Founded in 1867, Morehouse College is a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) situated on 66 acres near downtown Atlanta, Ga.
With more than 2,000 students and close to 400 faculty and staff members, Morehouse is one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country. The school is known for graduating civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King and award-winning film director Spike Lee as well as many other trailblazers and change agents.
In early 2020, Morehouse students, faculty, and staff were experiencing slow Wi-Fi speeds and connectivity problems in the residence halls, classrooms, administrative buildings, and common spaces.
“Wireless is like a utility: we want to wake up and know that our wireless services are working,” said Dr. Kimberley Jones, Morehouse College vice president of information technology services and chief information officer. “The volume of service calls to our IT team had significantly increased, and I was receiving numerous critical emails from students, campus housing leaders, and instructors, all expressing their dissatisfaction with issues related to our Wi-Fi connectivity.”
While walking through campus during the summer of 2020 to troubleshoot the Wi-Fi outages, Dr. Jones and her team discovered numerous fiber issues – a problem that would require a major overhaul of the campus’s wired and wireless networks. This led them to start evaluating alternative solutions.
Morehouse College turns to Apogee for Managed Network Services
After meeting with Morehouse College President David A. Thomas and IT leadership, it was determined that outsourcing was the most efficient and cost-effective option. Morehouse chose Apogee to provide campuswide managed Wi-Fi services and reliably connect smart devices for 40 campus buildings, including 12 residential halls.
“Apogee is managing everything Wi-Fi at Morehouse College,” said Apogee Director of Business Development Mark McClintock. “The Morehouse IT team was very receptive to solutions from Apogee and valued our expertise. If we identified a problem during the installation, we addressed it to solve it quickly and easily together.”
Apogee, the leading managed technology services provider solely focused on higher education, configured and installed the new residential, academic, and administrative networks in only eight weeks.
“When we first started considering upgrading our Wi-Fi in the residential buildings, it made sense to go through the entire campus and consider our spaces and access points to improve overall connectivity,” Dr. Jones said. “We are one of the first schools to teach classes with VR headsets, making wireless connectivity in the classroom extremely important. Our campuswide trouble tickets are low now, which means that our IT team can work on strategic projects for Morehouse that help us to maintain our competitive edge and help our students move forward successfully toward graduation.”
At Morehouse College, Apogee supports everything from smart TVs, smartphones, laptops and tablets, printers, earbuds, VR headsets, and drones. Apogee also provides managed Wi-Fi services to common areas such as a food truck parking lot, a green space for commencement ceremonies, the stadium press box and concessions, a gym, a bookstore, and student social spaces.
During major events, Apogee closely watches the Morehouse College Wi-Fi networks to ensure they can handle dramatic increases in guests on campus.
“Morehouse Homecoming is a huge event with about 30,000-plus guests on campus over a few days,” said Apogee Client Services Manager Eleanor Glenn. “Besides supporting students, faculty, and staff, thousands of guests can confidently sign into the Morehouse network, access Wi-Fi, and connect their devices.”
Apogee provides 24/7/365 support for the campus-wide Wi-Fi networks, while Morehouse College IT covers everything else. An Apogee client service manager and field service representative serve as an extension of the Morehouse College IT team and share detailed monthly wireless network usage reports and monthly stewardship reports.
Using Apogee Managed Network Services makes budgeting for IT more predictable. It provides Morehouse College IT greater peace of mind by optimizing campus end-user productivity and freeing time for strategic campus IT initiatives.