Skip Navigation

Hiatt-Spivey Center Dedicated on Smyrna Campus

October 29, 2021

Dr. TorrenceMotlow State Community College’s Hiatt-Spivey Center, located at the College’s Smyrna campus, was officially dedicated on October 22. The 82,000 square foot Center has been hosting students and classes for more than a year, opening right before the pandemic.

“Both the Hiatt family and former Mayor Bob Spivey were instrumental in bringing the Smyrna campus from a mere thought to where it is today,” said Hilda Tunstill, executive vice president of Business and Finance at Motlow.

Initially, Motlow taught classes at Riverdale and LaVergne High Schools and then the Smyrna National Guard armory. The Town of Smyrna donated land, and the first building for Motlow’s Smyrna campus opened in 2006. The Town donated land again, and a second building was constructed there in 2013.

“For Motlow to support the population growth and the demand for higher education, we needed more space,” recalled Tunstill. “From 2015-19, Motlow was the fastest-growing community college in the state.”

Thanks to another generous donation of land from Smyrna, and contributions from the Hiatt family, the third building finally opened in January 2020.

“This building was made possible through the collaborative partnerships. Motlow State students are positioned for opportunities of today and tomorrow,” said Dr. Michael Torrence, president of Motlow.

“Without their support, we would not be here today,” added Tunstill.

Hiatt-Spivey CenterThe building, named in honor of the late Smyrna Mayor Bob Spivey and the Hiatt family, features 32 new classrooms equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including seven new labs, more than 50 faculty, and staff offices, the campus library and bookstore, a one-stop center for student services such as admissions and financial aid, student lounges, and a multi-purpose area capable of seating up to 300.

Speakers at the event included Senator Dawn White, 13th District, Rutherford County; Regent MaryLou Apple, Tennessee Board of Regents and former Motlow president; and Billy Hix, Director of STEM Outreach. Additionally, Brenda Cannon, Motlow’s executive director of community relations, spoke on behalf of former Motlow Presidents Dr. Frank Glass and Dr. Art Walker.

“Motlow provides access to education and prepares the workforce. We hope to continue to contribute to its growth in the future,” said Town of Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed.  “Motlow is more than buildings on campus; it is part of the identity of the Town of Smyrna.”

The new building is yet another milestone for Motlow, one of the fastest-growing colleges in the nation that has seen double-digit percentage increases in Smyrna enrollment 2015-19. The project triples classroom space and parking space on the campus.

“Motlow Smyrna changes the direction of Motlow State. Students in Smyrna can now make a choice. This wouldn’t have been possible without Mayor Spivey and the Hiatt family,” said Torrence.

The ceremony concluded with a time-lapse video of the building during construction. Also, Torrence unveiled the building plaque and presented photo prints to both the Hiatt and Spivey families.

Tennessee’s Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient, and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. The system offers associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs, and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at or visit Motlow at

Scroll to top