March 25, 2013. In the Mountains, of the Mountains and for the Mountains—these words have long defined Lees-McRae College. This spring the third annual Appalachian Heritage Week will once again highlight Lees-McRae’s debts and commitment to Appalachia. From April 1 through the 5, each day the college will celebrate a particular aspect of mountain heritage and invites everyone to participate in activities sponsored by the Stephenson Center for Appalachia.
Monday, April 1, will be natural history and outdoor activities day. In the afternoon from 3-5 p.m. LMC students from the Outdoor Studies program will present different features of outdoor Appalachia. Highlighting the natural denizens of the area will be students from the Wildlife Rehabilitation Program with some of the birds and beasts that are wildlife ambassadors. Also students from the LMC Backpacking Club will display both a contemporary campsite and one typical of a century ago. The Rock Climbing Club will demonstrate belaying, rappelling, and climbing, while the LMC Search and Rescue Team will man a first-aid station.
That evening, beginning at 5 p.m., the cafeteria will serve traditional Appalachian fare while the group Us Fellers led by Trevor McKenzie will play old time mountain music. While the music will be free, the cost of the meal for those without meal tickets will be $9.95.
On Tuesday, the campus will celebrate old and new Appalachian traditions. Beginning at noon, Lee Rankin will bring the denizens of her Apple Hill Farm to campus. From adorable alpacas to feisty goats and pretty pigs, the animals that are the stars of her farm’s agri-tourism enterprise will be on display. She will have available socks, scarves and other products created from the fine alpaca fiber. That evening in the cafeteria, Karen Sabo, will lead a clogging exhibition of dancers from the Appalachian Rhythm Studio in Boone.
Wednesday will feature Appalachian Arts and Crafts. Beginning at noon, potter Rob Withrow from Brasstown, North Carolina, will demonstrate his pot-throwing technique in Swank Park behind Chafee Administration building. 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 acclaimed work for sale.
Thursday, Karen Sabo, director of the New Opportunity School for Women, will host an open house at the Stephenson Center for Appalachia on campus from noon to 4 p.m. After that a reunion of women who have graduated from the New Opportunity School for Women at Lees-McRae will be held. That night beginning at 7 p.m. in the Stafford Room of the Carson Library, Jane Stephenson, founder of the NOSW and an alumna of LMC, will present a lecture: Appalachia Is My Heart. Stephenson will also have copies of her latest book, Changing Lives in Appalachia, available for purchase and signing.
Concluding the festivities Friday will be Old-Time Horse and Wagon Day. Beginning at noon, Greg (BumbleBee) Miller will drive his team of Percherons with a carriage around campus, providing rides for anyone willing to climb aboard.
Except for the dinners on Monday and Tuesday nights, all events are free and open to the public. The dinner with music in MacDonald Dining Hall of the college will be served from 5-7 p.m. and costs $9.95 per person.
Throughout the week Carson Library will feature a display on Appalachian Women Authors developed by research librarian, Donese Preswood.
“We invite everyone to join us in Lees-McRae’s celebration of our Appalachian Heritage. 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,” says Dr. Michael Joslin, director of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia. “We look forward to a rewarding week.”
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, Lees-McRae College is a private, four-year college offering diverse baccalaureate degrees, strong athletic programs and outstanding faculty. With 850 students hailing from 40 states and more than 10 countries, Lees-McRae’s broad core curriculum is enhanced by field-specific career preparation and experiential learning with an emphasis in leadership and service. For more information, please visit www.lmc.edu or call 828-898-5241.