Press Releases
Tri County Technical College

Anderson ""Oconee ""Pickens

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

$100,000 Gift from Oconee Medical Center Announced At Kick off of Tri-County Technical College’s Major Gifts Campaign


(By Lisa Garrett)

PENDLETON --- A $100,000 gift from Oconee Medical Center was announced during the kick-off of Tri-County Technical College’s first-ever major gifts campaign.
This lead gift announcement was made at the College’ annual report luncheon where President Ronnie Booth outlined the College’s Golden Opportunities Capital Campaign.  The College set a goal of $9 million over a five-year period and developed four initiatives to address community demands.  They include:  expanding educational opportunities; improving technology and equipment; enhancing opportunities for student success; and promoting economic and community development. 
Oconee Medical Center designated its funds to create an endowment for nursing excellence, which will support nursing faculty professional development activities, lab equipment for the program and other priority needs. 
“We could not fulfill our mission without the support and partnership of Tri-County Technical College, which plays such a vital role in preparing students to work in healthcare,” said Jeanne Ward, president and CEO of Oconee Medical Center.  “With this gift, we are investing in the college, but also in future generations of nurses who will serve the people of this community for years to come.”
“We are grateful that Oconee Medical Center has honored Tri-County with this major gift.  The hospital joins a group of community members, philanthropists and organizations who all share a common belief in our College," said John Lummus, vice president for Economic and Institutional Advancement.  "This gift will significantly impact the professional development of our nursing faculty.”
The College has a longstanding relationship with Oconee Medical Center and continues its partnership through various ongoing alliances. 

Six years ago, a $1.2 million grant from the Duke Endowment enabled four area hospitals (AnMed Health, Cannon Memorial Hospital, Oconee Medical Center, and Palmetto Health Baptist – Easley) to join forces with Clemson University and Tri-County to address the future shortage of nurses in the workplace and nursing faculty within Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens counties. 
The grant also allowed Tri-County to add more nursing faculty members which allowed the launch of a January admission for the associate degree Nursing program, giving students more educational flexibility.
The cooperative arrangement with the hospitals in Anderson, Pickens and Oconee counties allows R.N. students to continue to work full-time while pursuing advanced nursing educational degrees.

“In the past, there were barriers, such as time constraints, finances and a need for personalized advising in their coursework.  Today, students now have a vision and know they can succeed and gain advanced degrees through the LPN to Professor initiative and the support of our area hospitals,” said Dr. Lynn Lewis, dean of the Health Education Division.  She credits the program with allowing nurses to move seamlessly through each scope of the practice level (RN, BSN, master’s) while staying in the workforce.  “It truly maximizes a person’s ability to envision and achieve success in nursing education,” she added.  

Three years ago, Tri-County partnered with Oconee Medical Center and the Oconee County School District to develop a collaborative agreement to expand nursing opportunities for Oconee County high school students.  The result is a seamless pipeline for high school students to take courses in the health profession and then articulate to Tri-County.  Evening classes are also offered for those who work full-time.

In 2007, administrators and educators from Tri-County and the Oconee County School District joined representatives from Oconee Medical Center, Oconee County Council, and legislators and community members to dedicate the Tri-County Technical College Oconee Campus at the Hamilton Career Center.

“There is a level of trust and respect in our partnership with Oconee Medical Center,” said Dr. Lewis.  “The hospital looks to Tri-County to supply entry-level nurses.  Thanks to the hospitals and Clemson, the LPN to Professor initiative allows persons to advance their educational levels while in the workplace.  It’s important for the economy, and it gives students the opportunity to be successful in pursuing their education.  Many of them remain in their community to work following graduation.”
For more information, contact John Lummus, vice president for Economic and Institutional Advancement, at 646-1548 or