Unum gift

Unum Partners with ChattState’s Executives in the Classroom initiative

Pictured above, left to right: Melissa Hays, AVP & Senior Counsel at Unum; Kim W. Bolton, Director of Staffing at Unum; Dr. Amanda Hyberger, Associate Professor of Music and QEP Director at Chattanooga State; and Denise Talley, Manager of Client Services at Unum.

The Executive-in-the-Classroom (EIC) initiative, part of our Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), is supported by a national grant from the Bringing Theory to Practice to provide a structured learning environment for incoming freshmen. With the involvement of corporate volunteers in these freshman courses, students will discuss with them concerns and strategies for academic and personal success, develop supportive professional relationships and engage civically through a service learning project with their EIC and perhaps their co-workers or other business leaders. The vision of this project is to build a culture of social responsibility and civic engagement for our campus that leads to individual well-being centered in strong work-ethic development.

At the time we approached Unum for support, we had secured $15,000 plus a challenge as described in the highlights below:

  • $10,000 from the Bringing Theory to Practice national grant
  • $5,000 from the Chattanooga State Foundation via the unrestricted annual fund
  • An additional $2,500 matching gift challenge from the Chattanooga State Foundation to expand the pilot in 2015

Unum stepped forward to match the Chattanooga State Foundation’s $2,500 for our Executive’s in the Classroom pilot.

“Unum has a deep commitment to strengthening the education opportunities in our communities,” said Kim Bolton, Director of Staffing at Unum. “The executive mentoring program with Chattanooga State reflects our core values of giving, volunteering and leadership, and we’re excited to be a part of this program.”

This generous corporate gift means we secured our $20,000 stretch goal to expand the Executive’s in the Classroom pilot program in 2015.

“The support from Unum has been overwhelming. Not only have they provided the funds for our stretch goal, but also in-class mentors, virtual ePortfolio mentors and a service learning opportunity,” said QEP Director Dr. Amanda Hyberger. “Unum executives will  also be volunteering their time to present three Resume Building Workshops to our students this semester.”

The Bringing Theory to Practice Project is sponsored by the Charles Engelhard Foundation of New York City and the S. Engelhard Center in partnership with the Association of American Colleges and Universities. To date, Bringing Theory to Practice has contributed more than $700,000 of support to twenty-nine campuses. Chattanooga State is one of two community colleges now collaborating with universities throughout the nation. Chattanooga State, alongside private and public institutions—such as Dartmouth College, Emory University, University of Michigan, and Syracuse University are seeking to impact student well-being and personal success.

Learn more about both “Executives-in-the-Classroom” and the national project here.



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