Concordia wins $50K in Ford Drive 2 Greatness contest

Published 8:48 pm Monday, November 6, 2017

The Concordia College Alabama cafeteria opened at 6:30 a.m., 30 minutes earlier than usual, this past Friday so students and staff could gather together and listen to the Tom Joyner Morning Show to find out who won the Ford Drive 2 Greatness competition.

Concordia College wasn’t called on the radio. But as everyone gathered around to take a group photo, school president Dr. James Lyons received a phone call from Ford to congratulate his school for winning first runner-up.

“It was important for me to be there and to show my appreciation for the students and staff members’ hard work,” Lyons said.

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“I’m very proud of the students and staff who were involved. This is an example of just old-fashioned hard work. The students were out there every day taking photos.”

Concordia College earned 98,737 points in the competition by posting photos on social media with the hashtag #FordConcordiaAlabama, and will be awarded a prize of $50,000 for its S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) program.

“I’m thrilled for the students because this is just one example of what they can do if they put their minds to it,” honors program director Dr. Chinwe Okeke said. “This is our first time competing in this, but Selma got behind us, and this is a big win for us.”

Concordia students and supporters flooded social media with posts as often as they could during the contest. At the beginning of October, the college was in fourth place with just 3,217 points. In four short weeks, students surged up to second-place by taking pictures with Ford vehicles daily.

“The students at Concordia, they’re the stars here,” Okeke said. “They spent countless hours and took thousands of photos.”

Students got help from local businesses like Moore-Stewart Ford dealership, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, George’s Paint and Body Shop, Simmons Used Cars and Long Lewis Ford of the River Region.

Selma radio stations WHBB 1490 and WBFZ 105.3 also helped the students spread the word, according to Okeke.

“Without their undying support, particularly Moore-Stewart, Concordia College Alabama would not have been able to clinch this victory,” she said.