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Tri County Technical College

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This release prepared by the Office of Public Relations and Marketing.
Rebecca Eidson, Director, 646-1507,
Lisa Garrett, Public Relations Associate, 646-1506,

Ellis Bradford and Clara Golay Named Philanthropists of the Year


(By Lisa Garrett)

PENDLETON --- Ellis E. Bradford and Clara W. Golay cherish the 15 years they spent in Pendleton and the relationships they fostered with the community and Tri-County Technical College.

2008 Philanthropists of the Year“They wanted to make a difference at Tri-County Technical College -- the institution that has done so much for the community where they lived,” said Tri-County Technical College President Ronnie L. Booth.   Since 2000, the Bradfords have given more than $115,800 cumulatively and are recognized on the College’s prestigious Wall of Honor as Benefactors of Honor.

The couple, who relocated to the Galloway Ridge retirement community in Pittsboro, North Carolina, received the College’s Philanthropists of the Year award at a November 20 meeting of its Foundation Board.  This award is the Foundation’s highest and most prestigious honor reserved for those who make a substantial contribution to the Foundation in support of the College’s programs and services.

 “I am honored to present this award,” said Dr. Booth.  “I appreciate their spirit and attitude of sharing.  I also appreciate their legacy.  In a way they are in the business of people making.  They saw the vital impact the College makes on the community, and they help to make people’s lives better through their gifts.  Thanks to them for making a difference.”

The Bradfords have continued to give generously each year, impacting virtually every area of the College.  In addition to their numerous unrestricted gifts, they have made significant contributions towards an endowment that supports professional development of Tri-County’s faculty and staff, the Gateway to College program, the purchase of simulator equipment for health education programs and an endowment to support the priority needs of the College.  They also established a fund to rescue students who, often at the last minute, realize they cannot meet certain expenses. 

Originally from Ithaca, New York, Mr. Bradford was a banker for Citibank for nearly 37 years.  He spent part of his career in Venezuela, France, Switzerland and Liberia before returning to New York to work on Wall Street.  Clara Golay also traveled extensively outside of the United States, including the Philippines, Malaysia and London.

After losing their spouses in 1990, they were married the 1991.  Golay has three sons and one daughter and nine grandchildren. Bradford has one daughter, two sons and four grandchildren.  They chose to build a home in Pendleton’s Liberty Hall Drive to be close to family. 

“The Bradfords are two of my favorite people,” said good friend Suzanne Morse, who also serves on the College’s Foundation Board.   “They are generous and gracious and friendly.  They have varied and rich experiences and have something in common with everyone they meet.  They are a couple who live life to the fullest.” 

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