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NewsTuesday, May 25, 2004
2004 - Jimmy Edmonds Receives Distinguished Alumni Award
Jimmy Edmonds' devotion to his alma mater is as strong today as it was 37 years ago when he marched with the College's first evening graduating Class of 1967.
His dedication and leadership to the College and its Alumni Association were rewarded recently when he received the Distinguished Alumni Award. The recipient of this award must have been awarded a degree, diploma or certificate from Tri-County; must have graduated at least one year ago; and must have made significant contributions to the College, the Association, or the community.
"Jimmy's continued leadership and fundraising efforts have led the Association to the accomplishments it claims today," said Nancy Ratliff, past president of the Alumni Association. "Tri-County and the Alumni Association are truly fortunate to call Jimmy Edmonds one of its own."
"This is a great, yet unexpected honor," said Jimmy who is a 1967 graduate of the Electronics Technology department. "I want to thank those who submitted such a nice nomination."
Edmonds, an Anderson native, graduated from high school in 1959 and began working at Bigelow Sanford Carpet Company in Belton and later he joined Singer Company's apprenticeship program and received a full-time tool and die maker certificate. In 1963, the year the College opened its doors, he decided to take electronics classes -- as a hobby. Several months after graduating, he received an application and letter from General Electric in Greenville, who had gotten his name as recent graduate from Tri-County. He applied and was one of six selected to work as an electronics technician at the new GE plant. In the following years, he managed full time work and family while pursuing a bachelor's degree at Lander University. (He graduated in 1973.) "Tri-County was essential in preparing me for these major events in my life," said Edmonds, who began his career at GE in May 1968 and retired August 1, 2001.
When Tri-County announced in 1985 that it was organizing an Alumni Association, Edmonds was one of the first to volunteer his time and talent. He continued his leadership when the College held its first annual alumni golf tournament in 1987. Its goal was to raise funds to set up scholarships for qualifying students.
"Jimmy felt the importance of a good education, and that anyone in need should be given an opportunity to pursue that education," said Ratliff in her nomination. "He began tirelessly working on that first tournament in 1987 and he hasn't stopped."
Edmonds has spent countless hours devoting his time and energy to the growth of the Association and College. He has held numerous officer positions including president and vice president. To date, the Association has contributed nearly $50,000 to the Foundation to endow two scholarships as well as providing professional development opportunities for faculty and staff. "The Association continues to grow, and Jimmy is an instrumental part of this," said Ratliff.
"In the 11 years that I have worked with Jimmy and the Alumni Association, he has always been one of the first members to volunteer to help with alumni events no matter how early or late the hour or how far the drive," added Mary Johnston, director of Alumni Relations at the College.
"Jimmy is a man of integrity, a man of temperance and a man of sacrificial giving," said Johnston. "We are truly fortunate to have a member of Jimmy's caliber."
Edmonds and his wife, Betty, have contributed financially to the Alumni Association, as well as the College's Foundation. "His love and dedication to the Alumni Association and to the College through donation of time, energy, enthusiasm, and monetary giving truly make Jimmy deserving of this distinguished alumni award," said Ratliff.
The Edmonds, who reside in Anderson, have two married adult daughters, Patti and Terri, and one grandchild. They are active members of Boulevard Baptist Church in Anderson.