TN Board Of Regents Honors Johnson, CSCC Honors Culbreth

Friday, November 15, 2019
Pictured, from left, are Dr. Spencer Culbreth, Mrs. Ann Culbreth, Cleveland State Community College President Dr. Bill Seymour and Cleveland State Foundation Executive Director Christa Mannarino
Pictured, from left, are Dr. Spencer Culbreth, Mrs. Ann Culbreth, Cleveland State Community College President Dr. Bill Seymour and Cleveland State Foundation Executive Director Christa Mannarino

The Tennessee Board of Regents presented the family of George R. Johnson with the 2019 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy during the 2019 Cleveland State Community College Foundation Donor Appreciation Dinner at the Cleveland Country Club in Cleveland on Nov. 7.

Cris Perkins, assistant vice-chancellor for strategic advancement with the Tennessee Board of Regents, presented the award to the Johnson family at the event. Mr. Johnson, longtime restaurant entrepreneur who established Franco Incorporated, passed away in 1996.

However, through his family and his foundation, his legacy lives on. 

“The legacy of George R. Johnson being lived out through the Family Foundation continues to serve as an inspiration to each of us,” said Mr. Perkins. “It is truly inspiring to hear how this family’s support of Cleveland State Community College continues to express Mr. Johnson’s belief in the power of education.”

Mr. Johnson served as a Cleveland State Community College Foundation board member from 1979 through 1996. Mr. Johnson believed strongly that access to education was key to creating better lives and building stronger communities. After his passing in 1996, Mr. Johnson’s family established the George R. Johnson Foundation which has continued to serve in the same way Mr. Johnson did for decades here in the Tennessee Valley. Cleveland State Community College was one institution which the Johnson Foundation has continued to impact for so many years. 

Among the gifts donated to Cleveland State, $1.5 million was given to the renovation of the Community Services Building, now named the George R. Johnson Cultural Heritage Center, on the Cleveland State campus in Cleveland. Most recently, the Johnson Foundation contributed $250,000 toward the match needed to acquire $25 million in capital funding from the State of Tennessee to help build the new Health and Science Center set to open in 2021. The gift will also support the renovation of the Mary T. Barker Humanities Building.

“Mr. Johnson’s story is so powerful and truly is part of the foundation of so much of what gets done at Cleveland State,” said Cleveland State Community College President Dr. Bill Seymour. “We are so proud that the state has honored him, his family, and his foundation in this way. It’s truly a well-deserved honor.” 

A United States Navy veteran who graduated from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor of science in industrial management, Mr. Johnson would go on to own and operate more than 40 Hardee’s Restaurants across Tennessee and Northwest Georgia.

Another long-time friend and member of the Cleveland State Community College family was honored at the annual Cleveland State Community College Foundation Donor Appreciation Dinner. The CSCC Foundation has established “The Culbreth Award” in recognition of the support of Dr. Spencer Culbreth and his wife, Ann. 

To further honor their commitment, and to inspire others to give, the Culbreth Society has been established to recognize a donor’s commitment to make a gift to the CSCC Foundation each year. “The Culbreth’s have made nearly 500 gifts to the college over the past 34 years,” said Cleveland State Community College Foundation Executive Director Christa Mannarino. “Now, Dr. Culbreth retired more than a decade ago, but they still contribute to the foundation and the college.”

Dr. Culbreth, a former CSCC associate professor of history, dean of humanities and social sciences, and vice president for academic affairs from 1971 to 2008, was recognized for faithful and consistent support of the college. “When those who serve our students day in and day out also make a decision to donate to their cause, it really helps make the mission of the college shine brightly,” added Ms. Mannarino.

For 48 years, The Cleveland State Community College Foundation has served as a separate not-for-profit entity to raise and manage funds given to meet the strategic needs of Cleveland State Community College. Currently serving on the CSCC Foundation board of trustees are Gary Fuller, chair; Mike Griffin, vice-chair; Ann McCoin, secretary; and Veronica Fox, treasurer.

