AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The home of The Masters is part of a local initiative that will help drive meaningful and lasting change through a historically black college.

An innovative partnership between Paine College, Bank of America, and Augusta National Golf Club will bring new resources to the Augusta community.

Bank of America is investing in the long-term success of Paine College.

The bank expands its Leader on Loan program with Dr. Tiffani Stewart. She serves as interim assistant to the president of the college and will help them obtain strategic goals.

“Some of my immediate goals here at Paine College is to increase friend-raising and fund-raising goals,” said Dr. Stewart. “And I’m also here to increase community partnerships.”

Paine College has also joined the Way Forward Initiative, a collaboration between education firm EAB and Bank of America. With goals to improve graduation rates and student retention, this partnership is made possible by Augusta National Golf Club.

Last year, Augusta National Golf Club Chairman Fred Ridley spoke on their dedication to local causes.

“We have remained focused on our commitment to making meaningful impact on the local Augusta community,” said Ridley. “In November, Augusta National and our partners at AT&T, Bank of America, and IBM donated $10 million to support the redevelopment and advancement of the Harrisburg and Laney Walker neighborhoods.”

Paine College President Dr. Cheryl Evans Jones says she is excited about this partnership and grateful to Bank of America for bringing Dr. Stewart to the community.

“I think the Paine College community will be energized and excited by the presence that she brings and the work that she’ll be doing,” said Dr. Jones. “And I think that will help us be propelled even further into the Augusta community.”

“As an HBCU graduate of Clark Atlanta University, being able to pour into any HBCUs is exciting,” added Dr. Stewart. “Typically, HBCUs, we’re very, you know, listed in underserved communities, we don’t get a lot of exposure… So, to be able to have a seat at the table and be able to speak on behalf of those that may not have a voice, I’m very excited for this opportunity.” 

Dr. Cheryl Evans Jones says she looks forward to seeing these initiatives provide transformational gifts for Paine College.