Motlow State Community College
P.O. Box 8500
Lynchburg, TN 37352-8500
(931) 393-1500

The History of Motlow State Community College

The Founding of Motlow State

The 187-acre site for the college was donated by the Motlow family of Lynchburg, Tennessee. Because of this generous gift and because of Senator Reagor Motlow's contributions to education in Tennessee, it was recommended that the college be named Motlow State Community College.

Construction began on the first five buildings of the $2.7 million building project in March of 1968. Dr. Sam H. Ingram, former Dean of the School of Education at Middle Tennessee State University, was appointed as the first president of Motlow State Community College. Dr. Ingram moved the administrative staff into the Administration Building on the campus in August 1969. Other buildings on the campus were completed soon thereafter; and the college opened in September 1969, with 551 students and 18 full-time faculty members. At that time the college offered the two-year university parallel Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees and four two-year career programs.

The Expansion Begins

Moore County Campus

In 1983, Motlow's service area was expanded from seven to eleven counties, and Motlow assumed the lead role for identifying the educational and training needs of its area. A major campus expansion project was implemented including renovation of the Student Center, the maintenance complex, and construction of a new 280-seat theater/auditorium, instructional support areas for nursing and engineering, and an office complex for the Career Education and Workforce Development division. September 1998 launched more expansion on the Moore County campus with the construction of the new Nursing and Technology Building. The vision of providing a 21st Century facility with design options for preparing students for careers requiring new technology and enhancing current technology was realized when Motlow State was named among the "most wired campuses" by PC World magazine. The facility houses state-of-the-art business, industrial and computer technology, the nursing education program including the latest in nursing laboratory equipment, and offices for the Computer Services Department, the Center for Information Systems, and Division of Career Education and Workforce Development. The beautiful state-of-the-art Clayton-Glass Library was completed and opened in January 2008.

McMinnville Center

Construction of a 14,000 square foot instructional facility in McMinnville was completed and opened in the fall of 1988. An additional 2,992 square feet, including a 28-station computer lab and a 24-station biology lab, was completed in the spring of 1996. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission approved center status for the McMinnville site in January 1990. Increased enrollment and academic program offerings led the way for the McMinnville Center addition which opened in the fall of 2008. Academic programs offered at the McMinnville center increased as the Mechatronics certification program was added in 2008 and the Nursing program was added in 2009. The continued success and expansion of the college and its academic offerings were recognized when Motlow received two prestigious accolades. First recognized as one of the fastest growing colleges in the nation by Community College Week and recognized with an Excellence in Business Ovation Award by the Cumberland Business Journal in 2010 for the addition of the Mechatronics program.

Fayetteville Center

In the fall of 1988, the college expanded its evening program in Fayetteville and initiated a day instructional program. Concurrent with the expanded program, an initiative was undertaken by Lincoln county residents to fund a new facility. This effort succeeded with the opening of a 14,000 square foot instructional facility. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission approved center status for the Fayetteville site in July 1997. Construction of the Don Sundquist Center for Advanced Technologies, located adjacent to the Fayetteville Center, was completed in August 2001. The 32,500 square foot facility is equipped with the latest in industrial and computer training equipment.

Smyrna Site

In January 2003, construction began on the first phase of a Smyrna facility that opened in July of 2006. Academic programs increased as the Nursing program was added at the Smyrna site in 2008. In December of 2010, the Tennessee Board of Regents approved the allocation of $7.6 million toward the completion of a 35,000 square foot classroom building on the Smyrna site. Plans toward the commencement of this project are underway.

Looking to the Future

Motlow State continues to adapt and grow to meet the needs of current and future students in its 11 county service area. From conception in1967, to fruition in 1969, and continued expansion today, Motlow State continues to provide affordable high quality education to students from all walks of life. Our Timeline of Growth and Expansion exemplifies this path of excellence and commitment to our students.

The Presidential Legacy

  • Dr. MaryLou Apple / 2006 - 2015
  • Dr. Arthur L. Walker, Jr. / 2003 - 2006
  • Dr. A. Frank Glass / 1987 - 2003
  • Dr. Wade Powers / 1986 - 1987 (Interim)
  • Dr. Harry Wagner / 1975 - 1986
  • Dr. Sam H. Ingram / 1969 - 1975

Accomplishments and Recognition

Motlow State has been recognized for several accomplishments over the last two years. Following are some of our more notable honors:

  • Recognized as one of the nation's fastest growing community colleges by Community College Week
  • Received recognition as one of the top 50 community college education programs in the nation by Community College Week
  • Received reaffirmation from the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC)
  • Received reaffirmation of accreditation by Associate of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  • Received recognition with an Excellence in Business Ovation Award by the Cumberland Business Journal for the addition of the Mechatronics program<
  • Recognized for our outstanding nursing graduate pass rate on the nursing licensure exam that consistently exceeds state and national pass rates
  • Recognized for having an 83% graduation rate among student athletes
  • Graduated the largest class of Dual/Joint Enrollment Students with eight seniors from Lincoln County High School and one home school student receiving associate degrees prior to high school graduation
  • Entered into a partnership with MTSU and Bedford County to form the Middle Tennessee Education Center (MTEC)
  • Received approval for the allocation of $7.6 million toward the completion of a 35,000 square foot building for the Smyrna Center