Category Archives: Donor

Pellissippi State awarded $50,000 by DENSO for automated manufacturing

Pellissippi State officials accept a donation of $50,000 from DENSO Wednesday, August 5. The donation will fund state-of-the-art equipment for the Engineering Technology degree program’s Automated Industrial Systems concentration. Pictured, from left, are Holly Burkett, dean of Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus; Emilie Denson, section leader of Human Resources for DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee; Melissa Smith, program manager of Community Affairs for DENSO North America Foundation; Ted Lewis, Pellissippi State's vice president of Academic Affairs; and Teri Brahams, executive director of Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services.
Pellissippi State officials accept a donation of $50,000 from DENSO Wednesday, August 5. The donation will fund state-of-the-art equipment for the Engineering Technology degree program’s Automated Industrial Systems concentration. Pictured, from left, are Holly Burkett, dean of Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus; Emilie Denson, section leader of Human Resources for DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee; Melissa Smith, program manager of Community Affairs for DENSO North America Foundation; Ted Lewis, Pellissippi State’s vice president of Academic Affairs; and Teri Brahams, executive director of Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services.

Automation is at the technological cutting edge of manufacturing — and Pellissippi State Community College is working with partners like DENSO Manufacturing to ensure that the college’s Automated Industrial Systems graduates are well prepared to enter the workforce.

“No question, partnerships like these are what we’re looking for in Drive to 55,” said Mike Krause, executive director of the state’s Tennessee Promise and Drive to 55 initiatives. “This initiative isn’t just about getting students in school but encouraging them to graduate and then join the workforce. That’s what it’s all about.”

The DENSO North America Foundation has awarded Pellissippi State a $50,000 grant to purchase state-of-the-art equipment for the Engineering Technology degree program’s Automated Industrial Systems concentration. The concentration prepares students to operate automated manufacturing equipment, including the programmable controller training systems, robotics and motor training equipment that are now the industry standard in manufacturing settings.

DENSO and Pellissippi State representatives gathered for a ceremonial check presentation Wednesday morning, Aug. 5, at the college’s Blount County Campus.

 “In order for students to be ready to go to work at the most advanced levels of manufacturing, we must continue to integrate newer technology into our programs,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president. “We appreciate DENSO’s support in helping us achieve those goals.”

“Manufacturing is now high-tech. I don’t know of any manufacturing job that doesn’t include automation,” said Margaret Ann Jeffries, dean of Engineering and Media Technologies.

DENSO is a longtime supporter of Pellissippi State. Awards from the international automotive supplier during the past decade have included two grants that have helped the college build its Automated Industrial Systems concentration. The concentration was launched in 2013.

“In a global economy, DENSO is continually investing in ways to improve our competitiveness through highly skilled employees and advanced equipment,” said Mike Brackett, DENSO North America Foundation board member and senior vice president of Corporate Services at DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee. “This donation represents an investment in the future of our region, as well as in the advanced technology needed by our customers in the automotive industry.”

For more information about Automated Industrial Systems or other academic offerings at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu.

NHC donation funds Pellissippi State nursing equipment

Pellissippi State Community College officials accepted a donation of $10,000 from NHC’s East Tennessee facilities during a brief ceremony Friday, June 12. The donation will fund laboratory simulation equipment for the college’s nursing program. Pictured, from left, are NHC vice president Ray Blevins, Pellissippi State professor More Herington, NHC Farragut director Karla Lane, Pellissippi State vice president of College Advancement Peggy Wilson and President L. Anthony Wise Jr., with Jeff Tambornini, Keith McCord and Brad Shuford.
Pellissippi State Community College officials accepted a donation of $10,000 from NHC’s East Tennessee facilities during a brief ceremony Friday, June 12. The donation will fund laboratory simulation equipment for the college’s nursing program. Pictured, from left, are NHC vice president Ray Blevins, Pellissippi State professor More Herington, NHC Farragut director Karla Lane, Pellissippi State vice president of College Advancement Peggy Wilson and President L. Anthony Wise Jr., with Jeff Tambornini, Keith McCord and Brad Shuford.

