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Magnolia Stakeholders: Pellissippi State 'Responds to Needs of Community' 

Just over a year ago, Mayor Madeline Rogero and Rosalyn Tillman, Dean of Pellissippi State Community College’s Magnolia Avenue campus, talked with a gathering of students, business leaders and reporters.

The themes centered around investment and partnership: Pellissippi State was adding classes and expanding programs, and Dean Tillman was eager to get the word out. Meanwhile, the City was getting ready to break ground on its $7 million Magnolia Avenue Streetscape Project. Upgrades include adding landscaped center medians, street trees and landscaping, wider sidewalks and bike lanes.

The Mayor noted that one reason the City chose to invest in this stretch of Magnolia had a lot to do with Pellissippi State being there, along with other established institutions – KAT, the John T. O’Connor Center, the Cansler YMCA, the Urban League, East Tennessee PBS, and the City’s Caswell Park.

“Anchoring the corridor, right in the center, is Pellissippi State and its hundreds of students, faculty and staff,” Mayor Rogero noted at the time. “From the beginning, we’ve enjoyed support from Pellissippi State and the other stakeholders who live and work along or near the Magnolia corridor.”

The Mayor went on to say that it’s easy to envision this stretch of Magnolia as a tree-lined corridor, with new businesses and enhanced public spaces.

(Click here to read a KnoxTNToday.com report from that April 2018 gathering on campus.)

Dean Tillman is pictured with Mayor Rogero and singer Chris Blue at a Save Our Sons Summit in 2018 at Pellissippi State's Magnolia Avenue campus.

Fast forward to summer 2019.

Dean Tillman recently sat down and talked about the current role of Pellissippi State and the changes happening on Magnolia Avenue.

With four campuses in Knox County (three of which are located in the City of Knoxville), Pellissippi State offers an education guided by the school’s values: academic integrity, accessibility, affordability, community and civic engagement, diversity, and sustainability. 

Tillman says that the school “responds to the needs of the community” by structuring class schedules around work schedules. Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Avenue campus offers courses in nursing, computer networking, audio production engineering, business management, and more.

Pellissippi State attracts students from all around Knoxville. Tillman mentioned Austin-East, West, Fulton, Central, Gibbs and South-Doyle as high schools from which Pellissippi State draws many of its students.

The new landscaping and crosswalks will improve the student experience for those at the Magnolia Avenue campus, Tillman says.

Tillman also believes the project will attract small and minority-owned businesses to the area. She points out that “it’s important that we’re intentional about being inclusive” when doing any redevelopment project. 

This blog post is part of a series of profiles of Magnolia Avenue stakeholders compiled by City Communications Intern and George Washington University student Jack King.


Posted by evreeland On 25 June, 2019 at 1:35 PM