B-CU Celebrates Day of Service with Home Depot's "Retool Your School"

B-CU Celebrates Day of Service with Home Depot's "Retool Your School"

Bethune-Cookman University celebrated a significant day of unity and service on Thursday, Jan. 18, at the Michael and Libby Johnson Center for Civic Engagement (CCE). This momentous occasion brought together students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends to commemorate the University's recent accomplishment – securing the fourth position in Home Depot's prestigious "Retool Your School" competition and receiving a substantial $60,000 grant dedicated to campus enhancement.

Despite cooler temperatures and overcast skies, the collective spirit prevailed as almost 135 participants, led by Home Depot Daytona Beach Store Manager Therese Watson-Murray, joined forces in yesterday's successful effort. Their mission was ambitious, involving projects ranging from assembling bookcases and indoor-outdoor dining sets to constructing arcade games, foosball tables, basketball hoops, hockey sets, and table tennis tables. Even adverse weather conditions couldn't deter their dedication, with the only concession being the postponement of painting and stripping the basketball court – a minor hiccup until more favorable weather prevails.

Dr. William Berry, Provost and Acting President, expressed excitement and gratitude, stating, "We are excited about this project and grateful to all those who participated in the vote for B-CU. These enhancements will help create more vibrant and engaging spaces for our students to retreat on campus for a brain break or find inspiration through the downtime."

Home Depot's "Retool Your School" program, established in 2009, has been a beacon for positive change, providing over $9.25 million in campus improvement grants to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Beyond the competition, the Office of Alumni Affairs and Development submitted a grant proposal for Home Depot's Innovation Lounge Grant and emerged as one of the inaugural winners. This funding presents a transformative opportunity for the University, aiming to create a space where students can delve into the early stages of entrepreneurship and engage in hybrid meetings or webinars with their peers.

B-CU Celebrates Day of Service with Home Depot's "Retool Your School"

Kimberly Woodard, Executive Director of Alumni Affairs, passionately spoke about the transformative B-CU Day of Service, emphasizing the boundless enthusiasm that characterized the community coming together. "We extend our heartfelt thanks to the incredible volunteers, especially our students and the Home Depot's Daytona Beach Store #0233, Retool Your School, and the unwavering support from our students, faculty/staff, and alumni."

In addition to securing two grants from Home Depot, B-CU achieved an additional honor as Sean Lyn was named an inaugural "Retool Your School" Legacy Honoree. Reflecting on this recognition, Lyn, a two-time alumnus who serves as Director of HR Information Services and past Director of Alumni Affairs, remarked, "As a proud graduate and member of the B-CU community who [not only] entered to learn and departed to serve and has [also] returned to invest, I am thrilled that this campus improvement grant will provide our students with additional resources to enhance their college experience, as well as another location to gather and host game nights, events, and basketball tournaments."

In the tapestry of Bethune-Cookman's journey, the recent Day of Service stands out as a vibrant coming together, demonstrating the B-CU spirit of dedication, spirit, and a commitment to honor the past while shaping a dynamic future. As the revitalized space takes shape, it becomes not just a physical transformation but a testament to the enduring legacy of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune and the collective pride of the B-CU community. 

With a 10-hour workday behind them, Woodard said, "Your collective efforts have turned this vision into a reality, and we're eagerly counting down to the unveiling of our revitalized space. Stay tuned for the joyous celebration ahead!"