BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Nov. 21, 2014) – The Southeastern Conference announced Wednesday that Dr Pepper, an official corporate sponsor of the SEC since 1984, has contributed $100,000 to the league to fund a two-year education abroad program for students at SEC universities, beginning with the 2015-2016 academic year. The program will be managed by SECU, the academic initiative of the Southeastern Conference.
“Dr Pepper has a long-standing commitment to higher education, and we are committed to increasing the amount and type of education abroad opportunities available for our students,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. “With this generous contribution from Dr Pepper, we are better equipped to meet one of the charter goals for SECU as outlined by our Presidents and Chancellors.”
By funding these awards, Dr Pepper will provide study abroad opportunities for high achieving SEC students with demonstrated financial need who represent nontraditional study abroad participants. Each university will identify one male and one female student to participate in a faculty-led program.
“We are enthused to expand upon the SEC’s commitment to education by giving deserving students a chance to study abroad through the SECU academic initiative,” said Jaxie Alt, senior vice president of marketing for Dr Pepper. “Dr Pepper has continued to fund one-of-a-kind dreams since 2008 through our tuition giveaway program, and now we are able to support the great work the SEC is doing.”
SECU was established in 2005 as the SEC Academic Consortium, and one of its original focal points was education abroad. In response, the consortium secured an Institute for Study Abroad Foundation grant to provide scholarships for SEC students to study at Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland. In addition, by utilizing a cooperative agreement, students from SEC universities now have access to programs offered at other SEC universities. Finally, the SEC also has a partnership with the Politecnico di Torino which gives SEC engineering students the opportunity to study in Torino, Italy, each spring.