Pellissippi State accepts federal grant for Appalachian Heritage Project

Strawberry Plains Campus exterior
Pellissippi State’s Strawberry Plains Campus, photographed here in spring 2018, will house a new Appalachian Heritage Project.

A $400,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities is laying the groundwork for an Appalachian Heritage Project at Pellissippi State Community College.

The Appalachian Heritage Project will be housed at the college’s Strawberry Plains Campus, which serves more than 1,200 students from Knox County Schools, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology and Pellissippi State.

The grant will help Pellissippi State expand its Strawberry Plains Campus library to house the Appalachian Heritage Project, which will focus on regional literature, history and folklore.

“The Appalachian Heritage Project will create a cultural center that will educate not only our Pellissippi State students, but the entire community about the traditions and narrative of our region,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “This grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities gives us the significant head start we need to make this dream a reality.”

The $400,000 National Endowment for the Humanities Infrastructure and Capacity-Building Challenge Grant requires a $400,000 match, which will be met through a major gift fundraising campaign. The Pellissippi State Foundation develops financial resources to support Pellissippi State’s educational goals.

“We expect that the Appalachian Heritage Project will be one of the most unique educational settings in Tennessee,” said Foundation Executive Director Aneisa Rolen. “The project will create a repository of information, be a champion for Appalachian history and create a shared space that will bring together students and community members to learn about the people and the land of Strawberry Plains, East Tennessee and the Appalachian region.”

The project is expected to be completed Oct. 1, 2020.

“The Pellissippi State library staff is very excited about our role in the creation and continued development of our treasured Appalachian Heritage Collection,” said Pellissippi State NEH Grant Project Director and Librarian Susan Martel.  “We are committed to providing a robust repository of information that will preserve our collective memory about this unique culture for our community.  We will use the new space at the Strawberry Plans Campus library to host cultural events for students and our community that will help to keep this knowledge alive.”

NEH logoFor more information about the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor, visit For more information about Pellissippi State, visit or call 865-694-6400.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this story do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.