A $10,000 donation to the Pellissippi State Community College Foundation by local affiliates of the National HealthCare Corporation is earmarked for the purchase of state-of-the-art teaching equipment for the college’s Nursing degree program.

The equipment includes a bed with a headwall containing electronic patient monitors and is to be used in the simulation lab at the Strawberry Plains Campus.

The donation was presented to the Pellissippi State Foundation by Ray Blevins, senior regional vice president of the NHC, Eastern Region, June 12. L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president, and Peggy Wilson, executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation and vice president of College Advancement, accepted the check. The Foundation works on the college’s behalf to provide student scholarships and emergency loans, as well as to improve facilities and secure new equipment.

“The Nursing department is very grateful for NHC’s support,” said Lisa Stamm, dean of the program at Pellissippi State. “We currently have students completing clinical rotations at NHC Farragut, and we appreciate the many opportunities NHC continues to provide for our students, in addition to this gracious gift.”

The donation was made by NHC Farragut, NHC Fort Sanders, NHC Knoxville, Holston Health and Rehabilitation Center, and NHC Oak Ridge. NHC affiliates operate long-term health-care centers, as well as home-care programs, independent living centers and assisted living communities throughout the country.

Pellissippi State’s Nursing degree program began in 2010 and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Each of the college’s five campuses in Knox and Blount counties offers pre-nursing courses, and the Nursing program is offered at the Blount County, Magnolia Avenue, and Strawberry Plains campuses.

The program runs two years, and students graduate with an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree. They are then prepared to take the national licensure exam to become a registered nurse.

Pellissippi State also offers a fast-track degree option through the Bridge to Registered Nurse program that allows licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and paramedics to enter nursing school following the successful completion of one summer transitional course. The college partners with other schools to offer the RN to BSN path for students interested in going on for a bachelor’s degree.

To learn more about the college’s Nursing program, visit www.pstcc.edu/nursing or call (865) 981-5353. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

To find out more about the Pellissippi State Foundation, including opportunities to give, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528.

Pellissippi State, Board of Regents recognize Clayton family for support

Row of 5 people, 2 holding awards
Pellissippi State Community College and Tennessee Board of Regents presented the Clayton Family Foundation and Clayton Homes with the Regents Award for Excellence in Philanthropy at a legislative breakfast Friday, Feb. 9. Pictured, from left, are TBR Chancellor John Morgan, Clayton Homes vice president of corporate services David Jordan, Jim Clayton of Clayton Family Foundation and Clayton Bank and Trust, TBR board member Danni Varlan and Pellissippi State president L. Anthony Wise Jr.

Pellissippi State Community College and the Tennessee Board of Regents recognized the Clayton Family Foundation and Clayton Homes for their support of higher education at a state legislative breakfast in Knoxville Friday, Feb. 6.

Danni Varlan, a TBR board member, presented the Regents Award for Excellence in Philanthropy to James L. Clayton of the Clayton Family Foundation and Kevin Clayton of Clayton Homes. TBR is the governing body for Pellissippi State and all of the state’s other community colleges.

“Clayton Homes and the Clayton Family Foundation truly epitomize the spirit of the Regents Award,” Varlan said. “Their contributions to numerous institutions in East Tennessee have enriched the fabric of our community. The Clayton foundations together have awarded over $40 million to hundreds of charitable organizations, giving back to the generations to come.”

A $1 million donation to the Pellissippi State Foundation from the Clayton Family Foundation and Clayton Homes supported two major projects: the Performing Arts Center and the Blount County Campus. The gift to the Performing Arts Center in 2008 resulted in the 500-seat facility’s renaming to the Clayton Performing Arts Center. The donation to the Blount County Campus, which opened in 2010, went for the purchase of equipment and furniture.

