Foundation

Foundation News

Print
Check out the latest Foundation News!

Foundation News Feed

Sep 26, 2017

Nancy Klutz and family pictured outside with scholarship recipient Evan Cann.
Nancy Kluttz and her family have created the Nancy and William C. Kluttz Endowed Scholarship Fund at Southwestern Community College for nursing students with a passion for diabetes initiatives. Pictured is Nancy Kluttz (second from left), with scholarship recipient Evan Cann of Franklin (far left); daughter Gail Debnam (back); granddaughter Cori Cole (far right); great-granddaughter Stella Cole (center); great-grandson Sam Cole (bottom right); and “Rose,” Stella’s diabetic alert dog.
While sitting with Nancy Kluttz and her family as she tells stories of her days as a nurse, it is evident she’s always had a passion for helping others.

“I loved my job as a nurse and I especially enjoyed taking care of the babies,” said Kluttz. “It felt good knowing how to help someone.”

This passion, along with witnessing the excellent care her late husband William received while in ICU, is what led her and her daughter Gail Debnam to start the Nancy and William C. Kluttz Endowed Scholarship Fund at Southwestern Community College for nursing students - particularly those with a passion for supporting diabetes initiatives.

Kluttz’s great-granddaughter Stella Cole has Type I Diabetes and was hospitalized in the PICU for several days before eventually being diagnosed. Stella now has a diabetic alert dog named Rose that accompanies her wherever she goes to alert her when her blood sugar numbers become out of range.

SCC nursing student Evan Cann of Franklin was chosen as the first scholarship recipient.

Cann got to sit down with Kluttz as she talked to him about the nursing profession and her experiences.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity,” said Cann. “Nursing is my passion, and this scholarship will enable me to continue helping others as I pursue my degree.”

Debnam and her husband Jack, both long-time supporters of SCC, are thrilled to know that Kluttz’s legacy will be one of helping students achieve success.

“Mom and I spoke several times about what she could do to create a legacy,” said Debnam. “With her nursing background, Dad having lots of medical care and now Stella receiving care for her Type I Diabetes, creating a scholarship endowment for students in the medical profession means a lot to our family.”

The endowment scholarship fund was created with Kluttz’s gift of $20,000 plus an additional $2,000 to be used as immediate awards before the fund begins to generate sufficient earnings to support scholarships.

To be considered for the scholarship, students must be attending SCC full-time and be pursuing an associates degree in nursing or the WNC RIBN degree and maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Preference will be given to students with Type I Diabetes or with a passion for supporting diabetes initiatives.

“One of the highlights and privileges of my profession is that magical moment when a donor and their scholarship recipient first meet,” said Brett Woods, SCC Foundation director. “It is mystical and powerful. Mrs. Kluttz and Evan bonded immediately, and to see that in person was profound. We are grateful to Mrs. Kluttz and the Debnams for their vision to create a legacy that will help Evan and generations of students just like him.”

For more information about SCC and the Foundation, contact Woods at 828.339.4241 or b_woods[at]southwestern.cc[dot]edu.

SCC, which has been ranked among the nation’s Top 10 community colleges three times in the past decade, offers more than 40 academic programs of study. To learn more about the college, visit www.southwesterncc.edu, call 828.339.4000 or drop by your nearest SCC location.

 

Sep 21, 2017

Gold Streamers fly through the air in a ballroom.
Streamers fly through the air (above) as SCC president Dr. Don Tomas (below) announces the completion of the Student Success Campaign's "March to a Million."
Man speaks into a microphone as others celebrate behind him

Southwestern Community College’s annual Bluegrass, Blue Jeans & Bling gala is always a celebration of students and scholarships.

This year, it mixed in a little history.

Before the night was over, streamers soared over the crowd of college supporters who’d gathered to help push the SCC Foundation across the finish line in its “March to a Million” effort.

Dr. Don Tomas, president of SCC, announced around 9:15 p.m. that silent auction sales had pushed the Student Success Campaign total over the $1 million mark, giving the college its first seven-figure endowment to be used primarily for scholarships.

“This truly has been a community effort,” Dr. Tomas said. “Rather than just having a handful of large donations, we’ve literally had hundreds of different individuals, organizations and businesses step forward to support this campaign. These donors believe in SCC, and – most importantly – they believe in our students.”

Launched in 2013 with the help of a U.S. Department of Education challenge grant, the Student Success Campaign aims to bridge the gap between scholarship need and availability at SCC.

