KC presents Eastman with inaugural Blue Ribbon Medal of Excellence for Student Success

Kilgore College celebrated a long and distinguished relationship with Eastman Chemical Co. by presenting the company the inaugural Blue Ribbon Medal for Student Success Aug. 11 at summer graduation.

Mark Bogle, vice president and general manager of Eastman’s Texas operations, was at the graduation to accept the award on behalf of Eastman.

Eastman was chosen for the award because of its 10-year partnership with KC in the development and continued advancement of the Process Technology and Industrial Maintenance Technology programs at KC.

Additionally, Eastman’s partnership and generosity has enabled the creation of KC’s newest workforce development program in robotics, Instrumentation and Electrical Technology, which will begin this semester.

“Mr. Mark Bogle’s support and the support of his team at Eastman has been phenomenal,” said Dr. Brenda Kays, KC president.  “They have pledged to make this program a reality for the college and for our community.  That pledge means that the new robotics program will be launched whose graduates can expect to earn more than $50,000 as a starting wage.”

Since 2006, Eastman Chemical has awarded 130 scholarships to KC students enrolled in process technology, industrial maintenance, welding technology and corrosion technology – almost $470,000 worth of scholarships.

“These numbers do not include the scholarships awarded to area high school students, many who we see segue into our workforce education programs,” Kays said.  “Eastman Chemical serves as one of the best recruiters that the college has for its technical programs.”

During its 10-year partnership with KC, Eastman has hired 63 KC graduates and has provided internships for 104 KC students.

Eastman has also donated more than $350,000 worth of equipment and supplies to KC for its technical programs and has established a $15,000 endowed scholarship awarded annually to process technology students.

Eastman employees also serve on KC advisory committees and provide validation of the college’s technical programs, assuring that program quality and rigor are parallel with industry training standards.

“I liken this validation to a stamp of approval by Eastman that gives students enrolling in technical programs at Kilgore College assurance that their educational experience will produce many opportunities and open many doors,” Kays said.

About the award:

The Blue Ribbon Medal of Excellence for Student Success is presented at graduation ceremonies to celebrate and honor the partnerships formed between the institution and community members or businesses dedicated to the furtherance of KC’s mission.

Taking from pride in KC’s school colors, the award features a blue ribbon and a silver medallion to symbolize the important ties and generous contributions KC’s community partners provide to ensure student success.

PHOTO ABOVE:  Dr. Brenda Kays (KC president) presents Mark Bogle (vice president and general manager of Eastman’s Texas operations) the Blue Ribbon Medal of Excellence for Student Success on behalf of Eastman Chemical Co.  Photo by Jamie Maldonado/KC