The Pellissippi Experience You Helped Create

by Chris Botsis

Some may wonder how a community college raises money to begin new initiatives or enhance existing ones. But funding for Pellissippi State comes from the community almost as much as it comes from the state government.

While Pellissippi is a state institution, only 51 percent of its annual funding can actually be attributed to state appropriations.

So, where do the rest of the funding dollars come from? “They come from generous donations by members of the community itself,” said Rick Rushing, treasurer of Pellissippi’s Board of Trustees. Because only around half of the funding costs are paid by the state, fundraising campaigns and personal donations have been essential in helping Pellissippi expand over the years.

A decrease in donations was expected with the rough economic times, but Rushing says the college has been just fine despite this. “Largely thanks to the Major Gifts Campaign from a few years back, we’ve managed to stay on track financially without too many problems.” The aforementioned fundraising campaign proved to be the largest in the 34-year history of Pellissippi State, raising around $7 million.

Rushing offered his gratitude. “The fact of the matter is, without the success of that campaign, we wouldn’t have been able to maintain our steady rate of growth from only smaller donations since then. We are very grateful for the generosity the community has shown us. Donations help us afford new equipment, grant more scholarships and pave the way to a better school and a better education for students.”

Anyone can donate to Pellissippi State simply by going to For more information on Pellissippi’s fundraising efforts, visit Pellissippi State Foundation’s page at

Friday, November 15th, 2013

The Importance of Community in a Community College

by Chris Botsis

Pellissippi State Community College’s future plans for capital improvements go beyond the realm of just the educational.

President Anthony Wise said that encouraging more community interaction was an important part of Pellissipi’s expansion. “We’ve really tried to focus on doing little things to help the students and staff feel a stronger sense of community. This includes added space for students to gather and socialize, plans to make the campus grounds and facilities more attractive, and added benches and recreation areas on all Pellissippi campuses.”

The plans are detailed in Pellissippi’s multi-phased master plan document. The master plan expounds upon every facet of the ongoing expansion process, from specific additions or improvements of campus buildings themselves to the financial costs of all such improvements, and the purpose each of these additions will serve.

“Of course,” said Wise, “the end goal is an educational one. We simply believe that these improvements will aid a great deal in providing students a friendlier, more convenient, and more enjoyable environment to learn in. Our work on the Strawberry Plains campus is already becoming a testament to this.”

Mike North, dean of the recently added Strawberry Plains campus, said the main goal of the plan on his end was to “help speed up growth of the new campus so students can be guaranteed the same exceptional level of education as expected with all other Pellissippi facilities. In just one year, we feel that we’ve accomplished a great deal and made our campus one of Pellissipi’s finest and most advanced, but we’re still new and have a lot of work to do. Nevertheless, all Pellissippi State leaders stand firm in our belief that the community is stronger than ever. “

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Pellissippi president looks forward to master plan

by Nicole Hedger

Pellissippi State’s proposed future plans offer more than just additional educational opportunities.

President Anthony Wise said one of the things he is most looking forward to about Pellissippi’s master plan is that “not only does it focus on trying to create classroom and office space, but also space for students to gather both in the buildings and out in the courtyard.”

Wise said the main focus of the proposed new facilities is “to make sure we continue to provide the support for students in order to be successful academically and to help them achieve their goals.” Along with this goal he accented his desire to serve students by adding a series of quads and places for students to gather outside of the classroom.

The first building on the master plan will teaching labs and faculty offices to “help absorb some of the growth that has taken place over the course of the last decade,” said Wise.  With these improvements he said he desired not only  “to make the campus blend in with the community, but also make it attractive for students.”


Sunday, March 24th, 2013