 “Before the Student Success Campaign, SCC’s largest single endowment was $338,641 – a figure that’s actually quite impressive for a school Southwestern’s size,” said Charles Wolfe, chairman of the Student Success Campaign. “Thanks to so many wonderful people in our community, we’ve taken scholarship support to a whole new level.”

Back in 2012, the SCC Foundation only had enough resources to award scholarships to 32 students who qualified.

This year, the number of scholarship recipients increased to 69.

“Now that we’ve reached the million-dollar goal, we’ll be able to help more students than ever before thanks to the many generous donors who supported the Student Success Campaign,” said Brett Woods, director of the SCC Foundation. “Over the past few years of working at SCC, I’ve gotten to know a lot of our students. These are hard-working people with big dreams, and it is a privilege to be able to give them the boost they need.”

Final figures from Saturday night likely won’t be tabulated for at least another week, but SCC officials are confident this year’s gala will eclipse the $63,000 raised at last year’s event.

For more information about SCC and the Student Success Campaign, contact Kathy Posey at 828.339.4227 or k_posey[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu.
 

Young lady speaks into a microphone with a "Bluegrass, Blue Jeans & Bling" banner behind her.
Above: SCC student Lilly Coleman of Cullowhee addresses the crowd during the Bluegrass, Blue Jeans & Bling gala Saturday at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort. Below: Dr. Don Tomas, president of SCC, stands in front of a big screen announcing the college’s first $1 million endowment to be used primarily for scholarships. The Student Success Campaign completed its “March to a Million” during the Bluegrass, Blue Jeans & Bling gala Saturday at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort.
Man stands in front of a projector screen showing that SCC has reached $1 million for its endowment.

Sep 6, 2017

Group of people hold up sign that reads "Bluegrass, Blue Jeans & Bling" with the date "Sept. 16"

Haven't got your ticket (or table sponsorship) for this year's Gala? It's not too late! Visit www.southwesterncc.edu/gala, call 828.339.4227 or write k_posey[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu. Pictured here are members of our gala planning committee, front row, from left: Wendy LeMay (co-chair), Angie Noland, Kathy Posey, Casey Deakins and Lynda Parlett. Back row: Vance Davidson, Charles Wolfe, Brett Woods and Lambert Wilson (co-chair). Not pictured are Allison Tomas, Cory Bowen, Mary Otto Selzer, Danell Moses and Eleanor Campbell.

This year, Southwestern Community College leaders aren’t just planning another gala.

They’re hoping for a million-dollar celebration.

The Southwestern Community College Foundation will hold its annual “Bluegrass, Blue Jeans & Bling” gala at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort just as the Student Success Campaign nears the completion of its “March to a Million” fundraising effort.

The campaign is less than $53,000 shy of establishing the first $1 million scholarship endowment in SCC’s history. With enough support, the gala could push the campaign past the seven-figure mark.

"I am thrilled we are so close to reaching this historic goal,” said Brett Woods, SCC Foundation director.  “I am grateful to the many generous friends of SCC who have chosen to support our students through the Student Success Campaign. We hope everyone who’s contributed to this effort – along with anyone who’s been wanting to – will join us and ensure we get to celebrate on this special night.”

This is the fourth straight year the SCC Foundation has held a gala in an effort to close the wide gap between the number of students that qualify for scholarships and the actual number of students that receive scholarships each year.

During the 2016-2017 academic year, 284 students applied for scholarships. SCC only had the resources available to award 69.

“Every year, our students amaze us with their work ethic, creativity and academic excellence,” said Dr. Don Tomas, SCC president. “We are excited about the prospect of helping more students than ever before, and our annual gala has a lot to do with making that happen.”

Frogtown will provide the bluegrass music for the evening, and classics singer Steve Johannessen will perform as well. There will also be a wine pull, silent auction, cornhole and a best dressed “Blue Jeans and Bling” contest along with the meal prepared by the chefs of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort.

Tickets are $150 each, and table sponsorships begin at $1,500.

For more information, contact Kathy Posey, SCC Foundation development associate, at 828.339.4227 or visit www.southwesterncc.edu/gala.

