Steve Yount                     972.267.1111
Mark Yarbrough             214.874.4460


New Product Can Assist Students in Virginia Tech-type Crisis

Dallas Theological Seminary, one of the largest non-denominational seminaries in the world, has subscribed to a new text-messaging system that will notify students in the event of a campus-wide emergency or the closure of school.

School System Alert, developed by NetStrategies & Management Inc. of Arlington, Texas, was in place for the start of the spring semester Monday. The system uses text-messaging technology to broadcast alerts to the cell phone, PDA or computer of thousands of recipients. Its network includes multiple redundancies so that in the case of power or hardware failure, messages can still get through.

“In the wake of recent national campus emergencies, this kind of system is only prudent,” said Rick Rice, director of risk management for DTS. “Also, with winter upon us, some of our students travel long distances to campus only to find out that school is closed due to snow or ice. We will use the alert system, along with our Web site, to announce school closings in response to inclement weather.”

DTS’ enrollment of about 2,000 is large by seminary standards but small compared to four-year colleges and universities, which often have tens of thousands of students. School System Alert is designed to provide the “same functionality” as more expensive systems, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, but at a price schools with smaller budgets can afford.

“We are small compared to some institutions, so we try to be good stewards of resources,” Rice said. “This system will allow us to communicate efficiently with our students when needed.”

DTS serves its students through five extension sites and a growing variety of online classes. The 84-year-old seminary has 12,000 alumni serving in 96 countries.

 — 30 —

NOTE TO EDITORS: For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Steve Yount of A. Larry Ross Communications at 972-267-1111 or [email protected].