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 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 (, 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 or call (865) 694-6528.


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

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

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