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Pellissippi news: Bagwell Center, Transition program
Bagwell Center for Media and Art to open soon

One year ago, Allen G. Edwards, president of Pell-issippi State Technical Comm-unity College, stood with businesswoman and philanthropist Dee Bagwell Haslam and other dignitaries on an open, grassy area and broke ground for the new Bagwell Center for Media and Art.

Now the new facility will officially open with a dedication ceremony and ribbon-cutting beginning at 11 a.m., Monday, Sept. 10. 

Students got a sneak peek of the instructional facility when fall semester began Monday, Aug. 27. Faculty are moving into the new building in stages, and many are excited about the learning opportunities that the Bagwell Center will provide for years to come. 

“This new facility offers the newest technologies for students who are pursuing media-related careers,” Edwards said. “Equally important, it represents the excellent results that are achieved when private business joins with higher education in meeting the employment needs of our community.”

Dee Haslam and her husband, James Haslam III, made the largest gift in the college’s history last year by contributing $1 million to enhance technology and equipment for the 29,370-square-foot facility.

The building was constructed for art students in the four concentrations of Media Technologies: Communication Graphics Technology, Photo-graphy, Video Production Technology and Web Technology.

Two of Knoxville’s leading philanthropists, Dee Haslam is CEO of RIVR Media, LP, and James Haslam III is president of Pilot Travel Centers, LLC.

Local radio personality Hallerin Hilton Hill, host of WNOX-FM NewsTalk 100, will emcee the dedication ceremony, which will feature musical selections by the Pellissippi State Variations Ensemble.

Four members of the Bagwell family are scheduled to make brief remarks: Ross K. Bagwell Sr.; his wife, Sue Burchfield Bagwell, and their children, Ross K. Bagwell Jr. and Dee Bagwell Haslam.   

Building tours, a video tribute to Ross Bagwell Sr. and refreshments will follow the ceremony.

Ross Bagwell Sr. is a pioneer in the media industry, having begun his career with NBC Television in the 1950s.

From 1973 to 1994, he was chair and CEO of Bagwell Communications, Inc./Cinetel Productions.

Bagwell later sold the company to Scripps Howard Broadcasting for use as the headquarters for the cable network Home and Garden Television.

He and his son then formed a new company, continuing its operation until transferring part ownership to Dee Bagwell Haslam in 1999.


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