Roane State radiology lab named in tribute, memory of donors

By Bob Fowler

Roane State staff writer

The radiology lab in the Coffey/McNally Building on Roane State’s Oak Ridge Branch Campus now has an official name: the Mary Alice and Wallace Casnelli Radiology Lab. A plaque on the wall outside the lab bears the couple’s names and was recently dedicated.

The Casnelli’s estate included a $250,000 endowment for the lab administered through a partnership of The Trust Company of Tennessee and Roane State Foundation, and it’s been “put to excellent use,” according to Dr. Julie Hall, director of the community college’s radiologic technology program.

The gift “made it possible for us to buy equipment for the lab that normally would be outside of our reach,” Hall said. It also will fund professional development options for radiologic technology staff, she said.

Each year, four students in the program are also awarded scholarships from the endowment.

Naming the lab in the couple’s memory was a way of showing “how grateful we are,” said Dr. Chris Whaley, college president.

Wallace Casnelli, known as “Cas,” had an inherent talent for fixing all types of equipment and worked for an X-Ray company where he sold and serviced the equipment.

He launched his own company, Wallace X-Ray Company, in 1968. Over the next 30 years, the company expanded to more than 30 employees with offices in Knoxville, Johnson City and Chattanooga.

“Cas and Mary Alice set up funds to send their great nieces and nephews to school, thus starting and maintaining their dedication to helping out where and when they could,” Whaley said during a March 29th program where philanthropic contributions were recognized.

“We know that Cas and Mary Alice would be happy with the decision to be able to help fund the students of Roane State, and believe they would be pleased with how Roane State is using the gift,” Whaley said.

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