Gifts target healthcare scholarships

February 21, 2017

Tallahassee, Fla. (February 20, 2017) – The Tallahassee Community College Foundation today announced several major gifts to support scholarships for TCC students. The gifts were presented at a meeting of the TCC District Board of Trustees held at TCC’s Ghazvini Center for Healthcare Education.

Wayne and Betty Edwards with TCC officialsWayne and Betty Edwards presented a donation of $50,000 to provide tuition assistance for students who have diabetes. Betty Edwards and the couple’s oldest son both have type 1 diabetes, and the family is well aware of the challenges that come with that diagnosis.

“Students with diabetes have expenses other students don’t have to deal with,” said Wayne Edwards. “The cost of insulin, syringes, meters, test strips, lancets and quarterly visits to endocrinologists can put a huge dent in the budget of a college student. We want to give these students a little extra help to finish their education. Who knows? With the great start TCC gives its students, someone we help could be the person who discovers a cure for diabetes.”

The gift will be matched by pediatric endocrinologist Larry Deeb and his wife Jo Deeb, bringing the endowment for the Wayne & Betty Edwards Scholarship for Students with Diabetes to $100,000. Larry Deeb and Wayne Edwards, who is head of financial planning at MMHP Investment Advisors, founded the Rotarian Action Group for Diabetes, which works to increase awareness of diabetes and encourage Rotary Clubs around the world to support projects dealing with diabetes.

The other gifts focused on scholarships for students in TCC’s healthcare education programs.

Donors Rick and Melissa MooreRick and Melissa Moore made a gift of $10,000 to create the first scholarship for TCC’s newly accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program.

Melissa Moore is a registered nurse, and Rick Moore is a principal in Moore Bass Consulting, which provides civil engineering and land use planning services to clients across the Southeast. Rick Moore has served on the boards of directors of both the TCC Foundation and Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare.

“Recognizing the shortage of registered nurses, TCC initiated this new four-year BSN program, and we wanted to support that,” said Melissa Moore. “We look forward to the success of scholarship recipients who will call Tallahassee their home for years to come.”

Donors Nan and Mark HillisNan and Mark Hillis are also supporting nursing students with a gift of $10,000 to create the Nan C. Hillis & Mark Hillis Scholarship. According to Mark Hillis, they decided to support TCC because of the many outstanding programs and initiatives taking place at the College.

“We were particularly impressed with how they partnered with Florida State University through the TCC2FSU Golden Guarantee Program, resulting in bachelor's degrees for so many college students,” said Mark Hillis.

Nan Hillis is chief strategy officer for Prime Meridian Bank and a member of the board of directors of the FSU Foundation. Mark Hillis, a retired banker, is an FSU trustee. Both are members of the FSU College of Business Hall of Fame

After a tour of TCC’s Ghazvini Center for Healthcare Education, the couple decided to target the nursing program because of its high quality and the way it works with local healthcare providers to enhance nursing care in the Tallahassee community.

Donor Allison Harrell with TCC officialsScott and Allison Harrell also made a $10,000 gift to create a scholarship, this one for students in any of TCC’s healthcare programs.

Allison Harrell is a certified public accountant with Thomas Howell Ferguson CPAs. Scott Harrell, a TCC alumnus, is the owner of Home Instead Senior Care of Tallahassee. Both have worked with many TCC grads over the years and expect to do so in the future, especially in the healthcare industry.

“TCC has great programs to educate Home Instead’s future employees, which is why we decided to fund the scholarship. We believe in TCC’s program, and we believe in supporting our community,” said Scott Harrell.

Capital Regional Medical Center invested $32,000 to create scholarships for students seeking an associate degree in nursing at TCC and employment at CRMC after graduation. The gift was presented by CEO Mark Robinson.

Mark Robinson of Capital Regional Medical Center“The Capital Regional Medical Center Nursing Scholarship is a win-win for recipients and our facility because there is a significant need for talented nursing graduates, not just in Tallahassee, but across the nation,” said Robinson. “With our scholarship opportunity, individuals obtain their associate degree in nursing and begin their registered nurse career with Capital Regional Medical Center following graduation.”

Robinson added that CRMC also offers tuition reimbursement for registered nurses who seek a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at TCC.

“For us, it’s all about people and our community. This scholarship provides us with the opportunity to support both.”

Scholarships level the playing field for students who seek a college education,” said Heather Mitchell, executive director of the TCC Foundation.

“Scholarships attract the best students. They enable those who seriously apply themselves to their studies to remain in school. Scholarships recognize academic achievement. They promote diversity among the student body.”

The Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Foundation also committed to a major gift to support scholarships for students in TCC’s healthcare programs. That gift is described in a separate story.

For information, contact Heather Mitchell at (850) 201-6067 or