ORANGEBURG, S.C. – The Bulldog tenacity was no match for the 21 other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that SC State University competed against in the Home Depot RETOOL YOUR SCHOOL (RYS) Challenge.

The university crushed its competitors, becoming the RYS Campus Pride winner. For its victory, the university won a $25,000 grant. The money will be used to enhance the K. W. Green Student Center, say university officials.

South Carolina State University

The Home Depot RETOOL YOUR SCHOOL competition provides support for campus improvement projects at HBCUs.

To win the Campus Pride award, a university or college had to accumulate the highest social media and online votes in its cluster. SC State’s combined votes topped at 363,730. The university competed in Cluster 2, for schools with student enrollment between 3,999 and 1,201 students.

Its competitors included universities such as Oakwood University, Huntsville, Ala.; Coppin State University, Baltimore, Md.; Benedict College, Columbia, S.C.; Claflin University, Orangeburg, S.C.; Spelman College, Atlanta, Ga.; and Southern University at New Orleans, Baton Rouge, La.

Not only did SC State beat the competition in its cluster, but its votes surpassed the winners in Cluster 1 (school population 4,000+) and Cluster 3 (school population up to 1200.)

“If anyone ever questioned Bulldog pride, the results of the Home Depot RETOOL YOUR SCHOOL Challenge proved otherwise,” said Acting President Dr. W. Franklin Evans. “The South Carolina State family pulled together to help the university take the top spot as the Home Depot RETOOL YOUR SCHOOL Campus Pride winner. Best of all, our students will benefit from the enhancement work that will be done to the K.W. Green Student Center, the hub for campus activities and student engagement.”

The winnings will be used to upgrade the student center with energy efficient doors and windows and will also be used to outfit the facility with a movie and entertainment space. Enhancements are expected to begin this fall.

Established in 2010, RYS has awarded $1.2 million in grant money to date to HBCUs. This year, the Home Depot will award a total of $255,000 to nine accredited HBCUs in $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 grant denominations. The RETOOL YOUR SCHOOL Campus Improvement Grant Program supports the growing sustainability movement by providing special consideration to eco-friendly project proposals.

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