ETSU President Noland announces new community service grants

Brandon Paykamian • Oct 10, 2019 at 9:00 PM

East Tennessee State University President Brian Noland formally announced a new ETSU community service initiative at a Thursday ceremony commemorating both the 108th anniversary of the university’s dedication and Johnson City’s sesquicentennial.

The new initiative, ETSU Elevates, aims to award $90,000 to service projects across the Appalachian Highlands region. Noland said he hopes the grants “will help bring new ideas to life and enhance existing projects.”

“This is an opportunity for the institution to invest new resources, to spotlight our community service work and to really bring our campus together with the community,” he said.

Through the initiative, grants of $5,000 will be awarded to teams that submit ideas to help create a “thriving region with opportunities for all.” All are eligible to submit their community service project ideas, as long as they form a team with at least one member of the ETSU community. This could include faculty, staff, students, student organizations and more.

“Two winners will be selected per month over the course of a 10-month time period, and that’s an opportunity for new initiatives, the deepening of existing initiatives and a chance for us to show to the people of the region, ‘Here’s what we’re doing to make a difference in your lives,’” Noland said.

“What I’m really hoping that will emerge from this is an opportunity for the entire region to have greater understanding and clarity around the impact of this institution in the region we call home.”

ETSU will host drawings before each “pitch competition.” Those drawings will select applicants to pitch their community service ideas in front of a live audience. Five ETSU Elevates pitch competitions will be held through April 2020, with the first one scheduled for November.

“We will learn from one another and be inspired by the ideas that are brought forth, maybe even from those who may not have felt they had a voice previously,” the university president said ahead of Thursday’s formal announcement.

For more information about the initiative, Noland encouraged people to visit www.etsu.edu/ETSUelevates. For additional details, contact ETSUelevates@etsu.edu or call 423-439-4317.

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