11:18 AM

Cameron Advisory Board Member Secures Donation for 200 Chromebooks for Students in Need

ChromebookRichard Van Deventer, a member of Cameron School of Business Advisory Board, is a person who comes up with creative solutions to problems.

When University of St. Thomas reached out to him for help finding computers for students who are experiencing hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic, he did not hesitate to offer assistance.

Van Deventer, who is CEO of CSAT, reached out to his contacts and secured a donation for 200 refurbished Lenovo Chromebook 100e Gen 1 machines to give to CeltCare Program student applicants in need of a computer. He also serviced the Chromebooks free-of-charge at his company, CSAT.

“When I became aware of the challenges facing many of the UST students who did not have easy access to the technology needed for remote learning, I reached out to my peers in the computer industry for a solution,” Van Deventer said. “We were delighted that Lenovo Corporation answered the call by providing 200 pre-owned computers for the students to use in their remote learning environment.”

UST CeltCare Program

The laptops are distributed through the University’s CeltCare Program, which was first initiated during Hurricane Harvey to help faculty, staff and students in need and then re-initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chromebooks will be distributed to awardees in July at Doherty Library.

“The Chromebook is truly a godsend,” Jean M. Smith, who is earning a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and will graduate in December 2020, said. “I can finish my summer and fall semester strong, without worrying when my computer is going to need fixing, the screen blacks out at will and no warning. I am so grateful to be a recipient of this gift and award.”

Van Deventer’s Special Connection to UST

Van Deventer has a special history with UST. His in-laws, Carol and Odis Peavy, gave a transformational gift that relaunched the UST School of Nursing. Also, Van Deventer’s company, CSAT, offered the first major student project, under the Celt Consulting Projects umbrella.

“Our students have also toured CSAT as part of the Celts Exploring Business visits,” Dr. Beena George, former dean of the Cameron School of Business, said. “He has offered internship and job opportunities to our students. He is a good friend of the university and is committed to helping our students.”

The University of St. Thomas is grateful for Richard Van Deventer’s service and friendship.