Genesee Community College Connects Troops Stationed in Iraq with Local Families through Video Conferencing

One Western New York family had a very special Independence Day celebration this year. On July 1, 2008 Jillian LiBritz, of North Chili, NY had the opportunity to participate in a video conference with her husband, Francis LiBritz, who is currently stationed at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq.

Jillian and her two children were able to communicate face-to-face with Francis through a private, 30-minute video conference call at Genesee Community College's Batavia campus. Free video conferencing was available to military families at 31 U.S. locations, including Genesee Community College's Batavia Campus, in conjunction with Tandberg Corp. and the Freedom Calls Foundation.

"The free video calls are just a small way for us to show how appreciative we are of the sacrifices our men and women in the military are making. What better way to honor them than on Independence Day," Rick Ensman, Director of Genesee's External Affairs department said.

About Genesee Community College

Genesee Community College (GCC) serves the four-county region of Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming Counties with seven campus locations. The main campus is in Batavia and the six campus centers are in Albion, Arcade, Dansville, Lakeville, Medina and Warsaw. Since its founding in 1966 as part of the State University of New York (SUNY), Genesee has consistently prioritized providing access to academic opportunities, and is now among the most respected community colleges in the United States earning acclaim for innovative programs and powerful technological tools available in- and outside the classroom. Genesee is proud to put its communication and technology prowess to work in support of regional military families through this live, video calls initiative with Tandberg and the Freedom Calls Foundation.


TANDBERG is a leading global provider of telepresence, high-definition videoconferencing, and mobile video products and services - with dual headquarters in New York and Norway. TANDBERG designs, develops, and markets systems and software for video, voice, and data. The company provides sales, support, and value-added services in more than 90 countries worldwide. TANDBERG is publicly traded on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker TAA.OL. Please visit for more information.

About Freedom Calls Foundation

The Freedom Calls Foundation ( is a public charity which has built a satellite network dedicated to providing state of the art video conferencing, telephone, and Internet services to enable troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to keep in touch with their families free of charge because there is no Internet infrastructure in Iraq. The Foundation provides services to more than 50,000 soldiers and marines - free of charge - 24 hours per day, and the Army has requested that the foundation install eight additional facilities in Iraq and two in Afghanistan in the coming months, including more than 2,000 enterprise class video conferences from homes, medical centers and churches every month. The Foundation is authorized by the Secretary of the Army to provide communications services to the troops and their families and is supported solely by donations of corporations and the American people through the foundati! on's website ( The Foundation urgently needs funding to continue to bring families together.