Sep 5, 2017

Members of the Valley Garden Club from Cashiers.
The Valley Garden Club from Cashiers has set up a laboratory and textbook fund for Cashiers area Southwestern Community College students. Pictured are Valley Garden Club members front row, left to right: Sheryle Neal, Jeanne Smith, Nelly Rice, Diane deMoye, Barbara Gerhardt, Harriette Floyd, Kathy Bethea, Vanna Cameron - seated (founding president), Mary Jane Bills, Kay Allen, Christie Wardowski, Kathie Kirts, Maggi Reimann, Jane Galpin and Sheila Peavey. Back row, left to right: Pam Trissel, Carey Joyner, Mary Wingfield, Joyce Brumbaugh, Gabby Gillies, Marie Waid, Linda Burton, Judy Zachary, Carolyn Santee, Glenda Cadarette, Barbara Kups, Mary Loesch, Mary Kay Habgood, Anne Byrd and David Wansley.
While driving through Cashiers, the beautiful flowers and plants around town will certainly catch your eye. The members of the Valley Garden Club plant and maintain the garden beds located at the Post Office, Library and The Point.

The club’s main purpose is beautification of the area, but one of their main projects is holding raffles as well as plant and bake sales to raise funds for Southwestern Community College’s New Century Scholars at Blue Ridge School and Summit Charter School.

“We do this for the kids,” said Donna Lehn, Valley Garden Club president. “It is all about helping them succeed.”

The members of the club have been generously donating to SCC since 1995, and have continued that generosity with a fund that covers $250 worth of textbooks and laboratory fees each semester specifically for Jackson County New Century Scholars from the Cashiers Valley area enrolled at SCC.

"We are so grateful to the Valley Garden Club for their spirit of giving and generosity in supporting SCC students from Blue Ridge School and Summit Charter School as they seek to build a better future for themselves and their families,” said Brett Woods, SCC Foundation director.

Founded in 1987 as a non-profit, working club, the group promotes beautification, conservation of native plants, flowers and natural resources in Cashiers, while furthering knowledge of good gardening practices.

To learn more about ways you can support SCC students, contact Woods at 828.339.4241 or b_woods[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu.

Jul 17, 2017

Three men pose with a large check in front of a stacked rock decor
Dr. Don Tomas (left), president of SCC, and Brett Woods (right), director of the SCC Foundation, accept a donation of $10,000 from Roger Plemens (center) on July 7 in Franklin. The gift effectively doubled $10,000 in other gifts to the college’s Student Success Campaign.

Considering Southwestern Community College launched its Student Success Campaign with a challenge grant a few years ago, it seemed appropriate that another matching offer recently allowed SCC to close in on the campaign’s $1 million goal.

Entegra Bank recently offered to match up to $10,000 in gifts to the campaign, and the SCC Foundation quickly found a group of donors who fully leveraged the match and pushed the most-ambitious fundraising effort in school history to within $58,000 of the seven-figure milestone.

Including the $10,000 matching gift, Entegra Bank has now contributed more than $68,000 to the Student Success Campaign.

“We have a number of employees who graduated from Southwestern Community College, and we recognize the value SCC brings to our community,” said Roger Plemens, Entegra Bank’s president and chief executive officer. “We are always eager to support the SCC Foundation and its efforts to make a college education available to as many deserving students as possible.”

Stepping up almost immediately to help maximize the match was Pepsi Cola of Whittier, which gave $6,000 toward the effort. Allison Outdoor Advertising, Inc., gave $2,000, and Leo James donated $1,000 to the effort. Debora and Michael Lindsay of Epic West in Bryson City added $3,000 to help SCC get closer to its goal of providing scholarship assistance to more students than ever before.

The campaign launched in 2013 with a U.S. Department of Education challenge grant that matched the first $300,000 raised.

The campaign now has crossed the $940,000 threshhold, and five students will each receive $4,000 Student Success scholarships to help them attend Southwestern in the upcoming academic year that starts Aug. 14.

A Pepsi representative poses between two SCC representatives, a man and a woman, inside a building on SCC's Jackson Campus
Above: Representing Pepsi Cola of Whittier, Travis Ashe (center) presents a donation of $6,000 to Brett Woods (right), director of the SCC Foundation, and Kathy Posey (left), SCC’s institutional development associate, on May 4 in Sylva.
Below: 
Representing Allison Outdoor Advertising, Inc., Gary Ayers (center) gives a check to Dr. Don Tomas (left), president of SCC, and Brett Woods, director of the SCC Foundation

 
Three men pose during a check presentation inside a building on SCC's Jackson Campus

“Every year, hundreds of high-potential students reach out to our SCC Foundation for scholarship funding,” said Dr. Don Tomas, president of SCC. “We typically are only able to assist roughly 25 percent of those who qualify for scholarships. Thanks to the generosity of Entegra, Pepsi, Epic West, Leo James, Allison Outdoor and all of our other donors, we are working hard to change that.”

