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TBR Recognizes Late Donor for Generosity
October 26, 2022

A late Oak Ridge resident was honored for her support of higher education during Monday night’s meeting of the Walters State Community College Foundation Board of Trustees.
The late Jerry Kinnamon was honored by Cris Perkins, assistant vice chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy. Perkins, who was in Nashville, participated through a videoconferencing platform. Trustee George McGuffin accepted the award.
In 2013, Kinnamon established a scholarship in honor of her niece, Julia “Judy” Grizzell McGuffin, in her will. Kinnamon asked that Walters State keep this donation private until her death. The college received the $150,000 gift in September following her death in March, 2020. While the presentation was delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions, Judy McGuffin did learn of her aunt’s gift prior to her own unexpected death in August, 2021. 
“The Kinnamon and McGuffin families have been loyal supporters of Walters State for many years,” Dr. Tony Miksa, president of the college, said. “George and Judy were very supportive of our natural science building which bears their name. Four family members have served as trustees and Judy served as president of the Board of Trustees. We are grateful for this family’s continued support.”
The Kinnamons lived most of their adult lives in Oak Ridge. Both were lifelong educators and sought to make a difference in their community. 
“This award is given each year to an individual or an organization that has given special assistance to a Tennessee Board of Regents system,” Perkins said in presenting the award. 
“Mrs. Kinnamon’s quest for knowledge led her through numerous educational accomplishments, including graduating from Tennessee Technology University. She was a member of the debate team and was named Ms. Tennessee Tech. She earned her graduate degree from the University of Wisconsin. She taught in many places, including 18 years at Oak Ridge High School. Her passion for helping others succeed is why we are talking about her now.” 

Kinnamon and her husband Sam established a similar scholarship in honor of their nephew, Tim Grizzell, following his passing in 1994 at the age of 48. 

CUTLINE: Dr. Tony Miksa, president of Walters State, presents the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy to George McGuffin on behalf of the late Jerry Kinnamon. In her will, Kinnamon who established a scholarship in honor of her niece, the late Judy McGuffin.