Jun 23, 2016

Columbia State Hosts Grand Opening of Williamson Campus

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. - June 22, 2016) - - - Columbia State Community College and approximately 700 supporters gathered Wednesday to celebrate the grand opening of the new Williamson Campus, including state and local officials, donors, community members and Columbia State students, faculty and staff.

"Much has been accomplished and it is fitting to celebrate and to dedicate this campus to the service of the community," said Bethany Lay, Columbia State executive for advancement and executive director of the foundation.

Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor David Gregory recognized Columbia State and the surrounding communities for their dedication to providing access to quality higher education and thanked members of the general assembly for their attendance at the grand opening.

"With this new campus, Columbia State will be able to meet growing demands for post-secondary education in Williamson County and ensure every student the opportunity to reach his or her goals," Gregory said.

Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president, thanked the Tennessee Board of Regents, community members, donors and Columbia State students, faculty and staff for their support.

"Above all, it is a time to celebrate what has been accomplished by a community of people that have come together in a partnership," Smith said. "It is a time to celebrate not only the campus, but this grand opportunity."

Smith also thanked the legislators for their willingness to help Columbia State grow.

"This campus would not exist without the willingness of our elected officials to support funding and to support legislation that strengthens our ability to go about the business of educating students without unnecessary burdens," Smith said.

Smith recognized Dr. Ken Moore, Franklin mayor and Columbia State board and foundation member, and announced the TBR approval of the name "Mayor, Dr. Ken Moore Oval" for the oval courtyard located in front of the new administration building.

"I am quite honored [by the naming] and I am so proud for this community and the opportunities for future students," said Moore.

Gregory presented Moore with the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Philanthropy at the Columbia State Foundation board meeting Wednesday morning for the influence, time and personal finances that he has provided to make the Williamson Campus a reality.

Smith recognized Representative Charles Sargent for his contributions to campus and community.

"Charles Sargent, a true champion for Columbia State and the community, has dedicated countless hours and unmatched effort to the cause of bringing a beautiful and functional campus to Williamson County," Smith said. "It is my honor to announce the naming of the Arts and Humanities Building the 'Charles M. Sargent Building.'"

Sargent quoted Nelson Mandela by stating "that education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world."

"It is my sincere hope that many of the students that will be educated here will go out into the world and use the knowledge they've learned here to truly make a difference in the world," Sargent said.

Patrick Gilbert, senior vice president of First National Bank and Columbia State Foundation chair, recognized the donors who have provided scholarships and campus support.

"The Foundation looks forward to working with this community in the sustaining and growth of the campus," Gilbert said.

Students will have the opportunity to learn in state-of-the-art labs and facilities that offer a modern learning environment.

"I think the facility is divine and offers a refreshing environment for students, faculty, staff and the community," said Lyric McGloffin, peer leader and business administration major."

Columbia State students are excited for the college's expansion and look forward to seeing what the new campus has to offer.

"I am more excited than anything," said Kirkland Pinkerton, SGA president and nursing major. "It's cool to see what Columbia State has brought to the table and how we are expanding."

The public received a first-hand look at the new, high efficiency green campus that offers state-of-the-art science laboratories, nursing simulation labs, information technology center, professional sound stage and editing studios and performing arts training facility with professional recording studio and songwriting lab.

For more information about the Williamson Campus, visit www.ColumbiaState.edu/ApplyWC, email Franklin@ColumbiaState.edu or call 615.790.4400.

Franklin Mayor and wife with CSCC Pres and TBR Chancellor
Photo Caption:
Dr. Ken Moore, Franklin mayor; Linda Moore; Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president; and David Gregory, Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor, pose in front of oval courtyard named after Moore.

President Smith and Bethany Lay Smile
Photo Caption:
Pictured, left to right: Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president and Bethany Lay, Columbia State executive for advancement and foundation director.

Kirkland and Lyric smile
Photo Caption:
Pictured, left to right: Kirkland Pinkerton (Hickman County), 2016-2017 Student Government Association president and Lyric McGloffin (Mt. Pleasant), 2015-2016 SGA president.

Ribbon Cutting at Williamson Campus
Photo Caption:
Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president, cuts the ribbon for the Columbia State Williamson Campus Grand Opening as community leaders help hold the ribbon.

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, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit www.columbiastate.edu.

Tennessee's Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at tncommunitycolleges.org.

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