For more information about SCC and the Student Success Campaign, contact Kathy Posey at 339.4227 or k_posey[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu.

Jun 5, 2017

Two men stand beside a life-sized duck mascot. One man holds a duck-topped trophy.
Dr. Mike Murray (center), superintendent of Jackson County Public Schools, accepts the “Ducks on the Tuck” trophy from Dr. Don Tomas, president of SCC, and Tucker the Duck.

In a photo finish, Jackson County narrowly edged out Macon County by raising the most money for this year’s virtual “Ducks on the Tuck” fundraising event for New Century Scholars.

Organized by the Southwestern Community College Foundation, this year’s “race” was a raffle that pitted each of SCC’s service-area counties against one another to see which could sell the most tickets.

Angie Templeton of Franklin won the “Duck Draw Raffle” grand prize: a 50-inch Westinghouse smart flatscreen television donated by Custom Sound and Security of Franklin. Templeton’s son, Sam, is a New Century Scholar student at Macon Middle School. More than 30 other prizes were awarded through this year’s event.

In the overall ticket sales, Jackson County edged out second-place Macon County and third-place Swain County. Altogether this year, SCC has raised more than $57,655.63 for the New Century Scholars program.

Established in 1995 by Dr. Charles McConnell, former Jackson County superintendent, and then-SCC president Dr. Barry Russell, New Century Scholars provides last-dollar tuition assistance and extra support such as dedicated advising to deserving area students.

“This program has touched thousands of lives over the years while bringing a college education within reach of more families than ever before,” said Dr. Don Tomas, president of SCC.

“We’re grateful for the generous spirit our communities continue to show in supporting New Century Scholars.”

Two ladies stand beside a flat screen TV.
Angie Templeton of Franklin (left) accepts the grand prize flatscreen TV from Kathy Posey of the SCC Foundation.

In conjunction with the virtual race and raffle, SCC held a “Where’s Tucker” selfie photo contest via social media.

Submitting the most-creative selfie from each county were Devon Grizzle of Jackson County, Lauren Capoccia of Macon County and James Posey of Swain County.

Each of them won Bluetooth headphones provided by Boyd and Lynda Sossamon of Radio Shack of Sylva.

For more information about the New Century Scholars program, contact Kathy Posey at 339.4227 or k_posey[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu.

Mar 30, 2017

 Sylva Rotary recently gave SCC’s Student Success Campaign a gift of $500. Pictured is Eddie Wells, Sylva Rotary president (left) and Brett Woods, SCC’s foundation director.
Earlier this month, Sylva Rotary gave Southwestern Community College’s Student Success Campaign a gift of $500.


“We are grateful for the gift from the Sylva Rotary Club to support the Student Success Campaign,” said Brett Woods, SCC’s foundation director. “Scholarship awards from this fund have already helped numerous local students, like Dominic Caprita of Sylva and Temre Gillig of Franklin, begin to turn their dreams into realities.”


The goal of the SCC Foundation and the Student Success Campaign is to create a $1 million endowed Student Success Fund to help students in perpetuity.


“With some $865,000 already on hand, we are well on our way,” said Woods. “We are grateful to all of our donors who have graciously supported this vital initiative.”


For more information on how you might support the Student Success Campaign, please contact Woods via e-mail at b_woods[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu.

Jan 6, 2017

Carol (seated left) and Jack Hennessee (seated center) present a $15,000 check to Dr. Don Tomas (seated right), SCC president, to endow a scholarship on behalf of the W.C. and Stella Hennessee Foundation on Dec. 15 in Sylva. Standing behind them are Charles Wolfe (left), honorary member of the SCC Foundation’s board of directors, and Brett Woods, director of the SCC Foundation.
Continuing a long tradition of supporting healthcare in Jackson County, Jack and Carol Hennessee recently endowed a $15,000 scholarship at Southwestern Community College on behalf of the W.C. and Stella Hennessee Foundation.

The Hennessees made the donation on Dec. 15 to the SCC Foundation, which will administer the scholarship.

“I’ve known Jack and Carol for several years, and I know their desire to help people is genuine,” said Dr. Don Tomas, president of SCC. “We’re pleased they’ve decided to endow this scholarship through the SCC Foundation. Their gift will benefit our students for years to come.”

