ASU Partners with Apple's Global Propel Center

News Date
Propel Center arch rendering Jan.2021.jpg

Above is an architectural rendering of the Propel Center in Atlanta.

ASU Partners with New Global 'Propel Center" Sponsored by Apple & Southern Company!

- Part of a national/inaugural physical and virtual campus hub in Atlanta, supporting HBCU student leadership and career development. 

By: Kenneth Mullinax/ASU 

Alabama State University has been chosen to partner with the new Propel Center (Center) that is sponsored by Apple and the Southern Company that will serve as a virtual and physical global hub for leadership and career development for more than 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) nationwide. Apple described the center as "a first-of-its-kind innovation and learning hub for the HBCU community." 

The Center is designed by Ed Farm (a non-profit committed to transforming classrooms to uplift communities) with Apple and the Southern Company supporting the project as founding partners. The Center will be located in the historic Atlanta University Center, with on-campus at activations on the Alabama State University campus and at other partner institutions across the United States. 


President Quinton T. Ross, Jr. said the Propel Center will provide ASU students will valuable academic and career development resources, including scholarly fellowships and access to state-of-the-art technology, educational learning programs and career opportunities. The Center's curriculum options will include augmented reality, machine learning, social justice, entertainment arts, design and creativity, career preparation, entrepreneurship tracks, app development and agricultural technologies.  

"This partnership will allow the University to participate in the Center's inaugural and cutting-edge programs that complement our established educational resources. The Propel Center will serve as another bridge for increased success for ASU's students while they are in school at the University and beyond their graduation," Ross said. 

"We wish to thank both the Apple and the Southern Company for believing in the purpose and mission of America's HBCUs, for choosing Alabama State University to be a part of this magnificent and noble endeavor and for setting the bar high for community involvement by corporate entities," Ross added. 


Apple is the program's technology partner, providing ongoing support for the Center's learning spaces, curriculum development, technology for in-person and virtual mentorship and internship opportunities for students at Alabama State University and across the HBCU community. The Propel Center is part of Apple’s $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative. 

"The HBCU community is a tremendous engine of Black creativity, entrepreneurship, and inclusive opportunity," said Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. "We are thrilled to join with partners and community stakeholders to support the Propel Center and be part of this groundbreaking new global hub for HBCU innovation and learning, devoted to helping faculty create best-in-class curriculum and ensuring students have access to cutting-edge skills." 

The Southern Company (which includes Alabama Power and its subsidiaries) supports the Center via a commitment of a $50 million, multi-year initiative to provide scholarships, access to technology, internships, leadership development, and innovation to support career readiness for students attending HBCUs within the Southern Company system's service footprint. 

"Learning is most valuable when it is connected to application. Southern Company is committed to giving students who emerge from the Propel Center a place to apply their skills and leadership. Our world is changing, so we must do what we can to change the way our students develop as leaders. Along with Apple, our investment will yield a return that makes the world a stronger and more equitable place," said Thomas A. Fanning, chairman, president and CEO, Southern Company. 

News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.