The Walters State Community College National Alumni Association plans the second annual Walters State Alumni & Friends Run for Fund 5K on Saturday, Oct. 6. The run begins at 8 a.m. on the Morristown campus, with registration beginning at 7 a.m. Registration begins at 7 a.m. Participants can also complete a one- or two-mile fun walk.
“The first run was a great success and we did raise enough money to award a scholarship to a child of an alumnus. We actually hope that student will be on hand race day to start the race,” said Wanda Harrell, coordinator of alumni affairs for the college.
“Several runners last year commented on the race being one of the fastest courses ran during the previous year. The course is flat with two slight inclines,” Harrell added. Runners will travel the back of the campus then circle College Square Mall and finish back on campus near the tennis courts. The construction on 25E will not impact the course. Traffic is also not anticipated to be a problem, with the race starting so early.
Harrell extends a special invitation to those who walk on the Morristown and Sevier County campuses, the mall and Fred Miller Park regularly. She’s also hoping area track and cross-country teams will participate. While the walk is at the Morristown campus, Walters State serves a 10-county area: Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, Sevier and Union counties. Scholarships are awarded through the Walters State Foundation to students from all 10 counties.
Awards will be given to grand master male and female, overall male and female, and the top three finishers in each age group. Results will be calculated and posted by John Smyth of the Morristown Running Hiking and Biking Club. The route travels through the mall parking lot thanks to the assistance of Mike Kaufman, general manager.
Pre-registration is only $20 and can be completed through Oct. 5. Walters State alumni, students and staff as well as members of the MRHBC get an additional $2 discount. Registration will be available the day of the event, but will cost $25. All pre-registered participants receive a T-shirt.
Children under 14 can participate free with a paying adult.
All proceeds are used to fund the Walters State Alumni Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to children and grandchildren of the college’s alumni.
The run also gives alumni a chance to get back on campus and renew old connections.
“As coordinator of alumni affairs, this gives me the chance to meet alumni and learn about their experiences at Walters State. For many alumni, coming back to run may be the first time they’ve actually been on campus for several years. A couple of staff members have registered, so it might be a good chance to see some old friends,” she said.
The Walters State National Alumni Association has an active Facebook page, which will have continuing updates. In addition to the alumni association, chapters also exist for popular majors like nursing and law enforcement.
Over the last 40 years, more than 25,000 students have graduated from Walters State. About 10,000 more have taken one or two years of college work and transferred to another college without earning an official Walters State degree, Harrell explained. Recently, the college moved to declare all students with 30 or more semester (or equivalent quarter) credit hours alumni even if they did not hold a degree.
Individuals and businesses can also be involved in the walk and show support for the college by signing up as a bronze, silver or gold sponsor. Mile marker sponsorships are also available.
To sign up to run or walk, visit www.ws.edu/alumni/events. Both registration and sponsorship forms are available. For more information, contact Harrell at (423) 585-6976 or firstname.lastname@example.org.