The principal of the donation will remain untouched in perpetuity while a portion of the earnings from the investment will be made available to support health sciences students at SCC.

SCC currently has 14 health sciences programs and is in the process of planning a new health sciences building that will allow the college to accept more health sciences students than ever.

Over the years, the Hennessee foundation donated more than $1 million to Harris Regional Hospital. The Hennessee foundation can only donate to non-profits, so the hospital was no longer an option for gifts after it became a for-profit institution.

Through SCC’s non-profit foundation, the Hennessees are still able to impact healthcare in the region.

“Jack and I want to help the students of Jackson County to have a brighter future,” Carol Hennessee said. “The goal of our foundation is to benefit the communities and people of Jackson County. When you support health sciences students at SCC, the long-term result is that we all benefit because these are the people who will take care of us at the doctor’s office and the hospital.”

To learn more about the different giving options available for helping students through the SCC Foundation, contact director Brett Woods at 828.339.4241 orb_woods[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu.

Jan 5, 2017

Travis Ashe (right), area manager for Pepsi-Cola of Whittier, presents a $1,000 check to Dr. Don Tomas, president of SCC. The money will go to the SCC Foundation’s Student Emergency Fund.
Up until 15 years ago, Pepsi-Cola of Whittier used to throw a holiday party for all its employees.


After Sept. 11, 2001, the employees decided they would rather donate the funding set aside for the party to a local charity. They’ve passed on the celebration every year since, and they gave $1,000 of the amount saved this year to the Southwestern Community College Foundation’s Student Emergency Fund.


“Our employees just decided there were better ways this money could be spent,” said Ronnie Bowers, sales manager for Pepsi-Cola of Whittier. “We’ve heard some of the stories about how SCC’s Student Emergency Fund has helped students continue their education, and we wanted to be a part of that.”


Established in 2014, the Student Emergency Fund helps deserving students who encounter unexpected financial emergencies so that they can remain at SCC and continue working toward their degrees, diplomas and/or certificates.


“Many of our students are trying to improve their situation in life, and it’s not easy,” said Dr. Don Tomas. “If their car battery fails or they have a tire blowout, they don’t have a budget in place for repairs. We don’t want these kinds of setbacks to keep students from completing their educational goals and becoming part of the workforce."


“That’s why this Student Emergency Fund is critical,” Dr. Tomas added. “Pepsi has been a longtime and consistent supporter of SCC and our students, and I am grateful to Travis and Pepsi for donating to this particular fund this year.”


Southwestern, which has been ranked among the Top 10 community colleges in the nation three times in the past decade, serves Jackson, Macon, Swain Counties and the Qualla Boundary.


For more information about SCC and the other programs it offers, visit www.southwesterncc.edu or call 828.339.4000.

Nov 18, 2016

A new scholarship has been endowed through the SCC Foundation to honor Jim and Shirley Beasley.
Over the final days of Jim Beasley’s life, family members took note of the kindness and caring shown by SCC students as they made their clinical rounds this past summer at Harris Regional Hospital.


“It seemed like every other person who came in his room was an SCC student,” recalled Jenny Holland, Beasley’s niece. “Whether it was for an X-ray, the ventilator, to draw blood or something else, the SCC students were so kind and so compassionate. Even if Uncle Jim wasn’t conscious, they would gently pat him and talk to him. You could just see they cared.”


To honor Jim and his wife Shirley – and to help future SCC health sciences students - the family has endowed the Jim and Shirley Beasley Health Sciences Endowed Scholarship Fund.


The principal will remain untouched in perpetuity while a portion of the earnings from the investment of the fund will be made available to support SCC health sciences students pursuing an associate or WNC RIBN (Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses) degree.


“We are pleased and very humbled that the family chose to honor Jim and Shirley Beasley in this way,” said Dr. Don Tomas, president of SCC. “It’s great to hear positive reports about how our health sciences students and graduates conduct themselves when they’re in a clinical setting, and I know so much of the credit for that goes to our faculty and staff.”


SCC currently has 14 health sciences programs and is in the process of planning a new health sciences building.


Once that building is completed, SCC will be able to accept more health sciences students than ever – so the new scholarship is particularly timely.


“Aunt Shirley and Uncle Jim helped a lot of people over the years,” Holland said. “We feel good about helping people with a scholarship in their names. When we help students in SCC’s health sciences programs, we feel like we’re helping each other because at some point we’ll all need help from medical professionals.