Registration is now underway for all CSCC classes on-campus and online for Spring 2020. For more information on the event, contact CSCC’s Director of Communications and Marketing Don Foley at 423-473-2341 or dfoley@clevelandstatecc.edu.

Pictured, from left, are Cris Perkins, Janice Johnson Wilson, Dr. Bill Seymour and George R. Johnson Family Foundation Board Members Julia Scoggins, Dale Scoggins, Amber Scoggins and Brad Scoggins
Pictured, from left, are Cris Perkins, Janice Johnson Wilson, Dr. Bill Seymour and George R. Johnson Family Foundation Board Members Julia Scoggins, Dale Scoggins, Amber Scoggins and Brad Scoggins

Arnold Elementary Sings On Lee’s Campus

Lee University’s Cross Releases New Book

Despite Disappointment And Disillusionment, UTC's Marshall Cooper Powers His Way To Graduation


Lee University welcomed carolers from Arnold Elementary School choir as part of the B.E.S.T. Partners program on Friday. The elementary students, led by Lee alumna Siema Bailey Swartzel, are ... (click for more)

Dr. Terry Cross, dean of the School of Religion and distinguished professor of systematic theology at Lee University, recently completed his book “The People of God’s Presence: An Introduction ... (click for more)

If you had to pick just one word to describe the way Marshall Cooper might be feeling on commencement day, that word could be “vindicated.” Or maybe “validated.” As someone figuratively ... (click for more)


Student Scene

Arnold Elementary Sings On Lee’s Campus

Lee University welcomed carolers from Arnold Elementary School choir as part of the B.E.S.T. Partners program on Friday. The elementary students, led by Lee alumna Siema Bailey Swartzel, are shown here performing Christmas carols in the Deacon Jones Dining Hall during the Lee student, staff, and faculty lunch break. Lunch was provided for the elementary students, courtesy ... (click for more)

Lee University’s Cross Releases New Book

Dr. Terry Cross, dean of the School of Religion and distinguished professor of systematic theology at Lee University, recently completed his book “The People of God’s Presence: An Introduction to Ecclesiology,” which was published by Baker Academic Press. “‘The People of God's Presence’ is a fresh and exciting proposal of a rigorous theology of the church that seeks to witness ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Suspect In Bayberry Apartments Murder Taken Into Custody In Dramatic Fashion In Courtroom; Police Give Details Of Shooting

A man who was called a suspect in murders on Sunday night at the Bayberry Apartments was taken into custody in dramatic fashion in a courtroom at the Courts Building on Thursday morning. Later in the morning, Chattanooga Police said Mark Caslin, 26, has been charged in the slayings. Police said, "During the preliminary investigation, Chattanooga Police Department officers ... (click for more)

Attorney For Janet Hinds To Seek Change Of Venue; Trial May Be In Late Summer

An attorney for the Chattanooga woman who allegedly ran over and killed law enforcement officer Nicholas Galinger said he will ask a change of venue for her. Janet Hinds, 55, will be back in court in a couple of months. She is to have her trial date decided on Feb. 3. A trial date sometime in late summer was hinted at by defense attorney Ben McGowan. Other pre-trial hearings ... (click for more)

Opinion

Don't Stem The Tide Of Refugees In Tennessee

The Trump Administration has released a new executive order that could change the way that the refugee resettlement program is run in the United States. The first - and most shocking - change that is being implemented is the huge drop in refugees being allowed in the country. For the past decade, on average, around 80,000 to 90,000 refugees have been admitted per year. According ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: So Long ‘Til Next Time

There is a famous class that I’ve heard about years at Sewanee, one that is eagerly anticipated in the theology halls of the Episcopal seminary, where those hopeful of becoming priests must come to grips with one of life’s most daunting realities. Through the years I’ve talked to several of my friends who deeply appreciated the lessons because men and women of faith are each forced ... (click for more)