Conner To Receive President's Medal

Photo Caption: Columbia State athletic director, Louis Conner, received the President’s Medal award at the college’s employee awards ceremony on Friday, April 27. Conner was nominated by several Columbia State faculty and staff members.

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – March 27, 2012) - - - Louis Conner has had an outstanding year. As the athletic director for Columbia State Community College, he oversaw the construction and opening of the college’s Wellness Center; his men’s basketball team went to the national tournament and ranked sixth in the nation; the women’s basketball team made it to the semi-finals; his baseball team forged a new record of consecutive wins at home and ranks fourth in the nation; the women’s softball team has had a standout season in the league; and 2012 was the year that Louis Conner was inducted into the TCCAA Coach’s Hall of Fame. His season ends this spring with his fellow employees at Columbia State selecting him as the 2011- 2012 President’s Medal recipient.

The nomination forms came from a number of colleagues at Columbia State, but had a common thread. “He loves and cares about his students…” and “He is ‘Columbia State’ – he is everywhere” were in every endorsement. Many talked about his quiet mentorship of them as young faculty members and his extraordinary efforts in community activity and in encouraging students to take an active role in community events. Perhaps equally as compelling has been the quiet personal support he has given to two young men who are striving to complete 4-year baccalaureate degrees since leaving Columbia State.

In introducing Louis Conner’s selection, President Janet Smith said of the Lewisburg native, “He is a proud graduate of Columbia State who went on to the University of North Alabama, Florence to complete his bachelor’s degree and then to United Sports Academy in Daphne, Alabama to earn his master’s. He has set an incredibly high standard of personal and professional achievement.”

“However,” she continued, “for anyone who really knows Coach Conner, we know that he, in many ways, is most excited about the lives he has changed and the doors to life experience, lifelong learning and access to education he has opened for countless Columbia State students and their families. He leads by example with a strong and wonderful family cheering him on.”

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

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