Roane State supporters from Oak Ridge honored as outstanding philanthropists

James and Patricia Wilson, award recipients, are pictured with Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Great Smoky Mountain Chapter President Paul Bowman, Roane State Foundation Executive Director Scott Niermann, and Roane State President Chris Whaley.

An Oak Ridge couple honored on several occasions for their ongoing philanthropic efforts has received recognition once again for their generosity.

James Frank Wilson and Patricia Ann Wilson were honored by the Great Smoky Mountain Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) as the Outstanding Philanthropists of 2022 during a November luncheon in Knoxville attended by more than 250 people.

James Frank Wilson and Patricia Ann Wilson

During the past two years alone, the Wilsons have provided more than 60 scholarships to Roane State Community College students in Morgan and Fentress counties.

Funds for those scholarships are derived from the $1.5 million dollar James Frank and Patricia Ann Wilson Scholarship Endowment that is entrusted to the Roane State Foundation, the community college’s nonprofit fundraising entity.

Those grants are just the latest examples of what is described as the couple’s “unwavering support” since 2007 of Roane State and its students.

“There’s no question that the Wilsons’ impact on education will be permanently felt in Morgan County and beyond,” according to the application nominating the couple.

James Frank Wilson ran a successful law practice in Wartburg for more than 40 years. He organized Citizens First Bank and was its chairman from its inception in 1995 until its merger in 2019. Wilson is currently on the board of directors of the Roane State Foundation and serves on its executive, investment, and legacy committees.

Patricia Ann Wilson was a schoolteacher at Willow Brook Elementary School in Oak Ridge for 12 years. The couple strongly supports education at all levels of instruction, and they continue to add to their Foundation endowment.

“We believe our contributions to Roane State students give us the greatest return from our giving and create the greatest benefit to others,” Mr. Wilson said. “We think the return on our investment in student education is several orders of magnitude more than our initial contribution. We’ve done this without any hesitation and without being asked. The students here are wonderful, they just need some help.”

In 2016, Wilson helped spearhead the successful launch of a fundraising drive for scholarships for Roane State students attending the Morgan County campus.

The Great Smoky Mountain chapter of AFP has been recognizing National Philanthropy Day since 1989.

Roane State Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation that seeks to enhance community awareness of the college, to secure private contributions and bequests, and to manage monies or properties given to the Foundation, including an approximately $12 million endowment. Roane State Foundation supports the college with capital projects, equipment, educational programs and scholarships. For more information or to make a gift to support Roane State students, visit, email, or call (865) 882-4507.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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