Sponsored by the Stephenson Center for Appalachia, Lees-McRae will kick-off the start of spring and highlight the unique aspects of mountain living during its seventh annual Appalachian Heritage Week.
The weeklong event will begin on Monday, April 3, with the New Opportunity School for Women Open House from 1–5 p.m. The program provides the opportunity for participants to embrace their Appalachian heritage as they improve their lives. Join Director Jennie Harpold, members of the NOSW advisory council and past graduates to learn more about this program that has changed the lives of more than 100 women within the region and more than 700 in the 28 years since it was founded in Berea, Kentucky.
That same day, MacDonald Dining Hall will serve a traditional, Appalachian-themed meal while the group Us Fellers, will play old-time mountain music. Meal cost for non-Lees-McRae meal plan holders is $10.25 without tax.
Starting at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 4, professor of biological sciences Gene Spears and professor of biology Stewart Skeate will lead students and community members around campus to identify and discuss the many varieties of trees on campus. Interested participants should gather at 1 p.m. in Swank Park behind the Chaffee Administration Building.
That evening, the Bailey Mountain Cloggers will have the cafeteria jumping from 5:15 until 6:15 p.m. The award-winning team from Mars Hill College returns for the fourth year in a row at the request of students and faculty who have enjoyed the groups dances.
Wednesday, April 5 is the 13th Annual Mountain Day of Service during which students, faculty, staff and community members volunteer their time and efforts in projects around campus and in the community. For information or to volunteer, contact Renee Baker in the Student Development Office at email@example.com or 828.898.3416.
From noon until 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 6, the college will celebrate old and new Appalachian crafts and traditions. Local Potter, Rob Withrow, from Brasstown, North Carolina, will demonstrate his pot-throwing technique in Swank Park. Students and visitors are invited to get their hands wet and shape clay on the turning wheel. Withrow will also have a selection of his work for sale.
Also beginning at noon on Tate Lawn, student-favorite Apple Hill Farm Owner Lee Rankin will bring alpacas to campus.
That night beginning at 7 p.m. in Evans Auditorium, area author and historian Michael Hardy will present a program on North Carolina history. Appearing as the renowned Richmond M. Pearson, (1805–1878) an American jurist who served as Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court from 1858 to 1878, Hardy captures the past to bring it alive.
The week’s festivities conclude on Friday, April 7 when Greg “Bumble Bee” Miller brings his percheron team and carriage to campus to take students and visitors for rides the old-fashioned way – by real horsepower. Horse and carriage tours will be available from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. At 2 p.m. in Evans Auditorium, Lees-McRae history professor, Scott Huffard will present the acclaimed film Blood on the Mountain and lead a discussion of the issues raised by the movie, which explores coal mining in West Virginia and the struggle miners have endured over the years.
“Once again we invite everyone to join us in Lees-McRae’s celebration of our Appalachian heritage,” Michael Joslin, director of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia at Lees-McRae College said. “Whether you can contribute to our understanding of the past or hope to learn more about mountain culture, please join us for one or all of our activities. We look forward to a rewarding week.”