The $50,000 Grand Prize winner of the 2011 Retool Your School campus improvement grant is Bethune Cookman University.
The Home Depot has announced the top winners of its 2011 “Retool Your School” Campus Improvement Grant Program, an initiative designed to reinvigorate Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Through this program, eleven schools will receive $150,000 in grants for lasting renovations. The grand prize winner is Bethune Cookman University, located in Daytona Beach, FL, which will receive$50,000 to install automated access doors and a wheelchair ramp in its Student Center to accommodate students, faculty and staff members with disabilities Also, the following ten schools will each receive a $10,000 grant for enduring on- campus improvements: Virginia Union University (Richmond, VA); Knoxville College (Knoxville, TN); North Carolina A&T State University (Greensboro, NC); Morris Brown College (Atlanta, GA); Howard University (Washington, DC); North Carolina Central University (Durham, NC); Tuskegee University (Tuskegee, AL); Mississippi Valley State University (Itta Bena, MS); Southwestern Christian College (Terrell, TX); Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (Tallahassee, FL).
The Home Depot truly exemplifies “More Doing” with its strong commitment to the communities it serves, through education, volunteerism, do-it-yourself expertise and sustainable improvements. ‘The Retool Your School’ program launched in 2010 and underscores The Home Depot’s strong commitment to some of the nation’s most historic institutions. The Home Depot prides itself on making a positive impact on the environment. As many HBCUs were built at the turn of the twentieth century, The Home Depot is excited to provide “Retool Your School” as a vehicle to encourage energy-efficient upgrades among the HBCU community, thus decreasing their carbon footprint.
“The Retool Your School program met and even exceeded our expectation this year as schools and the community truly joined together to ensure that their favorite HBCU received consideration for grants for lasting campus improvements. The Home Depot® is elated to provide these 11 deserving institutions with funds to enhance campus life now and for generations to come,” states Trish Mueller, Chief Marketing Officer, The Home Depot.
Support for this year’s “Retool Your School” program began at the grassroots level as many schools utilized Facebook, Twitter, school websites, newsletters, local media appeals and their Alumni associations to spread the word. Also, some heavy hitting media influencers including nationally syndicated radio personalities Steve Harvey and Tom Joyner took to the airwaves to help make the public aware of this dynamic initiative. On April 14, Marvin Ellison, Executive Vice President, U.S. Stores, The Home Depot appeared live on The Steve Harvey Morning Show as he provided an impassioned call to action for the community to get involved and vote. Also, just in time for Earth Day, on April 18, Melissa Brown Multicultural Marketing Manager, The Home Depot appeared on The Tom Joyner Morning Show to provide some examples of the eco-friendly projects that were competing for grants. Receiving more than seven times the number of votes as last year’s program, over two million online votes were cast before the close of this year’s competition.
With a growing sustainability movement currently brewing on HBCU campuses, many are actively seeking more eco-friendly options to limit greenhouse gas emissions on campus and utilize renewable energy sources whenever possible. The “Retool Your School” Campus Improvement Grant Program supports this growing crusade for environmental change by providing special consideration to eco-friendly, sustainable projects. With the goal of issuing grants for projects that have a lasting impact, this year’s winning projects include establishing the only public park in a 10-mile radius, transforming a residence hall, creating safe and well lit outdoor areas, installing a sustainable rain garden, upgrading campus grounds and communal areas, decreasing the amount of waste on campus by supplying students with reusable recycling bags and encouraging recycling on campus, installing sustainable ecofriendly landscaping to help reduce pollution and providing automated irrigation systems for campus greenery.