Tuscaloosa, AL - Determined and fiercely competitive Stillman students, staff, alumni and friends helped the College to soar to third place in the ongoing Home Depot 2014 Retool Your School Campus Improvement Grant program for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
Online voting for the campaign began February 17th on the contest's website, www.retoolyourschool.com
. During the first week of the competition, Stillman started out strong and quickly moved to 4th place out of 63 colleges and universities. When the College sunk momentarily to 5th place on Saturday morning, February 22nd, student leaders sounded the alarm. Employing every source of social media, they urged family, friends, church members and others to vote for Stillman at www.retoolyourschool.com. At least one student, Desalyn Easley, garnered international support. “My cousin/uncle is stationed in Korea and is helping us by having all of his army buddies vote for Stillman in the Retool Your School campaign,” says Desalyn.
Determined to help Stillman win its share of the $250,000 in grants for on-campus improvements, voters used twitter to urge their friends and family to vote. Before the last tweet was launched on Saturday, SGA President Rio Jackson announced on Facebook that the College had just moved up to 3rd place.
Shortly afterwards, Vice President of Student Affairs Shambria Davis sent a Facebook “shout out” to Class of ’93 alumni. While on campus for a reunion, the alumni took time to vote and praised the dynamic young students for their passionate desire to improve the College.
Although the College fell back to 4th place over the weekend, on Monday morning determined voters helped Stillman sail back into 3rd place.
Although the College is off to an auspicious beginning, voting does not conclude until April 14th. To maintain enthusiasm, members of Stillman’s Student Government Association; the College newspaper, The Advance; the campus radio station, WSTL; and the Stillman National PanHellenic Council are working with faculty, staff, alumni and community members to encourage voting.
“It’s important to vote because every vote is an opportunity to improve our campus, so I vote every day,” said Lindsay Dunagan, an administrative assistant in Stillman’s Department of Institutional Advancement.
Stillman's three proposed campus improvement projects include upgrading landscaping, developing an energy conservation plan for Hay Hall, and starting a maintenance training apprenticeship program for students in the two men's residence halls, King and Williams. One $50,000 grant recipient and thirteen $10,000 grant recipients will be determined by a combination of the online voting score and advisory board scores. Three $25,000 grant recipients will be determined by the schools that receive the most votes and social media activity, as assessed by The Home Depot. In addition to voting, students, alumni, faculty, staff, friends of the College and members of the community may show their support for Stillman on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag, #stillmanTHDRYS.
Stillman College is noted for its outstanding programs in biological sciences, business administration, and teacher education, in addition to its Harte Honors College and pre-professional programs in law and medicine. Students have access to the latest in computer technology. Ninety-two percent of Stillman’s full-time faculty members hold terminal degrees and the student-to-faculty ratio is 15:1. The faculty is committed to excellence in teaching, advising, scholarship and service—providing a challenging curriculum that prepares graduates for employment, professional or graduate studies and viable careers in selected fields.