(JACKSON, Miss.) — Jackson State University has secured another $100K Home Depot Retool Your School Campus Improvement Grant thanks to the votes from the JSU community. JSU is one of 36 Historically Black Colleges and Universities set to be awarded.
The program is part of Home Depot’s ongoing efforts to recognize how HBCUs provide students with the academic success and professional development necessary to improve and impact their communities.
“We truly enjoy this grant because it is something Home Depot invests in yearly. With this being our sixth year winning, we would like to thank our amazing students and alumni base for always showing up and voting out,” said Heather Denne’, Ph.D., JSU director of community engagement. “We look forward to hearing back from our students on how they want to allocate these funds this year and make sure we always prioritize and accommodate their needs.”
The top ten schools with the most votes per cluster received grants ranging from $40,000 to $150,000. JSU had enough votes to take home the second-place spot in the Campus Improvement Grant Cluster 1, landing them $100K.
JSU senior integrated marketing major Tianna Williams, who serves as an intern in University Communications and Marketing, worked closely with the department on developing marketing strategies to engage student and alumni demographics.
“With Jackson State competing in the Home Depot Retool Your School competition for years, each year you have to find ways to be more creative because things can often get repetitive,” said Williams. “When the competition started, I was slightly nervous due to this being the first time the campaign would be student-led, but after finishing third last year, we finished second this year which is definitely something JSU alumni, students, faculty, and the community should be proud of – they always support anything we do.”
Throughout the years, JSU has found innovative ways to utilize funds to improve students’ collegiate experience and ensure their physical environment provides an all-inclusive space for students to thrive. A few campus revitalization projects include:
- Developing two outdoor study spaces for students in light of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide a safe environment for study,
- Building a playground for the Lottie W. Thornton Early Childhood Center, and
- Renovating several components of the student center.
According to a release, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Molly Battin said, “The Home Depot’s commitment to HBCUs goes deeper than just financial support. We recognize that HBCUs are fundamental to academic success and professional development in both the communities they serve and our nation as a whole. We’re committed to preserving that incredible history and seeing that it continues to grow.”
Since 2009, through Retool Your School, The Home Depot has invested more than $9.25 million to update, upgrade and uplift HBCU campuses. In 2023, the company quadrupled its Retool Your School commitment to $4 million as part of its continued dedication to celebrating the legacy and pride of HBCUs. To learn more, visit RetoolYourSchool.com