“Support from the Clayton family has been so much more than bricks and mortar,” Varlan said. The Claytons’ philanthropy and generosity have benefited various programs, campaigns, and funds, including Music scholarships, The Arts at Pellissippi State, art and cultural program funds, the Student Emergency Loan fund, and the Greatest Need fund for students, among others.

To find out more about the Pellissippi State Foundation, including opportunities to give, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528.

Pellissippi State dedicates Jenny and Randy Boyd Building

four people standing in front of building

In recognition of outstanding support by Randy and Jenny Boyd of higher education opportunities in this area, Pellissippi State Community College has dedicated its Strawberry Plains Campus building in the couple’s honor.

The Jenny and Randy Boyd Building was dedicated today, May 9.

“We are naming this building in recognition of Jenny and Randy Boyd for their support of Pellissippi State Community College and their dedication to increased access and opportunities for higher education in East Tennessee,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State’s president.

In 2012, the Boyds donated $1 million to the Pellissippi State Foundation toward the purchase of the Strawberry Plains Campus. The campus, which is located at 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike, began offering classes in fall 2012.

“If we fail to give our children the opportunity to get the additional education and training they will need, we have failed them,” Randy Boyd said. “Our community colleges will see the majority of the growth in degrees in the next decade, and we are proud that one of the best in the country serves our community: Pellissippi State.

“Making college convenient and accessible is critical, and this new campus at Strawberry Plains will do that for East and South Knox county and neighboring counties. We’re happy to be able to help Pellissippi State fulfill its mission and that of our state with this new campus.”

Randy Boyd was Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s special advisor for higher education in 2013. In 2009, he helped start tnAchieves, which is a last-dollar scholarship and mentoring program for college students.

He also is a proponent of the governor’s “Drive to 55” campaign. The campaign’s goal is to increase the percentage of Tennesseans with college degrees or certificates to 55 percent by 2025.

Randy Boyd is founder, chairman and CEO of Radio Systems Corporation, maker of the PetSafe and SportDOG brands. He started the Knoxville-based company in 1991.

For more information about Pellissippi State or its campuses, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State honors couple on National Philanthropy Day

Group of older adults standing in a row, holding a framed award
Pellissippi State Community College honored longtime supporters Joe and Judy Johnson at a National Philanthropy Day celebration by the Great Smoky Mountain Chapter of the Associate of Fundraising Professionals in November. From left are Peggy Wilson, vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation; Joe and Judy Johnson; and L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president.

Pellissippi State Community College and the Pellissippi State Foundation honored Joe and Judy Johnson at a National Philanthropy Day celebration Nov. 14.

Joe and Judy Johnson are longtime supporters of Pellissippi State. Joe was chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees from 2011 to 2013, and the couple supports an endowed scholarship for Music students named in honor of Mary Costa.

“The Johnsons truly ‘walk the talk’ through their involvement with their church, higher education and other community organizations,” said Peggy Wilson, vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation.

“We give not only to have the joy of giving but also to help our fellow man,” the Johnsons said.

Joe and Judy were honored during a luncheon of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Great Smoky Mountain Chapter (www.afpknoxville.afpnet.org), Nov. 14 at Cherokee Country Club. Other East Tennessee organizations and companies also recognized volunteers and fundraisers at the event.

For more information about the Pellissippi State Foundation and Pellissippi State giving opportunities, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528.

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Pellissippi State Community College is a member of Tennessee’s Community Colleges. Tennessee’s Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associates degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at www.tncommunitycolleges.org.

DENSO gift boosts Pellissippi State Engineering Technology program

The DENSO North America Foundation has presented the Pellissippi State Foundation with a $50,000 donation for new equipment and technology that enhances Pellissippi State Community College’s Engineering Technology degree program.

Providing students with the equipment and technology that they will use upon graduation is a key priority at Pellissippi State.

