Despite hardships, Paine College is moving forward another school year

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– Despite recent hardships, Paine College is moving forward another school year. The freshmen orientation was Sunday. New students and their families gathered at the college to celebrate admittance to the Historically Black College.

Paine College expects 150 new freshmen this year. You may remember the school lost its accreditation last September. Shortly after, they gained it back but were put on probation. I spoke with the college president to find out what he’s planning to better the school.

“I have to do things my way, and there are a number of things I plan to do because I see a number of things that need to be done,” President Jerry Hardee said.

Hardee became president of Paine College this past April and stepped in after Samuel Sullivan. President Hardee said resolving issues about the school’s accreditation is a top priority.

“Which means we just have to get out and raise some money. The second thing I want to do is double enrollment, which I plan on doing in the next year,” President Hardee said.

He approached city commission in June to talk finances. Although he didn’t ask the city for money, he told commissioners he has an ambitious goal to raise 7 million dollars from the private sector.

“We’re going to start next week to visiting a number of people that could and want to help us. We just have to make sure we have a proposal that they would be satisfied with,” President Hardee explained.

He said the school has a total of 400 students enrolled this year. His goal is 600.

Nirvana Ferrell is one of the 150 freshmen starting college at Paine. She said President Hardee is a great fit.

“I actually talked with the president, and I’m very excited. We had a great conversation. I’m very excited for what he can do for our school,” Ferrell said.

Jasmine Jackson, though, has mixed feelings.

“I’m ready to see the improvements and changes he’s going to make. I’m more so anxious than nervous. I’m excited about whatever is going to happen,” Jackson, an upcoming freshmen, explained.

“Well, if I didn’t think we could be successful, I wouldn’t have come here. And they should trust me because Paine has a rich history in taking care of students,” President Hardee said.

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