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Lenovo to carry Olympic torch replica to Wake Forest as fall semester approaches

August 17, 2009

A replica of the Olympic torch that made its way across China for the start of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games will arrive at Wake Forest University Aug. 20 as the campus prepares for the opening of its fall semester. 

In recognition of Wake Forest’s long-standing commitment to innovative technology, computer maker Lenovo is presenting the torch to the university as a gift.  Lenovo, a technology sponsor of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is the supplier of the Lenovo ThinkPad laptops used at Wake Forest.

Representatives of Lenovo will present the torch to Wake Forest administrators, including President Nathan O. Hatch and Provost Jill Tiefenthaler, at a ceremony in the second-floor lounge of Reynolda Hall at 11 a.m. Aug. 20.  Lenovo officials participating will include Thomas F. Looney, vice president and general manager for Lenovo North America, who is a parent of a Wake Forest college student.  Also present will be Jason Mooneyham, a Lenovo sales director who carried the torch in China as part of a series of torchbearers who participated in a traditional torch relay for the Olympics.

“As a symbol of Wake Forest’s commitment to excellence in education and its focus on preparing students to compete in a global economy, I am looking forward to presenting this torch from last summer’s Olympics to Wake Forest,” Looney said.

The torch, which stands 28 inches high and weighs about 35 ounces, will be displayed at Wake Forest’s Information Systems Building.  It was designed by Lenovo for the Summer Olympics.  The design was selected from more than 200 entries submitted from around the world.

“It embodies the concepts of a green Olympics, a high-tech Olympics and the People’s Olympics,” according to the official Beijing Olympics Web site.

Wake Forest and Lenovo have a long-running relationship that began in the mid-1990s, when the university began providing the laptops produced by Lenovo to students, faculty and staff.  When freshmen arrive for orientation Aug. 20, they will pick up the Lenovo ThinkPads they will use as students. 

“Wake Forest has been a leader among universities in providing students with state-of-the-art computer technology, highlighted by the ThinkPad program which we have provided to our students for many years,” Hatch said.  “The program has allowed us to provide students with powerful software, and has given them great access to faculty members, academic resources and many other technologies.  It has extended faculty-student interaction well beyond the classroom, and well beyond our campus boundaries.”

Tiefenthaler added that, ultimately, “the ThinkPad program is about much more than providing computers to students.”

“Our students are mobile,” she explained.  “Most study abroad for at least one semester, and all are always on the go.  They must have access, not only to a computer, but to a mobile computer that is fully equipped with an extensive suite of software that they need to be fully engaged in the intellectual life of the university, wherever they are.”

Following the presentation in Reynolda Hall, Lenovo and Wake Forest representatives will walk with the torch to the Information Systems Building, where it will be displayed at a reception that afternoon.

Press Contacts:

Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237

Cheryl Walker
(336) 758-5237

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