Home Depot awards $1 million in campus improvement grants to HBCU

The Home Depot store on Cumberland ParkwayThe Home Depot store on Cumberland Parkway (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

The Home Depot, the Cobb County-headquartered international home improvement retail giant, awarded $1 million dollars in grants for campus improvements at 30 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) through its 2022 Retool Your School program.

According to a company press release, the program is in it’s 13th year, and provides grants ranging from $20,000 to $75,000.

The press release stated, “Alabama State University, one of the top performers this season, earned the Campaign of the Year award for its innovative campaign, as well as second place in Cluster 1, winning a total of $95,000.”

An awards ceremony was held on April 26, hosted by actor and HBCU alumnus, Laz Alonso. Actor, entertainment reporter, model and also an HBCU alumnus, Terrence J, participated in a fireside chat.

“Since its launch in 2009, The Home Depot’s Retool Your School Campus Improvement Grant Program has provided support to almost 70 percent of the nation’s HBCUs through more than 180 grants,” said Derek Bottoms, chief diversity officer for The Home Depot. “Grants from The Home Depot have helped HBCUs make more than $5 million worth of improvements, including the creation of outdoor eco-classrooms, renovation of health facilities, revamping of residence halls, and more.”

The press release described the process for selecting grant recipients as follows:

Participating HBCUs were separated into three clusters based on student population. The top ten schools with the most votes per cluster will receive grants ranging from $20,000 to $75,000. Additionally, the Campaign of the Year award of $45,000 was presented to the school whose campaign proved to be most original, innovative, and particularly effective for galvanizing its community to drive votes for the program.

“Each year, The Home Depot Retool Your School program rallies our community together to celebrate their Tougaloo College pride to support campus improvements that make a difference in our student’s lives,” said Dr. Carmen J. Walters, President of Tougaloo College, 2021 winner of the Campaign of the Year award and Cluster 3. “The program’s impact is immeasurable.”

About The Home Depot

The Home Depot was founded in 1978 after co-founders Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank were fired from the Handy Andy home improvement chain in southern California.

The firing did not seem to hinder their career trajectory, since decided to go into business together, and opened three stores in Atlanta. And it was steady growth for their company ever since.

According to company promotional materials:

The Home Depot is the world’s largest home improvement specialty retailer. The Company operates a total of 2,298 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. In fiscal 2020, The Home Depot had sales of $132.1 billion and earnings of $12.9 billion. The Company employs approximately 500,000 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.