Center Receives Grant from AT&T Foundation To Help Develop Online Virtual Congress

 AT&T Grant Press Release [PDF]




Center Receives Grant from AT&T Foundation To Help Develop Online Virtual Congress


INDIANAPOLIS – March 15, 2007 — The AT&T Foundation — the philanthropic arm of AT&T Inc. — today announced a $100,000 grant for the Center on Congress at Indiana University to support development of a pioneering new online educational resource, Virtual Congress.

Virtual Congress will use the latest in multi-player game technology to let students participate in an online Congress that functions very much like the real one — with committees, floor action, amendments, back-and-forth discussions, input from constituents, and the like.

"The AT&T Foundation grant helps us create an educational resource that will teach young people to understand Congress and the importance of listening to diverse viewpoints and working out acceptable compromises," said Lee Hamilton, Director of the Center on Congress and a former member of Congress. "We are pleased to have the AT&T Foundation as a partner in our effort to make learning about Congress and civics an engaging, interactive adventure."

In Virtual Congress, players from across the country, represented by three-dimensional online characters, or "avatars," will hold the 535 House and Senate seats. The student-Members of Virtual Congress will introduce bills and work online with others to try to move their proposals through the various stages of the legislative process.

"We at Indiana University are very grateful to the AT&T Foundation for its continuing support of the innovative programs in the Center on Congress," said Michael A. McRobbie, president-elect of the university and interim provost of the Bloomington campus. "The Center is fulfilling an important educational role, and we are proud that it is a part of this university. The support of the AT&T Foundation will enable us to continue to expand the Center's academic mission."

In addition to the $100,000 grant being presented this year, the AT&T Foundation also provided the Center on Congress a $92,625 grant in 2005 to fund the creation of the Center's Spanish-language Web site. The site features interactive, multimedia content, including audio and visual materials designed to help Spanish speakers learn more about Congress and become more fully engaged participants in America's civic culture. The site is accessible via the Español link on

"AT&T is pleased to support the Center on Congress, and we applaud them for bringing these innovative educational resources to such a diverse audience," said George S. Fleetwood, president of AT&T Indiana. "Partnerships like this allow us to support initiatives that better lives and provide learning opportunities through technology."