Reynolds Community College recently celebrated the dedication of the Jerry and Mary Owen Student Center. Longtime supporters of Reynolds, Jerry and Mary Owen were honored at the event for their many and major investments to the college.
Jerry served on the Reynolds College Board from 1984 to 1988. The couple supports the college’s scholarship fund and created an endowment for the Reynolds Middle College, which helps individuals earn a high school equivalency certificate and transition into a degree or workforce credential program. In 2015, the Owens made a major gift to improve outcomes for current and future students.
“I grew up on a dairy farm and we didn’t have a lot of money. (But) we gave. We raised lots of vegetables and gave them to the people that needed them. We were always taught to give. That was a part of our lives,” noted Mary on her early lessons about philanthropy.
Located within the newly-renovated Georgiadis Hall on Reynolds’ Parham Road Campus, the Jerry and Mary Owen Student Center houses the college’s offices of Enrollment Services, Financial Aid, Veteran’s Services, Student Life, the Campus Book Store, and other student success supporting programs. The space reflects the Owens' belief that every student should receive the guidance and tools to help themselves, their family, and community succeed.
Jerry Owen, who attended the groundbreaking of the Parham Road Campus in 1973, said, “When thinking about my purpose, I come up with three lines of 7 words: Word hard, enjoy life and share my blessings. It reinforces what’s good about life. You can’t buy that kind of goodwill. The joy of living is enhanced by the joy of giving.”
As part of the dedication ceremony, guests toured the student support offices and learned what services are provided to help students successfully navigate college. “Whether it’s guidance that in choosing academic degree programs or technical careers or paying for classes – or, just helping some students get through those bumps along the way – the Jerry and Mary Owen Student Center is the space where students will be heard and assisted,” explained Reynolds Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Thomas Hollins. “The Owens’ investment will continue to do what they have always done – and that is simply to help students.”