In the midafternoon on Friday, July 12, campus community members and alumni visiting for the Frolic weekend gathered to celebrate the legacy of Frankie Ramsey Needham ’55H and unveil the formerly-named Alumni House as the Frankie Ramsey Needham Alumni House in her honor.
Having retired just a few weeks prior, Needham’s tenure of 47 years marked the longest-ever service in the history of the institution.
After graduating from Avery County High School in 1972, Needham began at Lees-McRae under the guidance of then-president Dr. H.C. Evans Jr. as a secretary within the alumni affairs office. Working her way up the ranks since her start, Needham retired as the Director of Advancement Services.
Both Lees-McRae President Lee King and Chairman of the Board of Trustees W. McNair Tornow shared their thoughts on Needham’s retirement and wished her the best.
“We get the opportunity today to celebrate and honor her as she enters her retirement,” King said. “Frankie, you have meant so much to this incredible institution, and the people here today can certainly testify to that. The love that we have for you is endless, and I hope that we can show you today the impact you have not only had on us, but also the college.”
King then welcomed Tornow to share a special greeting.
“From both myself and the Board of Trustees, we love you, we are proud of you, we will miss you, and to commemorate that we have a resolution we would like to present to you,” Tornow said.
The resolution—a voted-upon and official consensus from the Board of Trustees—honored and thanked Needham for her 47 years of service as well as her loyalty to the college.
King, Tornow, and Vice President for Institutional Advancement Ed Roberts then gathered at the front of the lawn to surprise Needham with the green and gold sign that has since been installed in front of the alumni house.
Needham thanked everyone for coming to celebrate the end of a chapter and wished both the college and the campus community all the best moving into the future.