April 28, 2017 11:46 am

The Pierce College Fort Steilacoom Health Education Center was transformed during the It’s Possible Gala on April 22 as the college raised funds to support students in need. The gala was held in honor of Pierce College’s 50th anniversary, and highlighted exceptional alumni whose lives were changed by attending college at Pierce.

With the help of emcee and former Seahawks star cornerback Shawn Springs, the college hosted a memorable night of dinner, dancing and fundraising to ensure current and future students will have the resources they need to succeed. The college raised more than $200,000 during the event, with funds directly benefiting students. The Fund for Student Success Grants was developed to provide relief to students who are forced to choose between their educational goals and their basic needs.

“We are laser-focused on student success, and we will continue to work hard to learn what our students need,” Chancellor Michele Johnson said during the event. “Our students come to us from many different places, but all of them come with big dreams.”

Two former students were also honored during the gala as 2017 Distinguished Alumni. Terry Jones earned her associate degree at Pierce College in 1977, and her time at Pierce helped to redirect her path, which set her on a journey to a successful, fulfilling career in banking. She currently serves as president of US Bank’s South Sound market.

George Thomas currently serves as the director of transportation audits for the U.S. General Services Administration. He earned his associate degree in 1980 and calls his time at Pierce a challenging experience that set him up for success in the future. Today, he leads a department of professionals who recover millions of dollars each year in overpayment of taxpayer money.

Jones and Thomas join an exceptional list of Pierce College Distinguished Alumni, many of whom were in attendance at this special event.