PENDLETON --- Tri-County Technical College honored former Commission member and Easley resident Ben R. Childress with the highest award given by the College’s nine-member Commission.
President Ronnie L. Booth presented Childress with the Order of Merit at the College’s October 28 Annual Report luncheon.
The Order of Merit is an honorary society that recognizes community and state leaders who have contributed to the development of Tri-County Technical College and the State Technical College System.
“Ben served a long and distinguished term, representing Pickens County on the governing board since 1987,” said Dr. Booth. “He has been solidly committed to the community college philosophy and in every way has pursued the mission and purpose of the College, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience and strengthening the College’s already strong ties with industry.” Earlier this year, Milton Ponder of Dacusville was appointed to the seat formerly occupied by Mr. Childress.
“I appreciate the Commission and the College,” said Mr. Childress. “It makes volunteer work easier if the community is behind what you do, and Tri-County truly is the community’s college. There are a lot of good years ahead for the College, especially with the opening of the Easley Campus in January,” he said.
Childress served as chair of the Buildings Committee, was an active member and former chair of the Finance Committee and a former ex-officio member of the Foundation Board. As Chairman of the Building Committee, he was instrumental in moving the Easley Campus project forward and was a leader in bringing Tri-County Technical College to where the Pickens County community lives and works. Tri-County’s Easley Campus, located on Powdersville Road, will open in January 2011.
He was a charter member and past chair of the Textile Management Advisory Board. He and other textile leaders in the tri-counties in 1973 helped to develop the Textile Management curriculum and later, in an unprecedented display of support, contributed $18,900 to finance full two-year scholarships for Textile Management majors at Tri-County.
Childress served first as general manager and later as vice president of manufacturing for Alice Manufacturing Company during his distinguished 30-year career at the Easley textile company.
In 1997, he and his wife, Lucille, endowed the Weston and Ruth Reeves Memorial Scholarship in 1997 in memory of her mother and father. As long-time supporters of the College, they also have served as community sponsors for the College’s annual Bluegrass under the Stars concert.
In addition to serving on Tri-County’s Commission for 23 years, he has been active in his community by giving service as a former member of Board of Directors of the Community Bank in Easley, a former member of the Industrial Management Club, past Director of the Easley Chamber of Commerce, Pickens County YMCA and the United Way.
Read more: The Easley Progress - Ben Childress honored with Tri County’s Order of Merit