Pellissippi State donors receive philanthropy award

Steve and Ruth West of Maryville have been selected to receive the 2008 Tennessee Board of Regents’ Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy.

Nominated by Pellissippi State Technical Community College, the couple are longtime supporters of the college. The family has owned West Chevrolet in Alcoa for 75 years.

“The Wests epitomize the goal of the Tennessee Board of Regents system of developing relationships within the community to further the key mission of serving our students,” said Allen G. Edwards, president of Pellissippi State. “The college wouldn’t be where it is today without their generosity and advocacy for more than two decades.”

Steve West, a member of the Economic Development Board of Blount County for many years, currently co-chairs Pellissippi State’s $6 million major gifts campaign, Connecting Communities, Changing Lives.

“Thanks to Steve’s leadership, we have secured more than $1.1 million to date in Blount County,” Edwards said. “He is extremely knowledgeable about the college and was also instrumental in the selection of the new site of the future Blount County Campus.

Ruth West has been a member of the Pellissippi State Foundation’s Board of Trustees and, through her association with several organizations, has helped to secure additional funds for the college.

Together, the Wests have supported educational programming for Pellissippi State in Knox and Blount counties in numerous ways, including:

• Making a lead gift to support the campaign during its “silent” phase.

• Creating two fully endowed scholarships.

• Co-chairing “Artique,” a successful art and antique fund-raising event for the college.

• Personally contacting prospective donors and friends of the college to request private support.

• Appearing in marketing efforts to promote the importance of the college’s programs and its presence in the community.

“We are grateful that Steve and Ruth West have been a part of the Pellissippi State family for so many years,” Edwards said.

“They understand the importance of higher education in Tennessee and the role of Pellissippi State in contributing to the quality of life and economic future of this region. Giving back is an essential component to their personal and business philosophies.”

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