ETSU Elevates: President Noland announces $90,000 in service grants available to region

Published 9:06 am Monday, October 14, 2019

JOHNSON CITY — East Tennessee State University President Dr. Brian Noland announced a major new initiative, called ETSU Elevates, aimed at improving the quality of life for the people in the Appalachian Highlands. Through ETSU Elevates, $90,000 will be awarded to fund service projects across the region.

Noland made the announcement today during a tree dedication ceremony held as part of Johnson City’s Sesquicentennial celebration. The ceremony took place on the same date that East Tennessee State Normal School was officially dedicated in 1911.

“Throughout our history are countless examples of how ETSU, the City of Johnson City, and other cities across the region have grown together and supported one another,” Noland said. “Together, we have improved access to education, brought more health care services, strengthened businesses, influenced the arts and created many new opportunities for the people who call the Appalachian Highlands home. ETSU Elevates service grants will help bring new ideas to life and enhance existing projects. We are more successful if we work together to elevate our region.”

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ETSU Elevates offers a unique opportunity to engage all members of the region, not just members of the ETSU community. Service grants of $5,000 each are available to teams that submit their ideas to create a healthy, thriving region with opportunities for all. Anyone is eligible, as long as they form a team with at least one member of the ETSU community (faculty, staff, students, organizations, departments, colleges).

All applicants will have an equal shot at an opportunity to pitch their service project ideas in front of a live audience that will vote and choose which projects receive funding. The university will host drawings before each ETSU Elevates pitch competition to select the applicants that will pitch their ideas in front of a live audience. To increase the opportunities for teams to receive funding for their service projects, five ETSU Elevates pitch competitions will be held through April 2020. The first competition will be in November.

“ETSU Elevates is going to do more than transform our region. 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,” Noland added. “There is a competitive component to this initiative and we hope communities and members of our campus will come out to show their support for those who pitch their service project ideas.”

More details about ETSU Elevates, including application information, is available online at For additional information, contact or 423-439-4317.