Paine College Students Rallied In Support Of The Build It Back Campaign

Posted by painewebmaster | 11/11/2015 12:46 PM

The sanctuary in the Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel was filled with faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends and supporters who gathered in support of the Build it Back: Rally for Paine College Campaign that kicked off with cash gifts of over $180,000.00 donated during the event.  Gifts are still coming in.  There were numerous speakers and presenters who expressed their love and commitment for the 134 year-old institution that has been an ever-present force in the Augusta community.

The Build it Back Campaign is designed to address the College’s financial challenges.  With an enrollment of 550 students, the College reduced its operating budget by 20% or $5 million.

“I cannot fathom an Augusta, Georgia without Paine College,” said Will Morris of Morris Communications, publisher of The Augusta Chronicle.  “The College has my family’s support in finding a permanent solution.”

Friends and supporters made presentations ranging in amounts from $2,500.00 to $15,000.00, however the College received numerous gifts that were in smaller amounts.  On behalf of the Advisement Board of the former Capitol City Bank and Trust Company, Paine College graduate Margaret Ellis Westbrook presented a check in the amount of $11,759.37.  Mr. and Mrs. Jerome (Brenda) Jones of J&B Construction Company contributed $15,000.00 to the campaign.  Dr. Sam Davis, Pastor of Beulah Grove Baptist Church, cheerfully commented that this was the first time he’d passed the money on to someone else.  The faith-based community rallied strongly for Paine College, as well.

Dr. Samuel Sullivan, Interim President, stated, “No gift is too small or too large.”

However, the most moving show of support came later during the service.  Student Government Association leaders and students gathered at the altar to show a sign of unity and support for the College.  Student Government Association leader Michael Johnson stated, “It is critical that we stand together during these times.  We know the challenges that we are facing.”

Michael Johnson announced that the students voted unanimously to donate a portion of their activity fees to the College to benefit the operating budget.  “This is Paine College at its best,” commented Michael.

Deonte Moses, Vice President of the Student Government Association, said that the students decided to return $108,000 of the $278,000 Student Activity budget to the College.  The Student Government Association called an emergency meeting to address ways to support the College.  As a result, the student body signed a petition to give back a portion of the activity fees.  The students will have a balance of $170,000.00 to implement extra-curricular activities such as parties, concerts, cookouts, trips, etc.

I don’t know that I have ever been touched by a gift to the College as I am about the students’ gift to Paine,” said Dr. Samuel Sullivan.  The students did not have to volunteer to do this.  “They chose to forfeit some of their activities for the sake of the College,” commented Dr. Sullivan who said that the Build it Back Rally and the outpouring of support would ensure that the College would be around for generations to come. At the conclusion of the event last evening, the college reported over $288,000 that will benefit the operating budget.

To make a gift to the Build it Back Campaign in support of Paine College, contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at 706.821.8233, or email Vice President Sunya Young at syoung@paine.edu.  Donations can be made online by visiting the College’s website at www.paine.edu. Click Give to Paine.  Also, make a gift by texting “painecollege” to 42828.