Southwest Tennessee Community College

December 21, 2005

For more information, contact: Southwest at (901) 333-4024 or 4116 or Bert Kelly at (901) 344-0614


New building will rise in Biotech Corridor

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Dec. 21, 2005 – Southwest Tennessee Community College announced yesterday that Medtronic Sofamor Danek, the global leader in spinal technology, has donated $1 million towards the expansion of the school’s nursing, science and biotechnology technician programs. The donation will be paid out over three years.

The new building will be three stories high with two wings, one for nursing and one for natural sciences and biotechnology. It will include a 200 seat auditorium and feature more than 20 classrooms and a dozen science labs. The nursing wing will resemble a working hospital to improve students’ clinical and practical experiences.

Nathan Essex, Ph.D., President of Southwest made the announcement with Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Charles Manning and Medtronic President Pete Wehrly.
“There is a need in this community for more nurses and people that can fill the biotechnology positions that are being created in this community,” said Essex. “Medtronic is the perfect partner to help us reach our goal of offering more students greater opportunities through our training,” he said.

Medtronic Sofamor Danek is the global leader in developing spinal products and therapies for treatment of spinal disorders. The company employs 1300 people in Memphis.
“We are extremely excited about this partnership,” said Pete Wehrly, President of Medtronic Sofamor Danek. “We believe strongly that an educated workforce is important to improving our community. It is the right thing to do. We will be helping increase the number of new nurses that enter our community each year and we'll be increasing the number of biotech technician degrees the school awards each year.”