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First Community Bank pledges $150,000 for career services center

(From left) First Community Bank President and COO Boris Dover, Lyon Interim President Melissa Taverner, Director of Career Services Patrick Lynch, Chairman and CEO of First Community Bank Dale Cole, and Vice President for Advancement David Hutchison commemorate FCB's pledge to support the Lyon College Career Services Center.


First Community Bank (FCB) has pledged $150,000 to developing and supporting the Lyon College Career Services Center, including establishing a permanent endowment.

Dale Cole, chairman and chief executive officer for First Community Bank, said the gift of $30,000 per year for five years will help with the College’s plan to “provide meaningful support for students.”

“I always measure the success of Lyon College by measuring the outcomes of their students,” said Cole. “First Community Bank’s commitment for the career service center is important for students to connect with a career for their studies while at Lyon College and their career beyond Lyon College.” 

Making this connection early will help students build their plan of studies and find a meaningful career and possibly employment, both during and after their time at Lyon.

“This will improve relationships between Lyon students, their professors, the business community of Batesville, and the surrounding areas,” said Cole. “We believe this program can also foster the students remaining in the Batesville area upon graduation.”

FCB’s commitment provided startup capital for the newly hired full-time director of career services, Patrick Lynch, who will be scaling up a new series of comprehensive career service programs for the student body. 

The endowment will also create permanent funding to support new programs and make these improvements sustainable long-term.

“The mission of our Career Services Center is to help every Lyon College student explore, identify, and capture career opportunities that will leverage the skills and knowledge,” said Lynch. 

He continued, “First Community Bank’s generous gift will provide us with the resources to deliver on this mission and positively impact the lives of every student we serve.”

The revamped Career Services Center will increase chances for students to participate in paid internships and expand the annual career fair to showcase a wider range of employment and graduate school opportunities. FCB’s gift will enable the Center to create a new series of workshops on career readiness, expand digital resources for students to improve their resumes, interview techniques and networking opportunities with potential employers, and expand programming for first-year students so that they begin exploring career paths early and shape their education accordingly.

Career Services will realign its mission with the academic experience so that students can explore the practical applications of their education while progressing through their courses. Faculty and staff will also receive career services training so they can be a stronger resource for students.

Career readiness is one of the first things prospective students and their parents consider when exploring options for college, and these changes will help Lyon stay competitive with other institutions.

Interim President Melissa Taverner said Lyon College has a strong tradition of “helping its students to prepare for their post-graduate lives,” as evidenced by the exceedingly high graduate school and job placement rates. About 94% of Lyon students are employed or enrolled in graduate school after graduating.

“The expanded Career Services facility with Patrick at the helm will accelerate important career conversations with students,” Taverner said, “beginning in their first year and continuing throughout their time at Lyon.”

She continued, “The most important outcome, cultivated by faculty and staff as well as Career Services, will be helping students to connect their courses of study to their roles as professionals and citizens in the world beyond Lyon.”