Paine College announces partnerships to transform the university’s future

Paine College officials announced strategic partnerships and a fundraising initiative on June 20 that places the university on a trajectory for future successes.

“It’s the goal that the name Paine College be in the mix for education 141 years from now and on in perpetuity,” said Cheryl Evans Jones, president of the 141-year-old college, in front of its Haygood Holsey Hall.

Paine College joins with EAB, the United Negro College Fund, Bank of America, Augusta National Golf Club and the Community Foundation of the Central Savannah River Area in a 10-year plan.

EAB is an educational support organization that brings a wealth of not only knowledge but technology to ensure the university’s success, she said.

“They will bring that expertise to us, to help us enroll, retain students, assist in finding, engaging and enrolling students who indeed would be a best fit for Paine College. They will help us ensure that our students will stay on track for a timely graduation in their program of choice,” she said.

EAB also brings with the “measures, metrics and data to make sure we are on task, that we have positive student outcomes and financial vitality to ensure the success of Paine College for the next 141 years,” she said.

Michael Thurmond, Paine College Board of Trustee Chairman, said Bank of America and the Augusta National Golf Club are “anchor sponsors” in the initiative and that June 20 marked not only the beginning of the 10-year transformation but the plan to raise $30 million over the next three years.

Ora Parish, president of the Bank of America Greater Augusta/Aiken, said Bank of America has been involved with the university for several years and is committed to it and its students’ success.

During the pandemic, Bank of America fully-funded a virtual classroom and provided protective equipment when students returned to in-person learning. The bank also has a leader on loan program during which a Bank of America executive has spent almost a year at Paine College in support of the initiative there.

Parish said Bank of America will announce additional financial support in the next few days.

While some partnerships are newer, others have been long term.

The university’s oldest relationship is with the CME Church. Bishop Thomas Brown Jr., presiding prelate of the 6th District CME Church, shared about Lucius Holsey, who was born into slavery but dreamed of a university and traveled throughout the Southeast to raise money for it.

“We become our dream eventually, and Paine College is indeed an example of a dream come true,” said Brown, who also presented a $170,000 check on behalf of the denomination.

The United Negro College Fund represents another lengthy partnership, and Justine Boyd, its assistant vice president of regional development, represented the organization and announced it would be giving Paine College $338,000 in 2023.

 “We’ve had fundraising campaigns before. What’s different today is that we’re not just addressing generating additional revenue,” said Thurmond. “We’re also accessing additional technical support and assistance. This is about the long-term transformation of Paine College – the business of recruiting, retaining and educating young men and women.”

Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News, has covered Augusta’s news for 35 years. Reach her at Sign up for the newsletter here.

Support local journalism: Local stories on local people, organizations and events. That’s the focus of Augusta Good News. And you don’t have to go through a paywall to find these stories. An independent voice in Augusta, Ga., Augusta Good News is not funded by a billionaire or a large corporation; it doesn’t have celebrity reporters who have agents. It’s local people who are invested in the community and want to tell its stories. You can support local journalism and help us expand our coverage by becoming a supporter. Through Ko-Fi, you can give once or set up a monthly gift. Click here to learn more. Thank you!