Valley lands Home Depot grant

Mississippi Valley State University Director of Development Kendall Tanner, second from right, accepts a $50,000 grant from Home Depot's “Retool Your School” program Monday. Tanner is pictured with, from left, Home Depot Senior Marketing Manager Melissa Brown, actor Laz Alonso, comedian Ricky Smiley and NFL Hall of Famer and analyst Shannon Sharpe.

Mississippi Valley State University has won a $50,000 grant from Home Depot.

MVSU will use the funding to help renovate the campus pavilion, located near the football stadium, and make it more inviting and accommodating for the campus community and visitors.

The award was one of 10 $50,000 grants Home Depot gave away this year as part of its annual “Retool Your School” program.  The program has given money to historically black colleges and universities to fund campus renovation projects for 10 years.

“This is a win we all brought back to Valley,” said MVSU Director of Development Kendall Tanner, who organized the university’s campaign to win the grant.

The participating HBCUs were grouped into three clusters, based on size, and supporters were able to cast votes online and through hashtags used on social media.

To win, an HBCU had to be one of the top three contenders in its cluster.

MVSU, grouped in Cluster 2, received a total of 352,737 votes from Feb. 25 to April 14, ultimately ranking second in its group. MVSU’s Office of Advancement raised support from students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends to vote.

Alcorn State University placed first and Coahoma Community College placed third in that cluster.

“Thank you to the students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of MVSU for your support and dedication to the campaign. This victory is a glimpse of the bright things that are in store for Mississippi Valley State University,” Tanner said.

Dr. Jerryl Briggs, MVSU’s president, was equally thankful: “Your votes definitely mattered, and we are extremely grateful.  I would also like to thank Home Depot for this grant. ... The $50K will help assist us in our efforts to provide a quality educational experience for our students.”

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