“Pellissippi State and DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee have collaborated since 1992,” Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. said. “This partnership has included training programs for DENSO employees, programmatic and curriculum recommendations for our academic programs, and donations from DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee and the DENSO North America Foundation.”

DENSO’s gift pays for Mechatronics Training Systems, also called MecLabs, and thermography equipment for Engineering Technology, as well as for workforce training and STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math—awareness.

Students enrolled in Engineering Technology and participants in Business and Community Services training will benefit from the new equipment and technology. Knox County and Blount County students will also be introduced to the new MecLabs.

“This equipment will be used to generate interest at middle and high schools by providing demonstrations and hands-on activities for students with the goal of encouraging potential careers paths involving science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Wise.

To learn more about giving opportunities, email foundation@pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6528. For more information on Engineering Technology and other academic offerings, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State: Randy Boyd honored with statewide philanthropy award

Photo of two men in suits holding a framed photo.
Randy Boyd (L) and Dr. Anthony Wise, Jr. (R)

Randy Boyd, president and CEO of PetSafe, has been honored by Pellissippi State Community College as a recipient of the 2013 Regents Award for Excellence in Philanthropy.

The award, bestowed annually by the Tennessee Board of Regents, recognizes individuals who make a significant impact on higher education in their communities. Boyd was nominated by Pellissippi State, which hosted a breakfast in his honor and presented the award in February.

Boyd’s PetSafe company develops pet behavior, containment, and lifestyle product solutions and services. PetSafe’s headquarters are in Knoxville. Its parent company, Radio Systems Corporation, was founded by Boyd in 1991.

In 2012, Boyd and his wife, Jenny, donated $1 million to the Pellissippi State Foundation. The donation was earmarked to go toward the purchase of Pellissippi State’s new Strawberry Plains Campus. The site began offering classes during the fall 2012 semester.

Pellissippi State acquired the former Philips Consumer Electronics’ East Tennessee headquarters in order to increase access to the college’s programs and work toward the fulfillment of the goals of the Complete College Tennessee Act.

A state program that funded community college capital projects contributed $8.5 million toward the $10 million cost. The Pellissippi State Foundation paid the remaining $1.5 million through private donations.

The addition of the Strawberry Plains Campus, located at 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike in East Knox County, gives Pellissippi State a total of five locations in Knox and Blount counties.

Boyd is involved with local education nonprofit organizations, serving as a board member for organizations such as tnAchieves (chair) and Knox County’s Great Schools Partnership. He has received several awards, including Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year for the Southeast in 2008, Tennessee Business Magazine’s CEO of the Year in 2009 and the University of Tennessee’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009. Boyd was inducted into Junior Achievement’s East Tennessee Hall of Fame in 2008.

For additional information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. To learn more about giving opportunities, call (865) 694-6528 or email foundation@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State Foundation: Local business executive, wife donate $1 million for Strawberry Plains campus

Randy Boyd, president and CEO of PetSafe, and his wife, Jenny, have donated $1 million to the Foundation of Pellissippi State Community College toward the purchase of the college’s new Strawberry Plains Campus. The facility, located just off of I-40 and Strawberry Plains Pike, is set to begin offering classes this fall.

Randy Boyd, who served as the two-year institution’s 2011 Commencement speaker, says he and Jenny made the contribution to the East Knox County site because they saw the potential to re-purpose a long-unused facility and to improve access to educational opportunities for thousands of students.

“Through my involvement with tnAchieves [a college-access scholarship program], we learned what an incredible asset Pellissippi State is to our community,” he said.

“By expanding the college’s facilities and making access to higher education more convenient to those in East Knoxville, we should be able to make college more likely for tnAchieves students, and for people of all ages, in that area.”

The Boyds say their hope is that the donation will not only allow more students to further their education but also encourage others in the community to support the expansion of educational opportunities.

Pellissippi State acquired the former Philips Consumer Electronics’ East Tennessee headquarters earlier this year in order to broaden access to the college’s many programs and to work toward the fulfillment of the goals of the Complete College Tennessee Act.

