by faculty and area business experts,” said Chairman, President and CEO, Nicholas K. Akins, who also serves as the chairman of the AEP Foundation. “Otterbein is advancing the future of our leaders and learners and we’re pleased to support their integrated and hands-on efforts. We expect these new labs will offer the space to learn, test, fail and thrive.”

The AEP Foundation complements a tradition of corporate philanthropy exhibited by AEP and its regional utilities in support of AEP's community relations goal: “To support and play an active, positive role in the communities where we live and work.” The AEP Foundation was created in 2005 to support that goal with organizations in the communities served by AEP's regional utilities or where AEP has major facilities. 

American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity and custom energy solutions to nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. AEP owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a more than 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP also operates 224,000 miles of distribution lines. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning approximately 26,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP supplies 3,200 megawatts of renewable energy to customers. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio. 

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