LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis and Tennessee State University in Nashville both reaped $1 million donations from home improvement retail giant Lowe’s on Wednesday.
The donations are part of a series of Lowe’s gifts and partnerships with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) aimed to create educational opportunities and build pathways to Lowe’s employment.
“Building a workforce that can support all of our customers and create more prosperous communities is an important component of delivering outstanding results,” said Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s chairman and chief executive officer, during the TSU announcement.
“I’m thrilled that our partnership with TSU will provide access to scholarships for hard-working students, as well as strengthen the talent pipeline by bolstering critical academic focus areas.”
TSU President Dr. Glenda Glover said, “At TSU, we strive for excellence, and this initiative will allow us to instill that mindset in students for generations to come, as we continue their professional development to be future leaders.”
The Lowe’s gift to LeMoyne-0wen was presented on campus on the lawn of Brownlee Hall. The Lowe’s executives on hand included Janice Dupree, executive vice president, Human resources, and Donald E. Frierson, executive vice president, supply chain.
Frierson delivered TSU’s commencement address this past Saturday (May 7).
LOC President Dr. Vernell Bennett-Fairs said Lowe’s partnership will help with what she has been pitching as “the 4 Rs: recruitment, retention, revenue and relationships.”
And, she said, the latest “R” is “resurgence … the next resurgence.”
Bennett-Fairs gave a special thanks to Olympic gold medalist Dr. Rochelle Stevens, LOC’s Men’s and Women’s Track and Field head coach.
Stevens, said Bennett-Fairs, introduced her to Lowe’s CEO Ellison. That introduction opened the door for the president to share her vision for LOC. During a subsequent meeting, Ellison shared his plans to donate $1 million to Memphis’ only HBCU.
(This story includes a report by TSU News Service.)