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And the Walls Come Tumbling Down

In a morning ceremony on Thursday, July 17, 2014 on the Lane College campus announcing the implementation of the Home Depot Retool Your School grant, Lane College Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Richard Hulon Donnell, compared the college’s initiation of the project to the biblical warrior Joshua, in his triumphant victory in tearing down the walls of Jericho over two millennia ago. Donnell informed the crowd of staff and community residents of the College’s initiation of the project to remove the fence and walls of the Dragon’s Den, and transform it into a learning oasis that will offer students a multi-use outdoor setting where they will be able to read and surf the internet in the freshness of the air and in a beautiful, environmentally-friendly, and inviting area that promotes teaching and learning.

First Lady and Honorary Retool Your School Chairperson Ruby Vaulx told the crowd of the enthusiasm that she had in the project and how she called her friends and relatives across the nation asking for their votes. Before ending her comments, she thanked the staff for supporting her husband in his tenure as interim president.

Interim President Glenn Vaulx then took the podium to likewise thank the staff for their support and commended them for their hard work in securing the Home Depot grant. He related that it was his vision to “tear down this wall,” and transform it into the Presidents’ Plaza. He further informed the crowd that he was elated that the process began during his tenure, and looks forward to the area becoming the spot on campus where students and faculty can come to study, relax, and surf the net.

This project will commence immediately and will begin by removing the twelve-foot fence that surrounds the area and all of the concrete that lies within it. The grounds will then be graded, made level, and replaced with pavement, zoysia grass sodding, flowers, and trees. Wiring, to accommodate internet capability, and the installation of charging stations, umbrella patio tables and benches, and attractive lighting fixtures will be added to the project. Work on the project will be headed by the Bobby Cole Construction Company of Jackson, Tennessee.

Other participants on the program included Ms. Doris Bond, the Retool Your School coordinator, and Dr. Jerry Woods, Lane’s Executive Vice President.

The Home Depot RETOOL YOUR SCHOOL Grant Program is designed by Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. to encourage and recognize innovative projects that contribute to the beautification of the campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). HBCUs are invited annually to submit proposals for Beautification Projects that may lead to the awarding of grants in the amounts of $50,000, $25,000, and $10,000, respectively. Winners are selected on the strength of their proposals, as well as the number of votes and social media posts that are made on their behalf. Seventeen grants were awarded to recipients. Lane College finished in 6th place overall, among 64 HBCUs nationwide, several of which were much larger than Lane in student enrollment.

In May, 2014, Lane College was informed by The Home Depot that it had been selected to receive a $10,000 beautification grant.

'A head start on science':
Lane College introduces summer campers to STEM learning

Lane College held a ceremony marking the end of its summer STEM camp Friday at the Cyber Café on the Lane campus.

Students had the opportunity to sit in classes and learn about STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — from college professors and hear from people working in STEM fields who came to the camp to talk about their work.

“We just want to give them an opportunity to see the variety of STEM jobs that are available,” said Jerry Woods, interim executive vice president of Lane College. “We brought in architects, engineers, chemical engineers and we brought in the director of technology for the (Jackson-) Madison County School System to let the students see the possibilities of various jobs in STEM.”

The students also had the opportunity to travel to Chattanooga Wednesday and Thursday to learn about earth science and marine sciences.

“We went to Ruby Falls on Wednesday, and that highlighted the situation on earth formations and biological science, giving the students some hands-on experience, as well as students could see people in STEM careers that worked there,” Woods said. “We were also able to go to the aquarium in Chattanooga. They saw the sea life but also they saw jobs like marine biologists. It was fascinating.”

Forty students participated in the camp, and most of them were from Madison County.

Chelsea Currie, a Lane graduate from Haywood County, drove her son to the Lane campus every day so he could participate in the camp.

“I loved it, he loved it and it was great exposure for future plans, whatever he desires in life,” Currie said.

Currie’s son will be a freshman at Haywood High School in the fall.

Mary Ingram is the grandmother of another incoming freshman, who will be going to Madison Academic Magnet High School.

“It was fantastic,” Ingram said. “It allowed them to get some learning that has to do with something they could carry with them when school starts.”

Ingram, also a Lane graduate, is active in the Lane community and was excited that the camp came together.

“It’s a head start on science and a lot of other things, to keep children learning through the summer.”/p>

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