While most HBCUs work around the clock to to keep their HBCUs clean and looking updated, it often comes at a hefty cost that burdens the school. Luckily some HBCUs have alumni like Grambling State University graduate Eric Bowie. Bowie connected with his employer and found a way to bridge the gap with paint! Learn more in the release from Grambling State University release below.

(l-r) Grambling State University President Rick Gallot is pictured with a portion of the 900 gallons of paint donated by Benjamin Moore. He is joined by Senior Manufacturing Manager and 2002 alumnus Eric Bowie and Interim Facilities Maintenance Director Damien Chatman. (Photo Credit: Kanesha Douglas/Grambling State University)

Despite the gray clouds overhead today, Grambling State University were surrounded by a portion of the 900 gallons of high quality paint donated by Benjamin Moore. Valued at $81,000, the donation was garnered by the advocacy of 2002 alumnus Eric Bowie who serves as Senior Manufacturing Manager at Benjamin Moore.

When Bowie was appointed to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion board for Benjamin Moore, he wanted to use his platform to educate fellow colleagues about HBCUs and ways the company can help. The idea to donate paint, however, started from a conversation Bowie had with GSU President Rick Gallot on opportunities to partner with the institution. When it came to the ask for the donation, Moore said his employer exceeded his expectations.

“I was thinking 50 gallons, 100 gallons,” Bowie said. “When I talked to the powers that be, they were like, ‘oh no, we can do more.”

“We appreciate gifts that are in time, talent, and treasure,” said President Gallot. “Today’s gift to the university pretty much covers all three. We’re in the middle of terms in our student housing. Painting is a natural part of what we do [at this time of the year]. The savings the university will realize with the donation is something that will go a long way.”

Interim Director of Facilities Maintenance Damien Chatman said the paint can be used in many areas on campus including classrooms, campus living and housing, and select equipment.