Pellissippi State Community College officials say State Sen. Doug Overbey has made the college a priority in his career as a lawmaker and on Oct. 13, the school made recognizing him for his work their priority.
President Allen Edwards hosted an information reception during “Doug Overbey Day” at the recently opened Blount County campus.
“He has been very supportive of the college from the time he was elected,” Edwards said of Overbey, who served four terms in the State House of Representatives for District 20 - Blount County before becoming a state senator.
“He understands our message very well, and he’s been so supportive in helping get the funding in place and doing his best to be sure community colleges are recognized for the their value to the community,” Edwards said.
The president said that one way that Overbey has shown his support for Pellissippi State during his time in Nashville was in how he helped keep the college’s request for funding a new Blount County campus on the state’s list of higher education capital projects. Pellissippi State opened the $22 million campus this fall.
“There was a critical point where we almost lost funding, and Doug was there on the spot to make sure it did not go further. That’s why we wanted to take a day and recognize him,” Edwards said.
About 20 people from the community dropped by for the informal reception and tour. During the tour, Overbey took time to speak to a class of students.
“I wanted to come here today to honor Doug,” Blount County Health Department director Micky Roberts said. “He’s been such a strong supporter of public health and of the Blount County Health Department. He’s always been tough but fair and enabled us to serve the people of Blount County.”
Overbey said he was surprised when Edwards called to tell him the college wanted to honor him for his work. “I was taken totally by surprise. I felt real honored for a couple of reasons. I have great respect for Allen Edwards. He’s a real advocate and a strong advocate for Pellissippi State and for the Blount County campus as well,” he said. “In addition, I know what a great job Pellissippi State does and how vital it is to our community and, ultimately, to our economic wellbeing because it increases people’s earning potential.”
Overbey represents District 8 in the State Senate, which includes Blount and Sevier counties. In November 2008, voters elected him to his first term as a state senator. He is a Maryville resident and Knoxville attorney.