Pellissippi State names new campus lobby, scholarship for McCord

Standing in the lobby of the new Pellissippi State Community College named in honor of Keith McCord are, from left, Peggy McCord, Debbie and Jerome Moon and Keith McCord. Jerome Moon is the finance chair for the Pellissippi State Foundation.

Standing in the lobby of the new Pellissippi State Community College named in honor of Keith McCord are, from left, Peggy McCord, Debbie and Jerome Moon and Keith McCord. Jerome Moon is the finance chair for the Pellissippi State Foundation.

It’s not Knoxville attorney and Maryville resident Keith McCord’s way to talk about himself, but students at Pellissippi State Community College’s new Blount County Campus will nonetheless know his name come fall semester.

When the campus opens for classes in August, the lobby will bear his name, as will a scholarship: the William “Keith” McCord Scholarship Fund. The student scholarship is meant to help a Blount County resident. Keith McCord and his wife, Peggy, raised their family and still live in Blount County.

Jerome Moon, finance committee chair for the Pellissippi State Foundation, and Peggy McCord, also a Foundation board member, have led the fundraising efforts for the Keith McCord endowment, which now stands at $340,000.

“There should be more contributions to be made before the fall opening of the Blount County campus,” Moon said. The $22 million state-of-the-art facility is located at 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway.

In East Tennessee, Keith McCord is known widely for his work as a board member for the Tennessee Board of Regents. The board sets policy for six universities, 26 technology centers and 13 community colleges, including Pellissippi State. Two governors appointed him to the Board of Regents for a total of 12 years, from 1992 to 2004.

At Pellissippi State, Keith McCord is known for his longtime generosity and support. Beginning when he was a regent board member, he worked hard to create interest in and support for construction of a new Blount County campus. Pellissippi State has had an educational presence in Blount County since 1985. Since 1992, the college’s Blount County Center has made its home in the old Bungalow Elementary School.

“Keith was instrumental in making the new campus a reality,” said Peggy Wilson, vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation. “Beyond that, he has made numerous calls for funds. He has participated in fundraising events, and he and Peggy have hosted multiple barbecues and other activities on behalf of the college at the family farm.”

Wilson said McCord also fought for Pellissippi State to be approved to offer a nursing program, which was approved in September by the Department of Health’s Board of Nursing. The school launches the program this fall with the first class at the Blount County campus. Courses also will be offered at the Magnolia Avenue Campus in Knoxville.

Next week in Blount Today: A conversation with and profile of Keith McCord.

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