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Stillman Wins A Home Depot Retool Your School Grant


(May 8, 2014-Tuscaloosa, AL) The Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, announced that Stillman College is one of 17 winners of the 2014 RETOOL YOUR SCHOOL Campus Improvement Grant Program, which awards tens of thousands of dollars to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Stillman won $10,000, which will be used toward landscaping projects that include more outdoor benches, flowerbeds and other enhancements.

A total of 58 HBCUs competed for grants totaling $255,000. The grants include one $50,000 Tier 1 Grant, three $25,000 Campus Pride Grants for the schools receiving the most votes and social media activity, and thirteen $10,000 Tier II Grants.

“The RETOOL YOUR SCHOOL program is such an important program to The Home Depot,” says Melissa Brown, manager of Multicultural Marketing for The Home Depot. “We know how valuable our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities are and how much they have contributed to our country’s growth. Furthermore, The Home Depot is moved every year by the HBCU community’s passionate response to this program as well as by the proposals submitted by the schools. We continue to get very thoughtful and creative proposals for projects to preserve and improve some of America’s most historic campuses and landmarks. We at The Home Depot congratulate the Tier I Grant winner, Knoxville College, Campus Pride Grant winners Howard University, Morris Brown College and Oakwood University, and all of our Tier II winners. The Tier II grant winners are Claflin University, Huston-Tillotson University, Jarvis Christian College, JF Drake State Community and Technological College, Lane College, Lincoln University of Missouri, North Carolina Central University, Paine College, Prairie View A&M University, Shaw University, Spelman College, Stillman College and Voorhees College."

This is the fifth straight year that RETOOL YOUR SCHOOL’s participating institutions rallied the HBCU community through e-blasts, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, school websites, campus newspapers and radio. Although Stillman has entered the competition every year since its inception, this is the first time that the College has won a grant.  This year, members of Stillman’s Student Government Association; the College newspaper, The Advance; the campus radio station, WSTL; the Stillman National PanHellenic Council; and other organizations worked with faculty, staff, alumni and community members to encourage voting. In addition, the local media helped promote the competition, and alumni groups and local schools, businesses, churches and individuals made a commitment to vote for Stillman daily throughout the online voting campaign, which took place from February 17 to April 14, 2014.

The RETOOL YOUR SCHOOL winners were chosen by a combination of online voting, social media activity and proposal reviews by a distinguished panel of judges. This year, they were Laz Alonso, Howard University alumnus, and film and television star; Angela Burt Murray, Hampton University alumna and editorial director and CEO, Cocoafab, a fast-paced celebrity news and style site covering urban pop culture; Gregory Moore, Esq., commissioner, Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC); and Munson Steed, Morehouse College alumnus, publisher of Rolling Out and CEO of Steed Media Group, the popular site covering black celebrity news, entertainment, business and politics.

“This is my third straight year as a judge and it is my honor to be part of RETOOL YOUR SCHOOL,” says Alonso, who extended his congratulations to the winners. “I am a proud HBCU alumnus and it is moving to see the HBCUs mobilize to support this program. While voting is a simple task, the tens of thousands of dollars go a long way to preserve and improve our HBCUs.”

Nationally syndicated radio personalities, including Steve Harvey and Tom Joyner, helped to spread the word, further showing their support for The Home Depot and the HBCU community by utilizing their airwaves to help make the public aware of this initiative. In addition, Brown appeared on various radio stations around the country to encourage online voting by students, alumni, family, friends and supporters of HBCUs during the program.

The Home Depot is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer, with 2,263 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. In fiscal 2013, The Home Depot had sales of $78.8 billion and earnings of $5.4 billion. The Company employs more than 300,000 associates. The Home Depot's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

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.

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