An original group of faculty and staff who helped establish Truckee Meadows Community College in 1971 have now teamed up to donate more than $17,000 toward a new student scholarship.
The group includes 12 of the 49 founding staff members who are known as the "Steadies". Their name comes from the location of TMCC’s first campus in the Stead area, when the College was still part of Western Nevada Community College (WNCC). In September, they created a new endowed scholarship, which means that only the interest is spent each year. This will allow the scholarship to continue for future generations.
“The Steadies have helped to make the college what it is today – they envisioned how TMCC could grow with the community,” said Gretchen Alt Sawyer, Executive Director of the TMCC Foundation. “We are awed by their determination, grit and hard work.”
Kate Kirkpatrick, Director of Marketing and Communications at TMCC, agrees.
“In the early days, they were registering students for classes in person with paper and pencil out of the trunks of their cars,” she said. “They dreamed of one day starting a child care center and building a large new library. These are now flourishing centers, and there are so many more programs that have also been added.”
Pat Slavin, retired Chief of Staff, worked at TMCC for 37 years, retiring in 2014. She was a member of the committee who organized a reunion event for the Steadies in August. Other committee members were Linda Church, Kerri Swinney, Jeany Pontrelli, and Ray Embry. Some of the Steadies came from as far as Washington and Oregon to attend the two-day gathering and revisit TMCC’s campus. Rounds of golf and meals were part of the event. Kirkpatrick organized a tour of the Dandini campus.
The group toured the Dental Hygiene Clinic, new historical archives in the Elizabeth Sturm Library, culinary arts kitchen-classroom suite, and campus gardens. Jim New, Dean of Technical Sciences, gave a presentation about the workforce development program expansion, and renovation at TMCC’s Applied Technology Center. Lance Bowen, Dean of Sciences, described the new William N. Pennington Health Science Center which opened at Redfield this Fall Semester.
“The Steadies are amazing – some want to come back and get involved in volunteering on campus,” Sawyer said. “Pat Slavin assists in the archives already.”
TMCC staff and students were enthusiastic to meet the founding staff members.
“It was inspiring to see the look on their faces when they saw how much the College has grown up,” Kirkpatrick said. “This generous donation of $17,000 to start a brand new scholarship highlights the commitment of TMCC’s early staff members to students.”
For more information, please call the TMCC Foundation at 775-674-7648.