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AAMU Holding on to Top 5 of "Retool Your School" Effort

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE          Contact: Camille Gray, UniWorld Group, 212.219.7121,

CONTACT:  Jerome Saintjones, (256) 372-5607




March 4, 2013 – Huntsville, Ala. ---- Alabama A&M University is holding on to dear life at No. 5 in The Home Depot 2013 RETOOL YOUR SCHOOL campus improvement grant program. Designed to reinvigorate historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), AAMU and other finalists are competing for $225,000 in grants for on-campus improvements and are now asking their communities and the public to help them win.


From February 18, 2013 to April 15, 2013, supporters can visit to vote for their favorite school and sustainable retoolColumn1.jpg
campus improvement project.
One $50,000 Tier 1 major grant, twelve Tier 2 $10,000 minor grants and one $25,000 Campus Pride for the school receiving the most online votes and social media activity, as assessed by The Home Depot, will be awarded. The Home Depot® will announce the winners on May 3, 2013.


AAMU and its supporters are no strangers to the “Retool Your School” effort.  The University was awarded $25,000 to install irrigation and landscape common areas.  To apply for the Retool Your School grants, HBCUs were required to submit Letters of Intent that include brief descriptions of their potential projects via the “Retool Your School” website by February 11, 2013. Applicants that provided their Phase 1 proposals by the deadline were able to continue and submit full proposals for Tier I, Tier II and Campus Pride campus improvement grants.


During the online voting period, which is currently underway, consumers are able to view descriptions of project proposals and can cast one vote per day for their favorite HBCU. Following the online vote, a panel of distinguished judges will also evaluate each school’s proposal.


AAMU crashed to the gate in No. for the opening days of the contest, but that lead has now slipped, and the school is in fifth place.


Tier I and Tier II projects will be judged based on the number of votes posted to the website, as well as the judges’ evaluation of the relevance to the proposal requirements as listed on the website and application. Entrants must highlight how each project will make a lasting, positive impact on their campus. Special attention will be given to schools that pitch eco-friendly plans. The winning schools will be determined based on a combination of online votes and the judges’ evaluations. The awarding of the Campus Pride grant will be based on the number of votes and social media activity the winning school receives.


AAMU will not only face stiff competition from finalist schools in Alabama, but also from HBCU institutions in Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.


Therefore, AAMU supporters should log on and vote at to ensure that the Bulldogs bring home the grand prize. It's not too late to recapture the sizeable lead.


Some of the potential improvement projects entered by the HBCU finalists include projects that will affect the campus and community as a whole, such as installing eco-friendly bathrooms, adding wheelchair ramps and automatic access doors, creating sustainable landscaping projects, replacing windows with Energy Star rated fixtures, installing solar energy systems and motion sensors to reduce electric consumption in classrooms, starting community gardens and campus greenhouses to encourage healthy eating, and creating nature trails accessible to the surrounding community as a fit living initiative.  Each of the proposed improvement projects will enhance campus life for current students and generations to come.   


For more information and updates on The Home Depot “Retool Your School” grant program or to vote online visit

Online voting began February 18, 2013, and will end on April 15, 2013, at 11:59 pm EST.


Alabama A&M University is a fully accredited, nearly 140-year-old land-grant institution.  Each year, the doctorate-granting entity serves as the host site for numerous professional associations and organizations.  With more than 5,000 students, AAMU is a state, regional, national and international resource impacting thousands globally.


The Home Depot is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer, with 2,256 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. In fiscal 2011, The Home Depot had sales of $70.4 billion and earnings of $3.9 billion. The Company employs more than 300,000 associates. The Home Depot's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index. 



Office of Marketing and Public Relations
Alabama A&M University
P. O. Box 1027 (303 Patton Hall)
Normal, AL 35762-1027
(256) 372-5654
(256) 372-5034 (Fax)
Jerome Saintjones,, (256) 372-5607
Shirley Alexander,, (256) 372-5607
Interns/Bi-Weekly Students: (256) 372-5625