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Archives April 26, 2006
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County, K-Troop present flag to museum
TTU donors praised by state, federal officials

Blues singer Roberts to perform this weekend

 

 

County, K-Troop present flag to museum

Beth Underwood/OCN Staff
County Mayor Kenneth Copeland presented a flag flown by K-Troop to Overton County Heritage Museum on Friday, April 21. The flag was flown at Forward Operating Base O'Ryan, where K-Troop was stationed. Although the flag was given to Overton County government some time ago, Mayor Copeland waited until members of K-Troop were able to attend the presentation. "I wanted to put it somewhere for future generations to see, to show them that our boys fought in Iraq," Mayor Copeland said. "The museum is the only place I know of where it will be properly preserved, and I felt it was more appropriate to present it to them, and have these guys there, than to house it anywhere else." Woodworks in Livingston designed and donated the frame. On hand for the presentation are, front row from left, Shirley Key, Margie Lewis, Louise Stover, Paula Stover, Claudia Bilbrey, Cpt. Paul Shannon, and Sue McAlpin of Woodworks, back row, County Mayor Kenneth Copeland, 1st Sgt.Terry Melton, and Sam Hynes.

 

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TTU donors praised by state, federal officials

courtesy of Tennessee Tech
On hand for the fundraising dinner honoring the Oakleys are, from left, Volunteer State Community College President Warren Nichols, Tennessee Tech University President Bob Bell, Rep. Lincoln Davis, Governor Phil Bredesen, Rep. Bart Gordon, Millard Oakley, former Ambassador to China James Sasser, and Rep. Harold Ford Jr.

Federal, state and local community leaders and friends gathered Tuesday night, April 18 to honor Millard and J.J. Oakley, a local couple who donated the largest single current gift in Tennessee Tech University history -$2 million to help fund a Center for Teaching and Learning in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Governor Phil Bredesen, former U.S. Ambassador to China James Sasser, and U.S. Congressmen Harold Ford Jr., Bart Gordon, and Lincoln Davis took turns praising the Overton County couple for their generosity and foresight in supporting the STEM Center on the TTU campus.

"This program is about giving teachers the tools they need to provide quality education," Gov. Bredesen said. "Math and science are the keys to the jobs of the future. It's an honor to be here with people who 'get it".

"Millard and J.J. are the definition of what it means to be a Tennessee volunteer."

The center, which will now be called the Oakley STEM Center, will focus on conducting research on strategies to make the teaching of science, technology, engineering, and math more effective, according to Maggie Phelps, director of the Oakley STEM Center.

A dwindling interest among American students in STEM-related fields, combined with growing competition from other countries, is causing the United States to lose ground in scientific discovery and innovation, areas the U.S. once dominated. According to the Task Force on American Innovation, the number of STEM-related job openings in the United States is growing at a rate more than five times that of the number of American college students graduating with degrees in STEM fields.

Often that's because students cannot meet the coursework challenges when they get to college, Phelps said. The Oakley STEM Center was developed to help address that issue by serving the teachers who train students from pre-school through college.

Rep. Gordon remarked on the foresight of the Oakleys and TTU President Bob Bell in making STEM topics a priority.

"They recognized the significance and importance of this critical need long before it became a national issue," Rep. Gordon said.

Congressman Davis agreed.

"I know when Millard heard about this need, it 'burned him up' just a little, and he did what he could to help," Rep. Davis said. "Many of us in this room have a better life because of Millard and J.J." Congressman Ford emphasized the need for children to have a good educational and support system early in life.

"For kids in the K-12 system, if they have a good start, they will grow up believing and achieving things they themselves didn't think they could do," he said. "Millard and J.J. have given the students in this area a better chance to succeed by connecting them with people who want to help them learn and help them achieve.

"We have to have the TTUs of the world creating the jobs and prosperity in our local communities."

Sasser, a former ambassador to China and a former U.S. senator, said this year alone China will graduate 300,000 engineers.

"At the present rate of growth, within the next 20 years, the economy of China will surpass the U.S.

"Millard and J.J. have done a great thing for the university, the Upper Cumberland and our country," Sasser added. "Not only are they providing an educational institution; they are setting an example of generosity when in today's society, many people are self-centered."

Tennessee Senator Charlotte Burks and Representatives John Mark Windle and Les Winningham presented the Oakleys a resolution passed in both the Tennessee Senate and House of Representatives honoring the couple for their donation.

Though programs through the Oakley STEM Center have already begun, the $2 million gift was a challenge donation meant to spur others to help fund a STEM Center facility on the TTU campus. So far, more than $4.8 million has already been raised toward the $7.3 million needed to build the facility.

About $1.6 million in federal funding has been provided through NASA and other federal agencies, backed by the entire Tennessee congressional delegation in Washington, including Senators Bill Frist and Lamar Alexander.

Bell wrapped up the evening by providing the Oakleys with their own TTU hard hats in preparation for the Oakley STEM Center ground-breaking ceremonies, which are tentatively planned for later this summer.

For more information on how to donate to the Oakley STEM Center contact Tom Hamilton, vice president for University Advancement, at (931) 372-3206.

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Blues singer Roberts to perform this weekend

Roberts Entertainment promotions will turn up the sound again this Saturday as blues singer and Livingston native Roy Roberts returns for the second annual fundraiser to benefit Overton County Heritage Museum.

The event will take place Saturday, April 29 at Livingston Academy's mini-theater. Featured performers include Roy Roberts, Chick Willis, Hub City Bluegrass, and special guest James Brown's half-brother Little Royal.

Museum committee member Paula Stover, who attended last fall's concert, said to expect at least a 3-hour show, where there's never a dull moment.

"Get ready to be impressed," she said. "They knock themselves out to give a great show."

Roberts, who has released numerous CDs and performs the world over, sees the importance of preserving Overton County's history, and hopes others in the community will not only visit the museum, but also contribute to its success.

Money raised at the concert will be used to fund the permanent exhibits that are currently being worked on.

"(His concert) is just not something we get around here," Stover said. "They really put on a first-class act."

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the show begins at 7 p.m.

Ticket donation is $20, and tickets are available at the museum. Contact Paula Stover at (931) 498-2551 or (931) 403-0909 for tickets or additional information.

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Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570
tel 931.823.6485
fax 931.823.6486
info@overtoncountynews.com

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Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570
tel 931.823.6485
fax 931.823.6486
info@overtoncountynews.com

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Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570
tel 931.823.6485
fax 931.823.6486
info@overtoncountynews.com


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03-01-2006
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04-12-2006
04-19-2006
04-26-2006

 


Obituaries
01-04-2006
01-11-2006
01-18-2006
01-25-2006
02-01-2006
02-08-2006
02-15-2006
02-22-2006
03-01-2006
03-08-2006
03-15-2006
03-22-2006
03-29-2006
04-05-2006
04-12-2006
04-19-2006
04-26-2006



Sports
01-04-2006
01-11-2006
01-18-2006
01-25-2006
02-01-2006
02-08-2006
02-15-2006
02-22-2006
03-01-2006
03-08-2006
03-15-2006
03-22-2006
03-29-2006
04-05-2006
04-12-2006
04-19-2006
04-26-2006


   
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