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President Hardee Meets with Senator Kamala Harris

May 31, 2019

Paine College President Jerry Hardee met with U.S. Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris in Greenville, South Carolina, prior a Town Hall meeting held on May 29th at the West End Development Center. Dr. Hardee, a 45-year veteran in higher education, expressed his views about rising costs of student loan debt and shared ideas about ways to retain K-12 school teachers in the profession who are leaving the classroom at alarming rates due to low compensation. President Hardee also utilized the brief meeting to share his perspectives on the value of HBCUs and seized the opportunity to invite the Senator to visit Paine College. Senator Harris, a Howard University graduate, candidly accepted Dr. Hardee's invitation to visit Paine.

Earlier during the spring, President Hardee participated in a round-table discussion with U.S. Presidential Candidate Cory Booker at the business headquarters of SC State Senator Glenn Reese. President Hardee shared his views on ways to ensure that socio-economically disadvantaged youth had equal access to a college education. Dr. Hardee stated the case for HBCUs and the quantitative value they bring citing that Paine College contributed a $33 million economic impact to the CSRA and the state of Georgia. Senator Booker assured Dr. Hardee and the small group seated at the table that he fully supported HBCUs and understood the value they generate. President Hardee extended invitations to Senator Reese, State Representative Rosalyn Henderson-Myers, and to Senator Booker to visit Paine College. As a result of the meeting, Senator Reese pledged his support to assist Paine students who have unmet tuition need.

The meetings with Senator Harris, Senator Booker, and other lawmakers were steered by Development Consultant Brandon P. Brown who continues to search for platforms that will position the College for external resources and partnerships."It is important that our students witnessed first-hand role models such as Senators Harris and Booker who are living and breathing examples of social justice advocates who address real-world problems," said Dr. Hardee. "I want our students to see the possibilities and results of hard work while staying the course."

"Healthy partnerships between Paine College and our lawmakers at all levels, federal, state and local, will inevitably produce benefits that will impact our ability to address complex issues in our community," said Helene Carter, VP of Institutional Advancement. "We are working diligently to generate high-level meetings that will position the College to compete successfully for external funding and resources, build healthy partnerships while increasing offerings for our students."

Earlier this year, in February 2019, Dr. Hardee made the rounds at the Georgia State Capitol. He participated in the HBCU Day Forum at the invitation of State Senator Tonya Anderson. And, at the invitation of State Senator Lester Jackson, Dr. Hardee attended the Georgia Congressional Black Caucus Annual Dinner where Dr. Hardee met Governor Brian Kemp.

Coming soon, read about President Hardee's visits with Majority Whip James Clyburn and Georgia lawmakers on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC by visiting

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