(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – July 2, 2012) - - - Tennessee Rural Health Plan’s Chief Executive Officer, Lonnie Roberts, was recently honored by the Columbia State Community College Foundation for his service on the nonprofit organization’s board of trustees.
“Over the past seven years, Lonnie has touched 4,172 lives,” commented Columbia State President Janet Smith, Ph.D., at the foundation’s annual awards luncheon. “That’s the number of students who graduated during the years of his service, including his tenure as Board Chair.”
Trustees are leaders in Columbia State’s nine-county service area who contribute their time, experience, funds and wisdom to the college and community.
“The foundation’s vision is to lead in attitudes and actions that enhance academic excellence, student success and prosperity through vibrant individual, public and private partnerships,” explained Bethany Lay, Columbia State Foundation’s executive director. “Though Lonnie’s term as a trustee has ended, he will continue to offer his commitment and expertise as a foundation ambassador.”
In 1967, Columbia State Community College opened its doors as Tennessee’s first community college. Lay explained that the Columbia State Foundation was formed in 1971 as an institutionally related, yet independently chartered 501(c)(3).
“Since then, the foundation has provided millions of dollars in additional funds for scholarships and special needs at Columbia State,” Lay said, noting that during the last fiscal year the Foundation awarded 236 scholarships totaling $183,191, with a total of 808 scholarships awarded since 2009.
Additionally, for the tenth consecutive year, the foundation brought a full season of professional musical and theatrical performances to Columbia State’s Cherry Theater and provided a curator for the college’s Pryor Art Gallery, both located on the Columbia campus. Over the years, the foundation's support of the college has expanded to include fundraising for special projects and capital development, grant writing and support for extended campus facilities in Williamson, Lawrence, Wayne and Marshall Counties.
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Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the sixth largest higher education system in the nation. For more information, please visit www.columbiastate.edu.