By Emmanuel Freeman
NASHVILLE, TN (TSU News Service) — Lowe’s, one of the nation’s largest home improvement retailers, has donated $1 million to Tennessee State University in a partnership that will invest in student scholarships and curriculum programs, including online retail courses and case studies in supply chain management.
Lowe’s executives and TSU officials met at the university Wednesday to announcement the partnership, in a ceremony that included a check presentation. The TSU donation is one 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.
“Today’s announcement marks the beginning of what I believe will be a long and impactful partnership between TSU and Lowe’s,” TSU President Glenda Glover said. “At TSU, we strive for excellence and this partnership, this cooperation will allow us to continue to do just that. Through their generous gift, Lowe’s will provide scholarships and academic support through respective supply chain and IT programs. It will phase in a career development component. This is an exciting initiative.”
Janice Dupre, Lowe’s executive vice president for human resources, said her company feels it is very important that students at HBCUs get the quality of education and the financial support to achieve their career goals, and “be able to create economic wealth for you and your family.”
“So, with this partnership with Tennessee State University, I am very proud to say that not only are we going to give money for scholarships and money, to focusing in curriculum areas, but we specifically could also benefit at Lowe’s. We want to hire your students; we want them to come and work for us,” said Dupre. “TSU has a very strong supply chain program, and this is one of the reasons why TSU was selected.”
“Building a workforce that can support all of our customers and create more prosperous communities is an important component of delivering outstanding results,” Lowe’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Marvin Ellison, said in a statement when the decision was made to donate the money. “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.”
Aliyah Holmes, vice president of the Student Government Association, said it is great to know that outside companies like “Lowe’s want to be part of our life.”
“I am glad to know that my fellow students will be able to benefit from the partnership with our university,” she said. “I am really excited for it.”
As part of the partnership, Lowe’s supply chain and IT experts will be on campus in adjunct roles, teaching classes and sharing real-life experiences with students, as well as participating in career fairs.
“I am particularly excited that our experts will be here to focused on supply chain programs,” said Don Frieson, Lowe’s executive vice president of supply chain. “What is abundantly clear is that the pandemic has raised the importance of supply chain. We understand and we want to make sure that we are helping those future generational leaders in such an important function within our country. So, I couldn’t be more excited about this investment.”
Jamie Isabel, TSU’s associate vice president of Institutional Advancement, Corporate Relations and Foundation, said it is “an honor for Lowe’s to be on our campus.”
“I complement Lowe’s on this gift. And we welcome Lowe’s for being here with us today.” Isabel said. “This will be the best relationship Lowe’s will ever have with any university.”
Lowe’s scholarship funds will be available this fall to provide gap financial aid for students. To make donations to TSU, visit the TSU Foundation at https://www.tnstate.edu/foundation/tsufoundation.aspx