Lees-McRae is fighting to keep its crown in the Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine “Top Adventure College” contest.
Thirty-two schools from across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States were chosen for the competition. Friends and fans of Lees-McRae can cast a new vote every day to help secure the top spot.
The college is the defending champion of last year’s contest, which split the competing schools into two categories based on size. This year, all 32 colleges and universities are vying for a single title. Lees-McRae also won the championship in 2018, and was first runner-up in 2019.
Blue Ridge Outdoors selected the 32 colleges and universities based on their “outdoor clubs and curricula, their commitment to outdoor and environmental initiatives, the quality of their outdoor athletes and programs, and their local opportunities for adventure,” according to the contest website.
“We feel so much pride and excitement from our previous Top Adventure College titles,” Katie Wall, assistant professor and program coordinator for Outdoor Recreation Management, said. “Here at Lees-McRae, it’s obvious why we are a top adventure college, and it’s fun sharing all the incredible experiences we provide. This competition is an annual opportunity for us to celebrate all we’ve accomplished and all we have planned. It’s one of our favorite times of year.”
Outdoor programs and recreation are an essential part of the Lees-McRae experience. In addition to college-sponsored hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, rafting, rock climbing, and caving trips, Lees-McRae also offers academic programs that put students right in the middle of the action, including Outdoor Recreation Management, Wildlife Biology, Cycling Studies, Wilderness Medicine, and Ski Industry Business and Instruction.
The first round of voting ends on March 21. The colleges and universities that receive the most votes will move on to the Sweet Sixteen round, which will run from March 22 to March 28. The Elite Eight round will run until April 4. The Final Four round will run April 5–11, with a final round of voting taking place April 12–18 to determine the champion.