Columbia State Celebrates 20 Years in Clifton

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. April 10, 2018) - - - Columbia State Community College recently hosted a celebration in honor of the Clifton Campus’s 20th anniversary. The celebration was accompanied by the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the RiverWorks Entrepreneur Center.

Sidonna Foust, Columbia State site coordinator for the Clifton Campus, welcomed students, donors, partners, community members and college faculty and staff to the event. Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president, delivered a brief overview of the campus history.

In the spring of 1996, the Hassell Charitable Foundation encouraged the start of a higher education institution to further the educational goals and recreational services provided for the citizens of Wayne County. From that encouragement, a committee of community leaders and elected officials banded together to identify the needs for higher education in the community – the consensus was that Wayne County needed a facility for higher education.

In February 1997, the community broke ground for the site of the new campus. On Jan. 8, 1998, the Clifton Campus opened its doors for the first time welcoming 89 students eager to take advantage of the new opportunity. The Clifton Campus has more than doubled enrollment since then with 213 students attending in 2017.

“Twenty years of providing higher education is something to celebrate,” Smith said. “It is a celebration of the lives that have been changed because the community came together to construct a facility where higher learning can occur. We salute the community for their work and are a proud higher education partner.”

Cissy Holt, Columbia State interim vice president of student enrollment, engagement and services, explained that the Clifton Campus supports academic and social growth for students.

“Our students and faculty are so generous,” Holt said. “They give 150 percent of themselves to this campus and community.”

Foust transitioned the celebration into a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the RiverWorks Entrepreneur Center. The center was started to support the community’s demand for business and entrepreneur skills.

“The Clifton Campus has a bright future as Wayne County and the surrounding areas continue to grow and expand and we are looking forward to increasing opportunities for students and citizens,” Smith said.

Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president delivers a brief history of the Clifton campus
Photo Caption: Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president, delivers a brief history of the campus to attendees of the Clifton Campus 20th Anniversary Celebration.

Community Representatives cut the ribbon for the new RiverWorks Entrepreneur Center 
Photo Caption: College representatives, RiverWorks representatives, donors and community members cut the ribbon for the new RiverWorks Entrepreneur Center. 

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