Foundation Announces Chancellor's Award Recipients

Photo Caption: After 9/11, Burger King of Bedford, Marshall and Maury counties wanted to honor and assist their own public servant safety officers by providing an endowed scholarship for officers’ families, ensuring a higher education opportunity for those who serve and protect our communities. Pictured, left to right: Dr. Janet F. Smith, president of Columbia State; Mary Vrailas; Con Vrailas; David Gregory, vice chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents; and Barry White, Foundation chair.

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – June 11, 2014) - - - Constantine and Mary Vrailas were honored at the Columbia State Community College Foundation’s annual award luncheon today as recipients of the 2014 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy.

Recognized for their significant impact on the growth and support of education at Columbia State and its surrounding communities, David Gregory, vice chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, presented the award to the Vrailas’, pointing out that they have provided many needed opportunities for students working toward degrees.

“Con and Mary Vrailas set an example of not only how to live and create the American dream, but how to help others along the way,” Gregory stated. “It is through individuals like Con and Mary that this college will continue to provide a place for students and the community to grow and learn for many years to come.”

Born in Egypt and later educated in Greece and the United States, Vrailas worked early in his career in quality control for food industry businesses in New York, Virginia and Florida before he and Mary launched MAGIC Restaurants, Inc., operating six Burger King franchises in Bedford, Marshall and Maury counties.

The Vrailas’ contribute to numerous funding projects for the college, participate in Columbia State golf tournaments, regularly attend Performance Series shows, and have generously created student scholarships, including the Burger King Public Service Scholarship that was established following 9/11.

Vrailas has also been a long standing Columbia State Foundation trustee and member of the investment/finance committee.

“Con’s insight and leadership have helped establish a solid footing by which the foundation has been able to grow and provide numerous opportunities for Columbia State students,” Smith said. “The vision, hard work, and financial contributions of Con and Mary Vrailas, on behalf of Columbia State Community College, will reap great benefits for our students and have a lasting impact in our community well into the future.”

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit

Tennessee’s Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at

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