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At a special called meeting on Tuesday, May 24, the Southwestern Community College Board of Trustees confirmed the selection of Dr. Donald Tomas of Aledo, Texas, as the college’s sixth president. His appointment was approved by the State Board of Community Colleges on May 20. Tomas will assume his duties as president on July 1.

Introducing Tomas to staff and faculty during a campus-wide meeting Tuesday, SCC Board of Trustees chairman Conrad Burrell said, “The Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Tomas. His background and community college experience will be a good fit for our college and the communities it serves. We feel he has the knowledge and skills to move our college forward to the next level and ensure we complete our mission of providing a quality, affordable education to the citizens of western North Carolina. We are looking forward to working with him.”


The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina recently approved scholarships totaling $315,250 to 87 students from Western North Carolina. The Foundation administers approximately 60 scholarships funds, about 40 of which run a spring cycle offered to high school seniors each year.

According to John Fleming of the WNC Regional Scholarships Committee, the young people interviewed during the selection process impressed the committee with their focus, ambition and commitment to their work and communities. “This is a group of young people who are pursuing their education and dreams with determination and excitement,” he said. “Some of these future pharmacists, linguists, engineers, doctors and veterinarians come from economically-depressed households or otherwise face hurdles that might make academic success a challenge but they do not let anything stand in their way. It is deeply rewarding to be able to support their efforts.”


Hope McConnell, daughter of Elbert and Martha McConnell, received an award for academic excellence for Physics Science Education from Dr. Mesfin Woldeychannes at Western Carolina University.

McConnell is a senior at WCU.





The following area students graduated from Brevard College in Brevard, N.C. during its 158th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 14.

— Derek Sean Church of Franklin earned a bachelor's degree in Business and Organizational Leadership.

— Gregory Chase Henry of Franklin earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology.


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