Today marks the midway point and a heightened call for support of the Paine College ‘Growing Paine’ fundraising efforts led by President Cheryl Evans Jones, PhD. During Women’s History Month, which coincides with the College’s capital campaign, Jones and her team have doubled down as fierce advocates for women’s rights, with a keen focus on Paine’s contributions to education and equity for all. Located in Augusta, Georgia, the historically black college (HBCU) was founded in 1882 and currently has nearly three hundred full-time students enrolled.
Nearly $600,000 has been raised since the campaign launched. Individual and institutional support is requested to help ensure the College meets its $6M campaign goal and continues to thrive. Funds raised during the campaign will support the College’s five key strategic areas including:
- Curriculum expansion and realignment
- Enrollment growth
- Faculty growth and development
- Improving student housing to support and facilitate a modern living and learning community; and
- Increasing scholarship awards
Anchored by a strong board of trustees and a committed faculty and staff, the college’s leadership is ramping up its call for support from the Beloved Community, including HBCU alumni, foundations, celebrities, corporations and individuals across the nation. All organizations with a commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are encouraged to include the ‘Growing Paine’ campaign in their philanthropic plan.
“I’m extremely thankful for my experience at Paine College. It equipped me with the education and mindset to forge ahead in life,” said Michael Thurmond, chairman of the Paine College Board of Trustees and Chief Operating Officer of DeKalb County, Georgia. “I am challenging my network to join me by giving and encouraging others in their networks to do the same. Our 60-day goal is within reach, but it will certainly take a village to help Paine College build and grow.”
March is Women’s History Month, which brings into focus the legacy of Jones and other distinguished women across the HBCU ecosystem. Purple is recognized as the international color of women and gender equality. It is also the dominant color for Paine College which is presently comprised of a majority of women students (57%) and graduates (52%).
In 2019, Jones was charged to lead Paine’s turnaround. Since that time, she has achieved an array of successes such as achieving institutional accreditation by the Transnational Association of Christian College and Schools (TRACS), approval to offer distance education by TRACS, approval for participation in Division I South of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA), partnering with the Augusta National Golf Club which established two endowed scholarships in the name of Lee Elder and a women’s golf team for the first time in the College’s history, a grant in the amount of $1.4 million from Augusta–Richmond County Commission to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, and accreditation of the Department of Business Administration by the Accreditation Council of Business School Programs (ACBSP).
Several policy efforts are underway to help ensure the financial health and long-term viability of Paine and other HBCUs including the current Georgia House Bill 235. While historic land grants and other government programs have proved helpful in the past, the vital need for the ongoing support of HBCUs, like Paine, remains.
“Paine College supports the bill introduced as Georgia H.B. 235, not simply for our institution, but for all HBCUs located here. We are hopeful that it will receive a vote of confidence and pass,” said Paine College President Cheryl Evans Jones, PhD. “In the interim, our students, faculty and staff need financial assistance. Paine is not only educating our next generation of leaders but also providing much-needed jobs and a hub for innovation to the surrounding community.”
There are currently more than 100 HBCUs serving more than 228,000 students throughout the US at both public and private colleges. To donate, volunteer or learn more about the “Growing Paine” campaign, please visit https://www.paine.edu/web/giving/giving.
This news first appeared on prnewswire.com.