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Aug 9, 2017

Ladies and a man dance while a bluegrass band plays in the background.

Southwestern Community College’s Foundation will hold its annual “Bluegrass, Blue Jeans & Bling” gala on Sept. 16 at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort. Pictured are from left to right: Angie Noland, SCC college liaison – Macon Campus, David Noland and Wanda Jones dancing to a bluegrass tune at last year’s gala.

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.

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.
 

Jun 8, 2016

Photo of Pepsi representative presenting a check to SCC president
Travis Ashe (left) of Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company in Whittier presents a donation of $6,000 for the SCC Foundation to Dr. Don Tomas, SCC president.
To support the Student Success Campaign and New Century Scholars, Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company in Whittier donated a check for $6,000 to the Southwestern Community College Foundation.

Of that amount, $4,500 will go to the Student Success Campaign – the most-ambitious fundraising effort in SCC history.

The remaining $1,500 goes to New Century Scholars, which provides last-dollar tuition assistance and extra support such as dedicated advising to help deserving, high-potential students in Jackson, Macon and Swain Counties attend Southwestern Community College.

“One reason we support the SCC Foundation is because it’s local, and we know Southwestern helps the economy here in Western North Carolina,” said Ronnie Bowers, location sales manager for Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company in Whittier. “We want to be a part of that.”

The Student Success Campaign has surpassed the $800,000 mark on its “March to a Million” – an effort to bridge the gap between scholarship need and availability at SCC.

For the 2015-16 academic year, approximately 73 percent of students who were academically and financially eligible did not receive scholarships due to a lack of resources.

“Pepsi has been one of our most-loyal and generous donors over the years,” said Dr. Don Tomas, SCC’s president. “We are extremely grateful for their consistent support. So many of our students have been able to achieve success thanks to Pepsi’s generosity.”

For more information about the Student Success Campaign, New Century Scholars or other ways to support the SCC Foundation, contact Brett Woods, director, at 828.339.4241.

May 10, 2016

Doreyl Ammons Cain signs paperwork to establish a scholarship.​Doreyl Ammons Cain (seated, center) signs the papers to establish a scholarship at Southwestern Community College on behalf of “Catch the Spirit of Appalachia.”

Standing at right is Amy Ammons Garza, (standing at right), who along with Cain co-founded Catch the Spirit of Appalachia. Brett Woods, director of the SCC Foundation, is at left. Cain and Garza donated $11,000 on behalf of their organization and plan to complete the endowment with an additional $4,000 by April of 2017.

Once endowed, the scholarship will be used to support student tuition, books and supplies for selected students enrolled in a degree-seeking program or pursuing a college transfer degree.

Priority will be given to the study of the arts and environment, and preference will be given to candidates who’ve proven themselves to be academically deserving and with a demonstrated financial need. For info on how to donate to the fund, contact Woods at b_woods[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu or 828.339.4241.

Apr 29, 2016

Jerry Ollis (right), Sylva branch manager for Entegra Bank, presents a $25,000 donation for the SCC Foundation’s Student Success Campaign to, from left: Brett Woods, director of the SCC Foundation; Luke Hyde, chair for the SCC Foundation’s board of directors; and Dr. Don Tomas, president of SCC. The presentation was made during the Phase II: March to a Million launch on April 5 at SCC’s Jackson Campus.
 Even before launching “Phase II: March to a Million” on April 5, Southwestern Community College’s Student Success Campaign was well on its way to the seven-figure goal.

The most ambitious fundraising effort in the SCC Foundation’s history got a huge boost during the launch event when Jerry Ollis, Sylva branch manager for Entegra Bank, presented a $25,000 check to SCC officials.

The launch also included the unveiling of a large plaque that recognizes major donors to the Student Success Campaign, which is aimed at bridging the gap between scholarship availability and need at SCC.

 “There are no words to adequately express our gratitude to Entegra Bank for the generosity they’ve shown toward out students,” said Dr. Don Tomas, president of SCC. “I’m so pleased they want to invest in the future of our students. Student Success is the name of this campaign for a very simple reason; that’s what we are all about. We want to help more students succeed in Jackson, Macon, Swain Counties and the Qualla Boundary. Gifts like Entegra’s are making that vision a reality.”

Along with an earlier contribution of $33,333.33, Entegra has now given more than $58,000 to the campaign. The bank’s earlier gift was the largest single donation to the fundraising effort.

“We realize that the vast majority of graduates of SCC stay and work in Western North Carolina,” said Roger Plemens, Entegra Bank’s president and chief executive officer. “Having an educated, motivated workforce is key to our local economy. It’s great to see graduates obtain good paying jobs in their field of study. At Entegra Bank we have many employees who are graduates of SCC and many others that have taken courses that assist them in their job development. We see firsthand the quality of students coming from SCC.”
 
Charles Wolfe, Student Success Campaign chair, addresses the crowd during the Phase II: March to a Million launch event on April 5 at SCC’s Jackson Campus. In the background is Dr. Don Tomas, SCC president.
Phase I of the campaign was achieved in 2014 as SCC was able to fully leverage a federal challenge grant that matched the first $300,000 raised.

With donations made since then, including Entegra’s, the campaign now has more than $700,000 in the bank.

“I’m constantly impressed by the generous spirit of the people in Jackson, Macon, Swain Counties and the Qualla Boundary,” said Brett Woods, director of the SCC Foundation. “More and more, folks are appreciating the value of an SCC eduation. When you see how a college degree can change someone’s life, it’s only natural to want to make that opportunity available for even more people – and that is exactly what Entegra has done. They’ve stepped up and shown philanthropic leadership within our community, and we are grateful.”

For more information about the SCC Foundation and the Student Success Campaign, contact Woods at 828.339.4241 orb_woods[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu.