Judges Representing Areas Including Education, Advocacy and Entertainment Selected Top Winners for the $150,000 in Improvement Grants
New York, NY – June 15, 2010 – The Home Depot® announced today the top winners of its “Retool Your School” Campus Improvement Grant Program for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The major grand prize winner is Elizabeth City State University which will receive a $50,000 grant and the following schools will each receive a $10,000 grant for on-campus improvements: Bluefield State College, Bluefield, West Virginia; Fisk University, Nashville, TN; Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL; Hampton University, Hampton, VA; Howard University, Washington, DC; Mississippi Valley State University, Meridian, MS; Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD; Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL; Virginia Union University, Richmond, VA; and, Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, OH.
‘The Retool Your School’ program --launched this year-- underscores The Home Depot’s commitment to the African American community through this investment in HBCUs. The program also lines up with The Home Depot’s commitment to address the needs of the African American community through volunteerism, do-it-yourself expertise and monetary donations. While the efforts impact HBCUs directly, The Home Depot understands that these institutions are the heart and soul of the African American community and will make a significant impact on the African American community overall.
The winners were chosen by a combination of public voting and careful review by a distinguished panel of judges that included: Jasmine Guy, actress/director; Rev. Bernice King, civil rights activist; Leon Kerry, commissioner of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA); Dr. Lezli Baskerville, President and CEO of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher education (NAFEO); and Monica Newman McCluney, National Director, Strategic Alliances and Corporate Relations, United Negro College Fund (UNCF).
“Helping communities thrive by creating access to safe and vibrant environments is one of our core objectives at The Home Depot,” explains Melissa Brown, multicultural marketing manager, The Home Depot. “Our Retool Your School Program provides The Home Depot with the opportunity to help enhance the lives of HBCU students at these winnings schools by improving their environments.”
The winning major project submitted by Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) is the installation of a baseball field for home games. ECSU envisions the field as a community resource that will strengthen the ties that bind the institution and the local area. Winning minor projects include: upgrading bathroom lighting, an exterior upgrade and beautification of the student union, a rainwater collection system for landscape irrigation, and an installation of ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) approved signs and safety covers.
“The Home Depot created a tremendous opportunity for America’s historically black colleges and universities to compete for a $50,000 award and 10 ten thousand dollar awards to improve our campuses both in terms of beautification and also making them more environmentally friendly and ergonomically sound,” said Retool Your School Judge Lezli Baskerville. “It’s a tremendous opportunity and we’re indebted to The Home Depot. Tens of thousands of HBCU students, faculty, administrators, and alumni went online and voted for their campus to get the award. Today, the judging process was intense; but it was fun for each one of us who are affiliated with HBCUs and passionate about creating opportunities for our campuses to have a more beautiful and more sound environment.”
Also as part of this program, The Home Depot created three new commemorative HBCU “Retool Your School” gift cards to showcase inspirational moments experienced on HBCU campuses as well as how-to projects, from painting to landscaping. For each gift card sold, a donation equal to five percent of the face value, up to $150,000, has been designated for the on-campus improvement grants. Gift cards can be purchased only online at www.homedepot.com/retoolyourschool.
About The Home Depot
The Home Depot is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer, with 2,245 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces, Mexico and China. In fiscal 2008, The Home Depot had sales of $71.3 billion and earnings from continuing operations of $2.3 billion. The company employs more than 300,000 associates. The Home Depot's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index.