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Collin College Announces 2007 "Living Legends"

September 28, 2007 - The Collin College Foundation recently declared the 2007 Living Legends. Nancy Boyd (Plano), Mary Alice Skaggs (Celina) and Lynn and Neil Sperry (McKinney), who reflect this year's theme "Jewels of our Community, Treasures to Honor," will be recognized at the 2007 Living Legends ceremony and dinner from 7-9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10 at Collin College's Spring Creek Campus conference center in Plano. Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano is the event's 2007 Diamond Presenting Sponsor.

The Foundation supports the college by raising private donations that provide student scholarships. Proceeds from the event will go toward Living Legends scholarships, named annually in honor of Living Legends.

According to Collin College President Cary A. Israel, the 2007 Living Legends honorees exemplify the college's core values of Learning, Service and Involvement, Creativity and Innovation, Academic Excellence, Dignity and Respect, and Integrity.

"It is an honor to recognize these individuals. Their vision, passion and years of dedication set an ideal example for our students to emulate. Collin County is continually enriched by their gifts. We appreciate the continued support of quality institutions such as Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano on this milestone community event," Israel said.

When Nancy Boyd, current Rockwall Independent School District Coordinator of Counselors and former PISD teacher and counselor, saw children in need, she shared her vision with the community, and the temporary shelter CITY House was born. Today area youth aged 10-17 receive food, shelter, medical attention, education and counseling at the facility. This year, Boyd brought CITY House counseling services to Rockwall via a satellite office. She also serves as an advisory board member of My Friend's House, a new site under construction that will serve children aged nine and younger. Boyd's devotion to area youth can also be seen in her board position at Hendrick Academy of Honor, an organization that provides college scholarships for students who have overcome adversity.

When Celina resident Mary Alice Skaggs celebrated her 99th birthday her well-wishers included current and former students, Celina Mayor Corbett Howard, Plano Mayor Pat Evans, Collin County Commissioner Joe Jaynes, PISD superintendent Doug Otto and State Rep. Brian McCall and U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall who brought the birthday girl a flag flown over the capitol in her honor. The first PISD teacher to hold a master's degree and namesake of Skaggs Elementary School, she taught English, journalism and economics at PISD for 31 years. Though Skaggs and her husband had no children of their own, she served hundreds of students as senior class sponsor, yearbook committee member and founder of the Junior Thursday Study Club, a group dedicated to providing female students with leadership and life-long learning skills.

Neil and Lynn Sperry have worked side-by-side on many public projects in their hometown of McKinney where they are known as community champions. Lynn was the driving force behind the founding of the McKinney Education Foundation. She has served for 24 years on the McKinney ISD Board of Trustees, and she served 12 years on the board of the Texas Association of School Boards. Neil was a founding force in The Crape Myrtle Trails of McKinney. Both have served on its board since its inception in 1999. Neil has served on the board of the Denton State School (also serving Collin County) for 15 years. Both served on McKinney's board of Avenues Counseling Center for 10 years, and both have served as founding members of the Serenity High Advisory Board since the nation's only public recovery high school opened nine years ago. Both have been named Volunteers of the Year and Citizens of the Year for the city of McKinney. Neil is in the Texas Radio Hall of Fame and was named Garden Communicator of the Year for the United States by the American Association of Nurserymen.

The community is invited to participate in the 2007 Living Legends tribute ceremony and dinner and may purchase tables of 8 for $450 or individual tickets for $60. In addition, corporations and/or families can choose to support the college through a special contribution as Ruby Patron Sponsors at $10,000, Sapphire Humanitarian sponsors at $5,000 or Emerald Mentor Sponsors at $2,500.

According to Ron Johnson, Collin College Foundation board chair, this year's honorees have demonstrated commitment to philanthropy and education.

"These community leaders have made contributions that have touched the lives of individuals and the county. However, what makes them unique is that their actions have transcended our community into the world. The lives they have touched will touch others in a ripple effect that will be felt for years to come," Johnson said.

For more information about the Living Legends event or sponsorship, call Mary Frazier at the Collin College Foundation at 972.599.3143.

Collin College serves more than 46,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development.