Oct 24, 2016

Columbia State Honors Mary Ann Roberts

(LEWISBURG, Tenn. - Oct. 22, 2016) - - - Columbia State Community College held a Life Celebration Thursday, Oct. 20 in memory of Mary Ann Roberts, long-time Foundation Board member.

Columbia State administration and the Roberts family shared stories of Roberts and recalled her passion and dedication to the college.

"Mary Ann was such a wonderful part of Columbia State," said Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president. "She loved this college and this community so much. She valued education and what it does for us as human beings and how it opens doors and opportunities for the community. Mary Ann believed in the college, its purpose and all that it does."

Roberts served four terms on the Columbia State Foundation Board, beginning in 1999. During her time as a board member, Roberts was a supporter of the Performance Series and many other programs.

"It was a pleasure to serve with Mary Ann on the Foundation Board," said Barry White, honorary trustee and former chair of the Columbia State Foundation Board. "Mary Ann was kind, helpful and generous to this community. She gave from the heart and we appreciate the relationship and friendship that we built with her."

In addition to her service at Columbia State, Roberts was formerly treasurer for the Robert Lewis Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, a member of Lipscomb University's Legacy Society, a Girl and Boy Scout leader, president of the University Square Homeowners' Association, member of the State House Manor HOA, a member of the Marshall County First National Bank Board and a member of the Church Street Church of Christ.

"She was a giver," said Eddie Roberts, son of Mary Ann. "She believed in human progress and Columbia State was a channel for her to reach out further into the community and help people. I appreciate the love you shared with my mother."

Roberts, 86, died Jan. 26, 2016. In her estate, Roberts left a significant gift to Columbia State.

"Mary Ann brought the Marshall County community to the college," said Dr. O. Rebecca Hawkins, Columbia State president emeritus. "Her experiences in life, family, business and community made her the type of person we needed on the Columbia State Foundation Board. I appreciate the friendship we shared with Mary Ann over the years. The things that I learned from her are invaluable."

Roberts is survived by three daughters, Suzanne Roberts, and Pam (Steve) Allen, both of Lewisburg, and Jan (Ronald) Caldwell of Manchester; two sons, Eddie (Donna) Roberts of Lewisburg and John (Kim) Roberts, Sr. of Manchester; three sisters, Frances Tyree Miller of Nashville, Ruth Tyree Shoaf of Whites Creek and Doris Tyree Webb of Lewisburg; and two brothers, Bill Tyree of Brentwood and David Tyree of Dallas, Texas. Roberts is also survived by many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Roberts Family
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Roberts family

Mary Ann Roberts Children and President Smith
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Mary Ann Roberts' children pictured with Columbia State president, Dr. Janet F. Smith. Left to right: John Roberts, Sr., Jan Caldwell, Pam Allen, Dr. Janet F. Smith, Suzanne Roberts, and Eddie Roberts.

Columbia State and Roberts Family
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Pictured, left to right: John Roberts, Sr.; Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president; Barry White, honorary trustee and former chair of the Columbia State Foundation Board; Dr. O. Rebecca Hawkins, Columbia State president emeritus; and Bethany Lay, executive for advancement and executive director of the Columbia State Foundation.

President Smith speaks at Roberts ceremony
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Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president shares her memories of Mary Ann Roberts and the impact she had on Columbia State and the community.

Mary Ann Roberts
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Mary Ann Roberts recognized as a member of the Legacy Society in 2014. Pictured, left to right: Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president; Mary Ann Roberts; and Barry White, honorary trustee and former chair of the Columbia State Foundation Board.

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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