July 15, 2005

Contact: Eric Gerber
713.743.8189 (office)
713.617.7130 (pager)

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‘Building Futures Together’ Campaign to Expand
Educational Opportunities in Fort Bend County

SUGAR LAND, July 15, 2005 – Newland Communities, developer of the new Telfair master-planned community in Sugar Land and six other major communities in the Houston area, has stepped forward to make the first private gift to the UH System at Sugar Land expansion project. In recognition of the developer’s gift of $100,000, the largest classroom in the new 145,000-square-foot facility that will be shared with Wharton County Junior College will be named in honor of Newland Communities.

Travis Stone, Senior Vice President of Operations of Newland Communities, announced the gift at a reception on July 6 with UH System Board of Regents Chair Morgan Dunn O’Connor, UH-Victoria President Tim Hudson, Wharton County Junior College President Betty McCrohan, and Fluor Corporation Vice President Mike Piwetz, who leads the “Building Futures Together” Campaign Committee.

“Providing access to students throughout the region is a high priority in the UH System Regents’ strategic agenda,” said UH System Board chair Morgan Dunn O’Connor. “The expansion of the UH System at Sugar Land is a critical factor in reaching that goal, which will be realized through extraordinary support such as this generous gift from Newland Communities.”

The $30-million building will be funded through private and public funds, and funding is already being sought through a coalition of strongly motivated partners. The George Foundation has generously given $4 million to the project, and other large gifts are being finalized.

“The UH System is so pleased to have partners—like Newland Communities—who understand the value of investing in higher education,” said UH-Victoria President Hudson. “We are proud to have them as neighbors, but more importantly, proud to have them as stakeholders in the future of our community.”

“Giving back to the communities we serve has always been a priority for Newland Communities, and there is nothing we value more as a developer of master-planned communities than strong public education, from pre-K through the post-graduate level,” said Stone.

Stone added that, with Telfair planned to open in Spring 2006, Newland Communities is excited about the timing of its gift to the new UH System at Sugar Land expansion.

“Newland Communities understands that creating first-class university campuses and master-planned communities are both long-term undertakings,” he said. “We firmly believe that UH System at Sugar Land will be a major amenity for residents of Telfair, and we are very pleased that the university and the community will be able to grow together. We experienced this kind of synergy first-hand, with our early support of the then-fledgling UH System at Cinco Ranch. We have since watched UH System at Cinco Ranch blossom into a major asset for Cinco Ranch and all of west Houston.”

Wharton County Junior College President Betty McCrohan praised Newland Communities for its commitment to Fort Bend County. “Newland Communities clearly values what higher education can bring to a community, and we are truly grateful for their generosity,” she said.

A total of 66 new classrooms of various sizes are projected for the new building, as well as a performance hall/auditorium, computer labs, science laboratories and nursing skills laboratories. The new classrooms will provide seating for approximately 2,500 students. The building will also provide faculty offices, a bookstore, weight rooms, a student lounge, and a food court. The current facility, the Albert and Mamie George Building, will serve as an instructional site and as the administrative headquarters for UHSSL and WCJC.

The University of Houston System at Sugar Land is a teaching center that offers junior, senior and graduate courses leading to more than thirty bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the four UH System Universities (University of Houston, UH-Clear Lake, UH-Downtown, and UH-Victoria). Established in 1996, UHSSL is located north of the Brazos River on U.S. 59 South at University Boulevard and serves those who live and work in Fort Bend County. UHSSL offers multiple methods of instruction including face-to-face, instructional television, online, broadcast TV, and videotape purchase.

Wharton County Junior College, a public, two-year, comprehensive community college, enrolls about 11,060 students per year. The college offers a wide range of postsecondary educational programs, including an Associate in Arts degree, Associate in Applied Science degrees, certificate and certification programs, distance learning programs, continuing education programs, and workforce development programs. The college operates three campuses in Sugar Land, Richmond, and Wharton, with extension centers in Bay City, El Campo, and Palacios.

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