“Our family would like to thank everyone who donated to the scholarship in Uncle Jim’s memory,” Holland added.


To make a contribution to the Beasley scholarship, or to learn more about the different giving options available for helping students through the SCC Foundation, contact director Brett Woods at 828.339.4241 or b_woods[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu.

Nov 3, 2016

 Catch the Spirit of Appalachia cofounders present $4,000 toward their endowed scholarship with SCC. Pictured from left are: Doreyl Ammons Cain of Catch the Spirit, Dr. Don Tomas, president of SCC; Brett Woods, director of the SCC Foundation; and Amy Ammons Garza of Catch the Spirit.
The local non-profit heritage group, Catch the Spirit of Appalachia (CSA), has established a $15,000 endowed scholarship through the Southwestern Community College Foundation.


CSA gave an $11,000 gift for the scholarship in April and raised the remaining $4,000 at the group’s 10th annual fundraising dinner held on Sept. 27. Cofounders Doreyl Ammons Cain and Amy Ammons Garza presented the check to SCC President Dr. Don Tomas and SCC Foundation Director Brett Woods.


"We are honored to create this endowed scholarship with Catch the Spirit of Appalachia,” said Brett Woods, director of the SCC Foundation. “This is a wonderful opportunity to help students continue to preserve and honor the heritage of the mountains through their education at SCC.”


This scholarship was created by the CSA board of directors and founders to help SCC students preserve the Appalachian traditions of the area.


“The scholarship has also been established in memory of those who have been role models in our community: Elmer and Irene Hooper, Mary Jane Queen, Cannie Owen Ammons, Wayne Cobb, Paul Chancellor, Ethel Roper Welch, Gladys Dills Owenby and many others,” said cofounder Amy Ammons-Garza. “It is our hope that this CSA Endowed Scholarship through Southwestern Community College will provide a lasting remembrance of our heritage to our youth.”


When selecting recipients, priority will be given to SCC students studying arts and the environment.


“We are so grateful to Catch the Spirit of Appalachia for establishing this endowed scholarship with SCC,” said Dr. Don Tomas, president of SCC. “This scholarship will help students preserve Appalchian history through their studies at SCC for years to come.”


CSA was founded by Cain and Garza in 1989 to teach local children about mountain music, art and storytelling. CSA became a 501(c)3 nonprofit heritage organization in 1991.


For more information, contact SCC at 828.339.4000 or visit www.southwesterncc.edu.

Oct 7, 2016

Group photo of students inside the Burrell Building
SCC students from Jackson County who were honored during the SCC Foundation’s Scholarship luncheon on Sept. 20 were, front row, from left: Victoria Moody, Crystal Yanez of Cullowhee, Jutta Farrer of Whittier, Angel Davis of Sylva and Ashley Winters of Sylva. Second row: Laura McCoy of Sylva, Morgan Hawkins of Sylva, Kristina Frady of Sylva, Debra Cumbie of Dillsboro, Phil Maynor of Sylva and Cherokee Welch of Cullowhee. In back is Ricky Berry of Cullowhee.
SCC students from Macon County who were honored during the SCC Foundation’s Scholarship luncheon on Sept. 20 were, front row, from left: Paige Robinson of Franklin, Charlene Allbright of Otto, Sofia Sanchez-Santos of Franklin, Emily Kimsey of Franklin and Rebecca Haas of Franklin. Back row: Amy Rodoski of Franklin, Jesse Moore of Franklin, Deanna Isaacs of Franklin, Samantha Bryson of Franklin and Temre Gillig of Franklin.
More than 30 Southwestern Community College students and several donors were honored during the SCC Foundation’s Scholarship Luncheon on Tuesday, Sept. 20, at the college’s Jackson Campus.

Founding trustee W. Paul Holt, Jr., who helped establish the SCC Foundation in 1973, served as keynote speaker. While sprinkling in stories from over the years, he traced the college’s growth and emphasized the importance of scholarships.

Also addressing the crowd was Jesse Moore, a recipient of the Patricia M. Holt Endowed Scholarship and a member of the NASA high-altitude balloon team at SCC this past spring.

“This event was a great opportunity to recognize some of our finest students as well as the generous people who are making a college education possible for many who might not be able to attend SCC otherwise,” said Dr. Don Tomas, Southwestern’s president. “It’s heartwarming to see students meet the people who made their scholarships possible.”

