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UT Arlington's School of Social Work gets more trees

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

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Media Contact: UT Arlington Media Relations, 817-272-2761

ARLINGTON - The hot, Texas sun will beat a little bit easier on the heads of future UT Arlington students, faculty, staff and visitors, thanks to the donation of 100 trees from TXU Energy through the School of Social Work.

The first of those 100 trees will be planted at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 3, just south of Science Hall, 502 Yates St.

The shade those trees create will dot the 420-acre campus for decades to come. About a quarter of the trees will go along Greek Row Drive after reconstruction this summer. Another quarter of the total will go next to Lipscomb Hall. The other half of the tree total will be scattered across the campus.

“We are indebted to TXU Energy for this generous gift and for their work not only with this, but in support of the School of Social Work. We are equally appreciative of Sen. Chris Harris and state Rep. Diane Patrick for their strong support of this effort,” said Dr. Santos Hernandez, dean of the UT Arlington School of Social Work. “TXU Energy’s generosity will be felt by students for decades. This living donation strengthens the School of Social Work’s bond with TXU Energy as well as our commitment to the University’s sustainability efforts and the greening of the campus. It’s something that benefits not only the University, but everyone on this planet.”

The estimated value of the 100 trees – which include the varieties of Desert Willow, Red Oak, Bur Oak, Bald Cypress, Lacebark Elm and Chinquapin Oak – is $7,500. But the TXU Energy donation doesn’t include just that.

TXU Energy also underwrote the School of Social Work’s Night of Excellence with a $5,000 donation. The event recognizes accomplishments of students and faculty for the previous year. Any proceeds from the event go toward the alumni scholarship fund. TXU Energy officials also gave another $5,000 at the event. Then the energy company decided on the tree donation.

“TXU Energy is committed to the improvement of the environment,” said Kelli Rod, vice president of community relations for TXU Energy. “Through signature programs like Committed to Community Growth, we are confident that this effort will have long-lasting results even into the next generation of Mavericks.”

The alliance started because Rod saw that a number of people who worked in agencies that helped distribute from the firm’s energy assistance program for at-risk families received their degrees from UT Arlington. She was later asked to serve on the School of Social Work’s Advisory Council, and personally experienced that tie between the school and social agencies.

Rod contacted state Sen. Chris Harris and Dr. Diane Patrick, State Senator, District 94, and received strong support from the lawmakers for TXU Energy’s donation to UT Arlington.

The TXU initiative, “Committed to Community Growth,” fits in with the UT Arlington donation. It’s a program that donates 10- to 30-gallon trees as part of the company’s go-green focus. Most recently, TXU Energy increased its level of sponsorship and collaboration with long-time community partner, Texas Trees Foundation (TTF). Thanks to a $100,000 contribution from TXU Energy, TTF will increase tree capacity at the newly named TXU Energy Urban Tree Farm, the largest nonprofit urban tree farm in the nation, and continue its legacy of environmental stewardship.

About TXU Energy

TXU Energy is a market-leading competitive retailer that provides electricity and related services to more than 2.1 million electricity customers in Texas. TXU Energy offers a variety of innovative products and solutions, allowing both its residential and business customers to choose options that best meet their needs, including exceptional customer service, competitively priced electricity service plans, innovative energy efficiency options, renewable energy programs and other electricity-related products and services. Visit www.txuenergy.com for more information about TXU Energy.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

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