New York, NY– February 19, 2014 — South Carolina’s Historically Black College and University (HBCU), Morris College, has been announced as a finalist in The Home Depot’s 2014 RETOOL YOUR SCHOOL Campus Improvement Grant Program. Designed to reinvigorate HBCUs, finalists are competing for $250,000 in grants for on-campus improvements and are now asking their communities and the public to help them win. From February 17, 2014 to April 14, 2014, supporters can visit www.retoolyourschool.com to vote for their favorite school and sustainable campus improvement project. One $50,000 Tier I major grant, thirteen Tier II $10,000 grants and three $25,000 Campus Pride grants for the schools that receive the most online votes and social media activity, as assessed by The Home Depot, will be awarded. The Home Depot® will announce the winners on or around May 2, 2014.
Dr. Gerald Polinsky, management consultant at Morris College and the school’s coordinator of the grant project, said, “This project could produce a modern entrance to the campus that will complement the college’s existing facilities. The addition of signs throughout the campus would assist visitors and students to more easily access the college’s many available resources while adding to the aesthetic beauty of the campus as a whole.
To apply for the Retool Your School grants, HBCUs were required to submit Letters of Intent that include brief descriptions of their potential projects via the “Retool Your School” website by February 10, 2014. Applicants that provided their Phase 1 proposals by the deadline were able to continue and submit full proposals for Tier I, Tier II and Campus Pride campus improvement grants. During the online voting period, which is a currently underway, consumer can view descriptions of project proposals and cast one vote per day for their favorite HBCU. Following the online vote, a panel of distinguished judges will also evaluate each school’s proposal. Tier I and Tier II projects will be judged based on the number of votes posted to the website, as well as the judges’ evaluation of the relevance to the proposal requirements as listed on the website and application. Entrants must highlight how each project will make a lasting, positive impact on their campus. Special attention will be given to schools that pitch eco-friendly plans. The winning schools will be determined based on a combination of online votes and the judges’ evaluations. The awarding of the Campus Pride grant will be based on the number of votes and social media activity the winning school receives.
Morris College will face stiff competition from finalist schools in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, US Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia. Therefore, South Carolina residents, Morris College alumni, friends and family should log on and vote at www.retoolyourschool.com to ensure that the Hornets bring home the grand prize.
Some of the potential improvement projects entered by the HBCU finalists include projects that will affect the campus and community as a whole, such as a installing campus-wide lighting to help to conserve energy & reduce utility expense; building an on-campus sustainable community raised bed garden and farmers market; remodeling a lower level alumni library and installing eco-friendly bathrooms and external landscaping; and, transforming an outdoor campus area into an outdoor classroom. These proposed improvement projects will enhance campus life for current students and generations to come.
For more information and updates on The Home Depot “Retool Your School” grant program or to vote online visit www.retoolyourschool.com.
Online voting began February 17, 2014, and will end on April 14, 2014, at 11:59 pm EST.
At Morris College Students “Enter to Learn and Depart to Serve”
About The Home Depot®
The Home Depot is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer, with 2,256 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. In fiscal 2011, The Home Depot had sales of $70.4 billion and earnings of $3.9 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.