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 or call (865) 694-6400.