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Lowe’s invests $1 million in TSU for scholarships and curriculum support in supply chain and technology

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (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. 

TSU President Glenda Glover meets with Lowe’s executives in her office minutes before the announcement of the retail giant’s gift. From left are, Marc Varner, Vice President and Chief Information Officer; Don Frieson, Executive Vice President of Supply Chain; President Glover; Janice Dupre, Executive Vice President of Human Resources; and Neelima Sharma, Senior Vice President, Technology, eCommerce. (Photo by Aaron Grayson, TSU Media Relations)

 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.” 

TSU students greet Janice Dupre, Lowe’s Executive Vice President of Human Resources, as she enters Keane Hall for the check presentation. From right, students are Destiny Pennington, Briana Lawson, Rick Myrie and Gelanni Jones. (Photo by Aaron Grayson, TSU Media Relations)

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.”

Kenneth Rolle II, SGA President, greets participants at the check presentation. (Photo by Aaron Grayson, TSU Media Relations)

“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.” 

President Glover talks with Lowe’s Neelima Sharma, VP for Technology, and eCommerce, right; and Kelvin Dedner, Sr. VP for DC Operationss and Omni Fulfillment. Sharma and Dedner will serve as adjunct professors at TSU. (Photo by Aaron Grayson, TSU Media Relations)

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

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About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees. TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee. With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.