Two couples honored for their support of Roane State

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Two couples who have given generously to Roane State have been honored for their philanthropic efforts.

Larry and Lucy Stephenson of Kingston received the 2020 Tennessee Board of Regents’ Award for Excellence in Philanthropy, while James Frank Wilson and his wife, Patricia Ann Wilson of Oak Ridge, received the 2020 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy. The couples were presented with these awards during a March 29 event on the Roane County Campus after the celebration was delayed due to COVID-19.

The Stephensons have supported Roane State for more than 15 years, notably through a scholarship endowment of more than $400,000 supporting nursing students from Roane County. Lucy Stephenson previously worked for Roane State for several years as an educator in the college’s prestigious nursing program. Barry Stephenson’s leadership on the Family Medicine Associates of Kingston Board of Directors helped establish the endowment.

Larry and Lucy Stephenson of Kingston
(Photo via Roane State) Larry and Lucy Stephenson of Kingston

The Stephensons also launched Materials & Chemistry Laboratory, Inc. in Oak Ridge and have given more than $175,000 in support to the college.

Barry Stephenson is a member of the Board of Directors of the Roane State Foundation and he will again serve as chairman of the board starting in July.

James Frank Wilson and his wife, Patricia Ann Wilson of Oak Ridge
(Photo via Roane State) James Frank and Patricia Ann Wilson of Oak Ridge

The Wilsons began making substantial contributions to Roane State in 2007. The scholarship endowment named for the Wilsons totals now more than $1 million, and James Wilson has noted that he plans to keep giving.

James Wilson joined the Roane State Foundation’s Board of Directors in 2017 and spearheaded a donor cultivation event that year. He is credited with raising more than $40,000 for scholarships to support students from Morgan County. In addition, he is currently the chair of the Foundation’s Investment Committee, a member of its Executive Committee, and chair of the Foundation’s Legacy Committee.

James Wilson organized Citizens First Bank and acted as chairman from 1995 until its merger in 2019. He also ran a law practice in Wartburg for over 40 years. Patricia Wilson was an elementary school teacher for 12 years with Oak Ridge Schools.

For more information about the Roane State Foundation, visit or email

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