Tuesday, May 20, 2003

2003 - Tri-County's First-Ever Distinguished Alumni Award Presented to Nancy Ratliff

PENDLETON --- Over the past 18 years, Nancy Browning Ratliff has never hesitated to volunteer her time for her alma mater. She contributes countless hours throughout the year by representing Tri-County Technical College's Alumni Association at College functions and other alumni events, including the alumni golf tournament. She has been instrumental in the success of the Alumni Association by serving in every office (president, vice president, secretary and treasurer).

Her fundraising efforts and leadership have helped to set up two endowed scholarships and provided almost a dozen scholarships to deserving students. (Twenty-five students have received Alumni Association scholarships since 1987.) The Alumni Association also has raised enough funds to name a room in the Hayden Abney Fulp building. These funds provide professional development opportunities for faculty and staff.

"Her work with the alumni has made a tremendous difference to the College," said Mary Johnston, alumni relations director at Tri-County.

Recently Ratliff received the Alumni Association's first-ever Distinguished Alumni Award. This is the most prestigious award given to a graduate of the College. The recipient of this award must have been awarded a degree, diploma, or certificate from Tri-County; must have graduated at least one year ago; and must have made significant contributions to the College, the Alumni Association, or his/her community in the form of time, talent, money, or service.

"I'm honored to have been chosen," said Ratliff, a 1986 graduate of the Secretarial Science department. "I want to thank the persons who submitted the nominations for me and for their kind comments about me. It's a good feeling to know that what Tri-County gave to me, in some way, I return to the College and students, who like myself, wanted to continue their education. It's my way of giving back to the College," said the Mountain Rest resident.

Each year the association has grown in successes, and she encourages graduates to get involved with the activities. "Participation takes time, and it's unpaid service, but the rewards are definitely there," she said. "It's a wonderful feeling to know I helped another progress in life and in education and to know that the funds I helped to raise will help to make a better life for someone. An added bonus is the relationships you build within the community and the alumni group through this volunteer work."

Ratliff entered the Secretarial Science department, following graduation from Walhalla High School. She liked the idea of attending a community college that was close to home, small, and affordable. While attending Tri-County, she worked at Ward Smith Chevrolet Buick in Seneca and remained there for 15-and-one-half years. She began as a temporary file clerk and advanced to office manager, the position she held until 1999 when the business was sold. She currently is employed as a secretary for the Food Services Director for the School District of Oconee County. She also handles the bookkeeping for David Ratliff Auto Sales and Power Equipment, a business jointly owned by her and her husband.

"Nancy was a very valued employee in that she was always willing to do more than her share of helping others when needed," said Ted Smith, president of Ward Smith Chevrolet Buick. "She was a true professional in everything that she did. Her hard work and timely reports to the Chevrolet and Buick Corporation were recognized by her being named to Chevrolet's top office managers for many years. Nancy really cared for our customers."

"Nancy's many years of dedication and hard work make her a distinguished Tri-County alumna," said Johnston. "I am truly honored to work with such a dedicated Alumni Association member as Nancy Ratliff. I know I can ask her to do anything no matter how big or small, and it will be done right, and be done promptly. Nancy is dependable, trustworthy, and personable, and is thorough and open-minded in her decisions regarding alumni projects. Her hard work, unending dedication, and irreproachable work ethic continue to set her apart as one of Tri-County's most distinguished graduates."

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