HARTSVILLE, SC (October 15, 2021) - Coker University alumnus Elken D. Grate ('08) has donated three original paintings, worth thousands of dollars, to BOLD Men, a "males of color" student organization at Coker University. The donation was a result of activities at Coker's recent Homecoming Weekend, where alumni demonstrated their commitment to giving back to current students.
BOLD Men’s mission is to assist Coker University in increasing and sustaining the enrollment of BIPoC male students. The organization has led several initiatives educating their peers on topics such as diversity, respect, networking, and entrepreneurship.
Asked what made him decide to give back to Coker, Grate answered, “I always wanted to give back, but when you see large thousand-dollar-plus donations via the website, app and/or social media, it is sometimes overwhelming and intimidating. I plan to donate a couple thousand dollars, but this is specifically for a scholarship for a student very similar to myself.”
BOLD Men, Grate, and the Mantissa Hotel have formed a partnership that will allow Grate’s work to be displayed and sold at the hotel. Grate says, “I was intrigued by [Bold President] Tyler McCoy and [SGA President] Seraphin Kibonge speaking during a CBAN Virtual Call. Hearing these young men speak so intelligently gave me hope for a promising generation for young people.”
BOLD Men will be hosting a black tie art exhibition in the Spring of 2022. BOLD Men President McCoy said he plans to use the proceeds to fund a scholarship for two students at Hartsville High School.