A Tennessee state program that funded community college capital projects contributed $8.5 million toward the $10 million purchase price. The Pellissippi State Foundation, which raises money to benefit students, paid the remainder using the contributions of the Boyds and other private donors.

The donation from Randy and Jenny Boyd plays a major role in Pellissippi State’s ability to increase its reach throughout the area. L. Anthony Wise Jr., president of Pellissippi State, expressed gratitude for the couple’s contribution on behalf of the entire college.

“Supporters like Randy and Jenny make it possible to expand access to our programs in East Knox County, as we work toward increasing success at the college as a whole,” said Wise. “The number of potential collaborative opportunities with business and industry and other educational institutions has increased significantly with this new campus.”

The Strawberry Plains Campus is located on 32.6 acres and boasts a 223,000-square-foot facility. Philips constructed the building in 1980, a project that took two years, then completed a major renovation and remodel in 2002.

The facility, which has been vacant since 2006 when Philips moved out, has open office space, gathering areas, private offices, a full-service cafeteria and kitchen, a theater-style presentation room, a warehouse area with loading dock, and a design wing once used by company engineers.

PetSafe, whose headquarters are in Knoxville, develops pet behavior, containment, lifestyle product solutions and services.

The purchase of the Strawberry Plains Campus, located at 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike, gives Pellissippi State a total of five locations. The Hardin Valley Campus is located in West Knox County. The Division Street and Magnolia Avenue campuses are located in Knoxville as well. The Blount County Campus is at 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Pkwy. (U.S. 321).

For additional information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State Foundation receives civil rights-themed art donation

When Herb Rieth traveled the highways of Mississippi in 2005, he was doing so as an art teacher and as a son. Rieth was at that time serving as an art instructor in Starkville, and he frequently made the 150-mile drive to Coldwater in order to visit his mother and stepfather.

Seven years later, Reith, now an art instructor at Pellissippi State Community College, has donated a mixed-media fabric piece to the school through the Pellissippi State Foundation that was inspired by those drives.

“Savage from the Outside: An Ode to Mose Wright” is 110 inches by 119 inches.  It was created by Rieth to pay homage both to Mose Wright, the great-uncle of Emmett Till, and to the struggles for civil rights that took place in communities across Mississippi.

The August 1955 death of the 14-year-old Till and the murder trial that followed one month later served as catalysts for the emerging Civil Rights Movement.

A famous photograph of Wright testifying during the trial in Sumner—taken by photographer Ernest Withers despite a judge’s orders prohibiting photographs—shows Till’s great-uncle pointing as he identifies a defendant in court. Wright’s testimony was believed to be the first instance of a black person’s testifying against a white defendant in a Mississippi courtroom.

Rieth’s art combines history and his own firsthand impressions of the Mississippi landscape. During his visits to Coldwater, he encountered the nearby community of Savage. Rieth knew the history of the Till events, yet he was struck by the geography of the Mississippi Delta region and the area’s role as the setting for strife and, eventually, monumental change.

“Savage is just a bump in the road,” said Rieth. “That area’s flatness is only broken by running tufts of large live oaks and cottonwood trees that serve as windbreaks.

“The roads border decaying towns that lay like broken shells of a great postwar American culture. The sharp contrast in geography that I saw while driving brought home the rupture in culture that riveted the country during that hot summer 50 years before. That was the inspiration for ‘Savage from the Outside.’”

Rieth decided to donate the piece to the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the college, and it is now displayed in the McWherter Building on the Hardin Valley Campus. Students, faculty, staff and visitors can enjoy the art as both a beautiful addition to the facility and as an ode to the personal stories that helped shape the Civil Rights Movement.

This is not the first time the Foundation has received an art donation. Ed Harmon, a Blount County native and art collector, gave the school 20 paintings and prints. The pieces represent the works of local artists who focus on the landscapes of the Appalachian region.