Among those recognized at the event were Temre Gillig, Dominic Caprita and Megan Marsten – recipients of this year’s Student Success Scholarships.

The full-year, tuition-and-fees scholarships were made possible through the Student Success Campaign – the most ambitious fundraising effort in SCC’s history. The college aims to raise more than $1 million to to help more students than ever before. The campaign currently has more than $850,000 in the bank.

“We are making tremendous strides,” said Brett Woods, director of the SCC Foundation. “Overall this academic year, we were able to financially support 61 students. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough resources to help the other 165 deserving applicants this fall. That’s why the Student Success Campaign is crucial: We want to bridge the gap between scholarship need and availability.”

For more information about the SCC Foundation and the Student Success Campaign, contact Woods at b_woods[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu or 828.339.4241. You can also make a donation at www.southwesterncc.edu/give-now.

 
Students in SCC's Burrell building
SCC students from Swain County who were honored during the SCC Foundation’s Scholarship luncheon on Sept. 20 were, from left: Tara Workman of Bryson City, Sarah Gibson of Bryson City, Shayna Dickerson of Bryson City and Crystal Chotalia of Cherokee.
Photo of students in SCC's Burrell Building
Haywood County residents who were honored during the SCC Foundation’s Scholarship luncheon on Sept. 20 were, from left: Robert Adams of Clyde and Tracy Jones of Lake Junaluska.
Photo of SCC student at the Jackson Campus.
Johnathan Hendricks of Penrose was among the SCC students who were honored during the SCC Foundation’s Scholarship luncheon on Sept. 20 at the college’s Jackson Campus.
 
Photo of SCC student at the Jackson Campus
Kelsey Buckner of Candler was among the SCC students who were honored during the SCC Foundation’s Scholarship luncheon on Sept. 20 at the college’s Jackson Campus.

Sep 7, 2016

People dance at the gala as a bluegrass band plays in the background
Angie Noland (left), David Noland and Wanda Jones move to a bluegrass tune by the Darren Nicholson Band during the SCC Foundation’s Bluegrass, Blue Jeans & Bling gala on Aug. 13 at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort.
The finish line is coming into focus.

After raising more than $55,000 at last month’s Bluegrass, Blue Jeans & Bling gala, the Southwestern Community College Foundation is now on the home stretch in its “March to a Million” for the Student Success Campaign.

The campaign has surpassed the $850,000 mark in an effort to raise more than $1 million that will be primarily used to support student scholarships.

“We are getting closer by the day, and an event like this is a huge boost,” said Dr. Don Tomas, president of SCC. “Our gala was a complete success. The music was fantastic, the food was perfect, and everyone seemed to have a great time. The best part is it was all about creating more opportunities to help our students succeed.

“I want to especially thank Lambert Wilson and Wendy LeMay, our co-chairs for this event,” Dr. Tomas added. “They poured so much time and energy into making this event a success. Their efforts will have a positive impact on our students for years to come.”

Bluegrass for the gala was provided by the Darren Nicholson Band, and classics singer Steven Johannessen also performed. SCC students Stanley Kingsberry and Jesse Moore told the crowd of more than 225 how the college has impacted their lives.
 
Man plays mandolin and sings.
Darren Nicholson performs with his band during the SCC Foundation’s Bluegrass, Blue Jeans & Bling gala on Aug. 13 at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort.
Presenting sponsor for the gala was Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, which hosted the event for the second straight year and donated more than $10,000.

Dozens of area businesses and individuals donated silent auction items as well as wine bottles for the “Cork Pull” event.

“When you count the past two years together, we’ve raised more than $100,000 through the gala,” said Brett Woods, director of the SCC Foundation. “I am so grateful to all of our volunteers and to everyone who attended our gala. The spirit of generosity was infectious.”

The most ambitious fundraising effort in SCC history, the Student Success Campaign is an effort to bridge the gap between scholarship need and availability.

More than 170 academically and financially eligible students apply each year for scholarships through the SCC Foundation, but fewer than one-third of those receive assistance due to limited resources.

For more information on how to contribute to the Student Success Campaign, visit www.southwesterncc.edu/Foundation or contact Kathy Posey at k_posey[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu or 828.339.4227.

