2024 Retool Your School Update

Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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PICTURED LEFT: Lonnie Collins, Gwendolyn Collins, RT DeBose, Jake Martin, Gail Hunter, Peggy Sullivan, and William Parker, Jr. pose with the grant award at The Home Depot 2024 Retool Your School Awards Celebration at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia

Texas College won their fourth consecutive Campus Improvement Grant from The Home Depot Retool Your School program. Amassing over 200,000 votes throughout the month-long competition, the College secured a third place ranking to earn a Campus Improvement Grant of $80,000.

The official awarding of the grant took place at The Home Depot 2024 Retool Your School Awards Celebration on Thursday, April 11, 2024, in Atlanta, Georgia, at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, with representatives from each winning institution present. Representing Texas College was Jake Martin, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer (CMCO) and 2013 Alumnus, who oversees the Retool Your School campaigns and projects. Alongside Martin were Texas College Alumni Gwendolyn Collins, Lonnie Collins, RT DeBose, William Parker, Jr., Gail Hunter, and Peggy Sullivan, who were all instrumental in the 2024 voting campaign.

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PICTURED ABOVE: A Texas College student votes in the 2024 Home Depot Retool Your School voting competition on campus

The 2024 grant of $80,000 is the largest award received from The Home Depot Retool Your School program to date. While this is the College’s fourth consecutive win, the grant marks Texas College’s sixth Campus Improvement Grant throughout the 15-year existence of the program, having won in 2012, 2013, 2021, 2022, 2023, and now 2024.

In addition to the $80,000 grant, Martin was also honored as a Home Depot Retool Your School Legacy Honoree, a new award that the program launched last year. Per Retool Your School, Legacy Honorees are institutional staff who have worked with Retool Your School for multiple years and have successfully used grants to improve their campuses. The honorees are selected by a panel of judges based on the impact, community building, and legacy of their work with the program over multiple ears, who have utilized the power of the Retool Your School program to make sustainable improvements to campus and student life.

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PICTURED ABOVE: Jake Martin, CMCO, accepts the Legacy Honoree Award at The Home Depot 2024 Retool Your School Awards Celebration at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia

Martin undoubtedly fits the aforementioned bill, having been involved in all six of the Campus Improvement Grants. The first two, in 2012 and 2013, Martin led student voting campaigns as the Steer Football Team Captain and Student Government Association President. When Martin returned to the College as CMCO, he successfully provided oversight to the 2021, 2022, 2023, and now 2024 voting campaigns, galvanizing stakeholder votes and strategically collaborating with the Texas College National Alumni Association (TCNAA). Congruently, he also oversees and coordinates the projects and their implementations, which have encompassed the President’s Living Room Patio renovation, renovation of the basketball, volleyball, and football locker rooms, as well as the renovation and commercialization of the President’s Living Room Kitchen.

“While I am honored to be named a Legacy Honoree, this recognition does not rest solely with me,” noted Martin. “This award is as much mine as it is everyone who has devoutly voted for the College throughout the Retool Your School campaigns. It’s our award.” Martin continued this sentiment, expressing gratitude to President Dwight Fennell for his strategic leadership and entrusting him with the initiative, as well as expressed appreciation to both the Texas College and TCNAA Retool Your School Committees, especially Anthony Parker, Director of Physical Plant, Gwendolyn Collins, TCNAA National President, as well as Richard Kemp and RT DeBose, TCNAA Retool Your School Committee co-chairs, and the late Jim DeBose, alumnus and champion of Retool Your School since the program’s inception.

The 2024 Campus Improvement Project is still under consideration. Project proposals will be submitted to The Home Depot in late May 2024. Once a project has been submitted and approved, an update will be provided to the College’s stakeholders.

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To every single individual who voted this year to ensure a successful campaign, Texas College extends a sincere and grateful “thank you” for your valiant and tireless efforts in the 2024 Home Depot Retool Your School grant competition. Your commitment to this initiative, and congruently Texas College, is undoubtedly evident and genuinely appreciated. Again, thank you!