An anonymous donor also gifted five pieces of art for the Library at the Blount County Campus. Donations to the college are coordinated by the Foundation, which works to support programs that directly impact students.

“Part of our mission is to provide opportunities for life, civic and cultural enrichment,” said Peggy Wilson. “We appreciate Herb Rieth’s willingness to share his beautiful and meaningful art with the entire community, and the Foundation would certainly encourage others to contact us regarding such gifts.” Wilson is executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation, as well as vice president of College Advancement.

To discuss the possibility of making a donation, call the Foundation at (865) 694-6528 or email foundation@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State hosts dedication of Dr. Sharon Lord Music Suite

Dr. Sharon Lord
Dr. Sharon Lord

Pellissippi State Community College hosted a ceremony honoring well-known Knoxvillian Sharon Lord and dedicating the Dr. Sharon Lord Music Suite on Sept. 13. The suite is located on the Pellissippi Campus in the Alexander Building, where the event took place.

The Dr. Sharon Lord Music Suite was unveiled by Lord and the college’s Bill Brewer, Music program coordinator. The Pellissippi State Foundation received the gift from Lord on behalf of the Music program.

Lord, a community leader, motivational speaker and management consultant, provided an enthusiastic and memorable presentation. She spoke of the joy she receives from music and of her desire to create more joy by sharing music with others.

One of the highlights was an impromptu performance by Lord and her sister, Betsy. The duet entertained attendees with an a cappella song about their mother, Claudia. The words were written by Sharon Lord and set to the tune of the popular 1920s song “Has Anybody Seen My Gal?”

“My mother, Claudia Stuart, was my early inspiration for music,” said Lord. “She always dreamed of playing the piano and could play by ear on the black keys. My earliest memories are of Momma being able to play any song without sheet music.

“I thought she was magical. She seemed to know all the words to all the songs. She never got to take piano lessons, but she insisted that all six of her children take lessons.”

Dr. Sharon Lord
Dr. Sharon Lord

Also instrumental in laying the foundation of Lord’s lifelong love of music was William Barrett, a band director and math teacher.

“William Barrett was my mentor, inspiration and motivator in music beginning when I was in fourth grade,” she said. “He was determined to create a band in our high school. In order to do that, he would give free lessons and provide the musical instrument to promising students in grades four through six.

“I’ll never forget when he put an E-flat alto saxophone in my hands and I squawked the first sound out of that sax. I wasn’t much taller than the saxophone case. I could already read sheet music because of my exposure to piano lessons. I loved it!”

Lord expressed her delight at being honored by Pellissippi State.

“I have chosen throughout my life to contribute to the empowerment of children and adults,” she said. “Music is probably the most magical way to empower children—and the child in all of us. Music education should be the norm for every child. It is a privilege to contribute to the quality of music education at Pellissippi State.”

A Steinway Celebration concert featuring noted pianist William DeVan, an official “Steinway Artist,” took place immediately following the dedication ceremony. The concert celebrated Pellissippi State’s achievement of becoming an All Steinway School.

Also a supporter of the All Steinway School campaign, Lord has played key leadership roles on the local, national and international level in academia, business and government service.

A West Virginia native, she served as the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense during the administration of President Ronald Reagan and later as West Virginia’s secretary of human services. The author of numerous books and publications, she continues to speak internationally on topics of creative leadership, healthy lifestyles and managing challenging transitions.

The Pellissippi State Foundation kicked off the All Steinway School fundraising campaign in 2010 in order to elevate the college’s Music program to world-class status. Thanks to the campaign, the community college now boasts 13 Steinway pianos in studios, practice rooms and performance venues.

Not only is Pellissippi State the premier All Steinway community college in Tennessee, but it is also the fourth All Steinway community college in the nation and one of only about 120 All Steinway colleges and universities in the world.

For information on the Steinway Maintenance Society, call the Pellissippi State Foundation at (865) 694-6529 or visit www.pstcc.edu/steinway.