Jul 12, 2016

The Darren Nicholson Band performs at last year’s “Bluegrass, Blue Jeans and Bling” gala in Cherokee. This year’s gala, which supports student scholarships at SCC, will be held at 6 p.m. on Aug. 13 at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort.
Continuing the “March to a Million,” the Southwestern Community College Foundation will hold its second Bluegrass, Blue Jeans and Bling gala on Aug. 13 at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort.

The event, which starts at 6 p.m., will feature Grammy Award nominee and seven-time International Bluegrass Music Association Award winner Darren Nicholson and his band as well as classics sung by Steve Johannessen.

All money raised will go toward the Student Success Campaign, the most-ambitious fundraising effort in SCC’s history. With more than $800,000 in the bank, the SCC Foundation is closing in on its goal to raise $1 million that will primarily support student scholarships.

“This is all about our students,” said Dr. Don Tomas, president of SCC. “This will be a fun evening with amazing music, impressive silent auction items and great food. The best part is that everything we’re doing will benefit our students and make it possible for us to help more students than we’ve been able to help in the past.”

Sponsorship options include a $5,000 diamond-level table for eight that features front-row, center-stage seating, four bottles of wine, an assigned server and numerous keepsakes. Other table sponsorships range from $1,500 to $2,500. Individual tickets are $150.

The evening will also include a wine pull, in which each participant pays $25 to win wine bottles valued at $30 and up.

“Last year’s event was a tremendous success as we raised more than $51,000 for student scholarships,” said Brett Woods, director of the SCC Foundation. “We’re eager to add to our total again this year. Our committee has been working hard to secure some great new silent auction items, and the wine pull will be a fun addition this year.”

An effort to bridge the gap between scholarship need and availability, the Student Success Campaign yielded enough funds to award full-tuition scholarships last fall to Roger Davis of Otto and Hannah White of Webster.

The addition of the proceeds from last year’s gala means more are expected to be available this fall, though the student need remains great and is growing. More than 170 academically and financially eligible students apply each year for scholarships through the SCC Foundation, but fewer than one-third of those receive assistance due to limited resources.

“The reason I am involved with SCC Board of Trustees and the Gala is that I believe education is the key to the future for our young people,” said Lambert Wilson, who along with Wendy LeMay co-chairs the gala’s planning committee. He’s also served as a trustee at SCC since 2009.

To purchase tickets, or for more information about this year’s Gala, contact Kathy Posey at 828.339.4227 or k_posey[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu or visit www.southwesterncc.edu/gala.

Jun 9, 2016

Man sitting on a rock
Stanley Kingsberry of Whittier is the recipient of a Student Ambassador scholarship at Southwestern Community College. The SCC Foundation is holding its inaugural Give Day on June 23 to support the annual fund, which provides funding for scholarships like Kingsberry’s.
The difference between a college graduate and a college dropout could be something as simple as a broken laptop, a failed well pump or need for childcare.

It could also be a scholarship that provides the extra tuition a student might not otherwise be able to afford in a particular semester at Southwestern Community College.

That small but glaring gap between graduates and students unable to complete their degrees is why the SCC Foundation’s annual fund matters. Besides supporting foundation operations each academic year, the annual fund provides capital for multiple scholarships as well as the student emergency fund that helps students continue pursuing an education even after an unexpected financial crisis strikes. Faculty and staff excellence awards are also provided by this fund.

To replenish the annual fund, the SCC Foundation is holding its inaugural Give Day on June 23. Anyone interested in supporting the SCC Foundation and its mission of encouraging student success is welcome to donate online (www.southwesterncc.edu/Foundation) or in person at the SCC Jackson Campus.

 “There are so many ways the annual fund supports our students’ success,” said Dr. Tomas, president of SCC. “We are so grateful to all of our loyal donors who give to this fund every year, and we hope this Give Day will open doors for more people to support our annual fund.”

The annual fund allows the SCC Foundation to give “Student Ambassador” scholarships each year as well as a Student Support Services scholarship.
One of this year’s Student Ambassadors is Stanley Kingsberry, who owns a patent on his magnetic wrench invention and is working toward finding a way to manufacture the tools in SCC’s service area of Jackson, Macon, Swain Counties and the Qualla Boundary.

“I wish everyone in the community could see just how much support students receive while they’re attending SCC,” Kingsberry said. “I’m so grateful to everyone who’s given to the SCC Foundation, and I hope Give Day will be a tremendous success so that even more students like myself can get the assistance they need to complete their education here and find jobs out in the community.”

For more information about the SCC Foundation and Give Day, write to SCCGiveDay[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu.