Wes Stowers and the Stowers Machinery Foundation and state Rep. Jerome Moon were honored Thursday by the Tennessee Board of Regents for their longtime support of Pellissippi State Community College and Tennessee College of Applied Technology Knoxville.
Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. and TCAT Knoxville President Kelli Chaney nominated Stowers for the Regents’ Award for Excellence in Philanthropy while Wise nominated Moon for the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy. These awards honor individuals, companies and organizations who go “above and beyond” to donate their resources, finances and personal time to TBR colleges.
Stowers Machinery, a family-owned company founded in 1960, serves the construction industry. Its employees not only serve on advisory committees for the Diesel-Powered Equipment Technology program at six TCAT locations, the company also regularly makes in-kind donations of equipment and components to enhance the program. Stowers Machinery served as a regional leader in establishing TCAT’s Heavy Equipment Operator Training Program, which is housed at the Ruth and Steve West Workforce Development Center on Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus, and the Stowers Machinery Foundation made a significant gift to help build the Bill Haslam Center for Math and Science on Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus.
“Stowers Machinery Foundation invests to inspire, train and grow the next generation of heavy machinery talent in East Tennessee,” Wise said in his nomination of Stowers and Stowers Machinery for the Regents’ Award for Philanthropy, TBR’s highest award. “Through exceptional civil responsibility and leadership, continued commitment to partnership and philanthropy, and generous giving of time and resources to TBR institutions, Stowers Machinery Foundation has improved the quality of life for East Tennessee, the TBR system, its students and our community.”
Moon was nominated for the TBR Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy by Pellissippi State, which he has supported for more than 30 years. He served on the Pellissippi State Foundation Board of Trustees for 11 years, two of those as its chair. As president and publisher of The Daily Times from 1984 to 1989, Moon also chaired The Fund for Blount County, which was a driving force behind the establishment of Pellissippi State’s first permanent Blount County Campus at the former Union School, and later helped raise the money necessary to purchase and remodel the former Bungalow School for the growing college. When Pellissippi State was ready to build a new campus in Blount County, Moon helped secure state funding for the project. Personally, Moon and his family have made significant contributions to college causes such as the Claude Moon Welding Scholarship, established in honor of his father, and the Claude Moon Welding Lab on the Blount County Campus.
“Through generous gifts of resources and time, volunteer service and advocacy, Jerome Moon has elevated Pellissippi State’s role to the higher education partner of choice in Blount County,” Wise said in his nomination of Moon for TBR’s Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy. “Mr. Moon’s unwavering belief in the tie between higher education and economic development has helped to propel Blount County to become a leading manufacturing county in Tennessee, undergirded by workforce development partnerships at Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus.”
Stowers was presented his award by Regent Miles Burdine on Thursday while Moon received his from Cris Perkins, Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategic Advancement.
Photos by David Smith/Pellissippi State