Feb 05, 2013

TBR Honors First Farmers Bank for Philanthropy to Columbia State

Photo Caption: Receiving the Tennessee Board of Regents 2012 Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Philanthropy from Columbia State Community College president, Janet Smith, Ph.D., were representatives of First Farmers and Merchants Bank. (Pictured left to right) Brian Williams, senior executive, commercial banking; John Tomlinson, chief administrative officer; Waymon L. Hickman, senior chairman; Virgil Moore, senior chairman; Barry White, corporate legal counsel; and Harvey Church, Maury County president.

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. - July 19, 2012) - - - First Farmers and Merchants Bank has been honored with the Tennessee Board of Regents 2012 Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Philanthropy."

Since 1983, First Farmers has gifted more than $400,000 to Columbia State," commented Janet Smith, Ph.D., president of Columbia State Community College. "Their support of student scholarships, athletic programs, building campaigns, performing arts and educational outreach programs has been invaluable to the educational experience of Columbia State students and the community at large."

Notable among the numerous contributions has been the bank's commitment to the Columbia State Performance Series, which brings a variety of music and theater performances to southern Middle Tennessee annually.

"This series exposes students and the general public to symphony orchestras, Broadway productions and local musicians - experiences otherwise inaccessible to many," observed Bethany Lay, executive director of the Columbia State Foundation, which manages the performance series.

Lay said that beginning in 2010, First Farmers became the presenting sponsor for the series by contributing $20,000 annually.

"The bank's current CEO, Randy Stevens, as well as former CEO, Waymon Hickman, have recognized the need to invest in the college as a way to strengthen communities throughout the region where extended campuses and bank offices are located," Lay said.

In addition to financial support, Lay noted that First Farmers allows personnel to serve on the board of trustees of the Columbia State Foundation, an institutionally related, yet independently chartered 501(c)(3).

"Representatives of the bank volunteer at fundraising events, such as our annual golf tournament, and support classroom instruction," Lay said. "First Farmers is a most worthy recipient of the Chancellor's Award, and we are proud that the bank's philanthropic activities have been highlighted statewide through this prestigious award."

For more information, email foundation@columbiastate.edu or call (931) 540-2513.

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.