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Residential Networks (ResNet)

Lenoir-Rhyne University Campus Residents Enjoy Game-Changing ResNet Wi-Fi from Apogee

Lenoir-Rhyne University Hickory campus leaders are relying on Apogee as a trusted partner that knows exactly what to do to keep their student residents Wi-Fi happy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. In fact, Lenoir-Rhyne University Dean of Student Life Katie Fisher Ed. D says that the updated Wi-Fi service is a game changer for students, faculty, and staff.

During the summer of 2022, Lenoir-Rhyne University, a private Lutheran university in North Carolina, chose Apogee to provide Residential Networking Services (ResNet) to 13 residence halls, apartment buildings, and campus houses for more than 700 students at its Hickory campus. The university, which opened in 1891 as a one-room school known as Highland Academy with 12 students, is named in memory of Hickory area entrepreneurs Walter W. Lenoir and Daniel E. Rhyne.

Lenoir-Rhyne University is now a nationally recognized liberal arts university with nearly 2,700 students and 140 full-time faculty at its campuses in Hickory, Asheville, and Columbia. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Lenoir-Rhyne University also secured high rankings from U.S. News & World Report, tying for No. 7 in Best Undergraduate Teaching; ranking No. 21 in Best Value Schools; tying for No. 41 in Regional Universities South; and tying for No. 42 in Top Performers on Social Mobility.

About ResNet at Lenoir-Rhyne

Apogee, a leading provider of managed technology services for more than 350 colleges and universities in the United States, worked closely with Lenoir-Rhyne University housing and IT administrators to complete the Hickory campus Wi-Fi upgrade in only 20 days. As evidenced by remarkably few help desk tech support requests since the installation was completed, campus residents are enjoying state-of-the-art Wi-Fi technology and reliable support from Apogee 24/7/365 for homework, research, entertainment, and ongoing communications with family and friends.

Fisher offered her perspectives on past and present Wi-Fi experiences at the Hickory campus. She explained that Lenoir-Rhyne previously had Wi-Fi nodes installed at various locations around campus. At that time, faculty, staff, and students were all on one system. Reliability became spotty as students brought more devices to campus and demand increased in the residential halls and apartments in the evening when most of the students were home studying or streaming their favorite movies and TV shows.

“We originally installed Wi-Fi on campus in the late 2000’s, and it was so exciting when it first came out. But we didn’t upgrade after that. Students could access better Wi-Fi if they were sitting on a bench outside in the quadrangle, but not in their residence halls. It became clear that our old model of Wi-Fi across campus was not working for us anymore. Because our Wi-Fi was slow and reliability was ‘iffy,’ it also became clear that we needed to figure out a way to move students to their own platform – especially for our students in residence halls. Apogee proved to be the best solution for what we needed,” Fisher commented.

Students picked up the new Apogee ResNet quickly and easily. Fisher said: “Our students got onboarded faster than what Apogee has typically experienced before. We did a push when students were moving in, with posters and information to help them login and gain access to the network. We heard of very few issues or concerns with ramping up to the new Wi-Fi services.”

Currently, Apogee is contracted to support approximately 1000 student residential users who are connecting almost 3,000 devices. Apogee is committed to providing support for up to seven devices per student, including IoT devices such as smart lamps and lightbulbs.

Deborah Burns, Apogee client service manager for the Southeast Region, noted: “Onboarding students to the new ResNet system at Lenoir-Rhyne University was truly one of the most collaborative onboarding experiences to date. Our onsite team enjoyed working closely with the students, seeing them seamlessly connect their devices, and enjoy the “super-fast speeds”.

Positive Impact for Students, Campus Leaders, and Staff

Moving ResNet operations from an in-house model to a managed services model has the added benefit of freeing up valuable campus departments’ time and talent for strategic projects and initiatives that often take a back seat to ensuring residential Wi-Fi happiness.

Jeremy Shreve, the university’s vice president of business and finance, offered this comment: “My expectation is that with Apogee as a partner for Wi-Fi in our residence halls, our campus leaders and their teams can focus more on the strategic projects that drive enrollment, academic success, and sustainable investment models.”

Chèrie Whipple, Lenoir-Rhyne University chief information officer, is thankful to Fisher, housing and IT staff, and Apogee for game-changing solutions that enhance the student experience at the Hickory campus.

“The struggle to access reliable Wi-Fi services is over. Upgrading to Apogee ResNet has been a game changer for Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Hickory campus. I am thrilled that our faculty, staff, and students are happy with Apogee ResNet. Our people know they can depend on Apogee, and that is a huge relief for me and all our campus administrators,” Whipple said.

Christopher Wilson is a junior who has been living on campus at Lenoir-Rhyne for three years. He is pursuing a degree in youth and family ministry and expects to graduate in 2024. Wilson lived in Isenhour Hall as a freshman, and he has been living in Morgan Hall where he has been serving as a resident assistant for two years.

Wilson added: “The current ResNet services are a big help from the Wi-Fi services we had in the past.  My experience with Apogee ResNet has been great. What I like most about ResNet is that it is only available in the residence halls, and we can connect up to seven devices. What I depend on most is the speed of the network since I enjoy online gaming from time to time. I think Apogee is great, and I hope that they will keep delivering higher standards of Wi-Fi services.”

Wilson explained that he has not experienced any challenges with Apogee ResNet services. He noted that when other students have experienced minor issues, Apogee IT team members have addressed their concerns quickly online or over the phone.

“Apogee field service technicians will come to our campus right away if our school IT leaders feel that on site, direct support is needed,” Wilson said.

Connecting with Apogee

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