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President and Mrs. Buxton named Honorary Lees-McRae Alumni During 2014 Homecoming and Family Weekend

Oct. 21, 2014. The Executive Committee of the Lees-McRae Alumni Board of Directors is proud to announce they recognize President Barry M. Buxton and his wife, Deborah, as honorary alumni of the class of 2011 during the 2014 Homecoming and Family Weekend. The year of 2011 was chosen in honor of the first class to graduate under the leadership of President Buxton.

President and Mrs. Buxton with members of the Executive Committee of the Alumni Board after receiving their honorary alumni status.
President and Mrs. Buxton with members of the Executive Committee of the Alumni Board after receiving their honorary alumni status.

During the presentation of their honor at the Green and Gold Alumni Awards Brunch, Martha McAfee, former President of the Alumni Board, remarked, “[Dr. and Mrs Buxton] rescued us. They inspired us. They motivated us. And they elevated us to a new level. Their vision continues through hard work and dedication to our Alma Mater. Barry and Debbie make us proud to be Lees-McRae Alumni!”

Just before the arrival of President and Mrs. Buxton in June 2012, Lees-McRae was experiencing severe financial difficulty. From the beginning, President Buxton set his sights on implementing a plan for the revitalization of Lees-McRae. In his first four years, the President has reduced the College’s debt by 30 percent, completed three years with a balanced budget, frozen tuition costs for two consecutive years, developed a state-of-the-art school of nursing and health sciences (funded by donations), implemented a pet-friendly campus policy and completed more than $3.5 million in deferred maintenance to the campus (funded by donations).

Mrs. Buxton has also become a campus symbol in her own right. In 2010, Mrs. Buxton began restoring the Daniel Boone Cottage, which now serves as guest housing. This historic restoration earned her the 2012 Gertrude S. Carraway Award of Merit from Preservation North Carolina.

A native of Blowing Rock, Dr. Buxton has a long history of involvement with nonprofit organizations in Appalachia. He served as Executive Director of the sixteen-member Appalachian Consortium and, in 1987, he received a distinguished service award from the Blue Ridge Parkway in recognition of the historic studies he conducted of Mabry Mill, Moses H. Cone Estate, Davey Farm and Brinegar Cabin. President Buxton holds two degrees from Appalachian State University, a BS in history and an MA in social studies and a PhD in education administration from the University of Nebraska.

For more information about the Alumni Association at Lees-McRae, please contact Jillian Rosato, director of annual giving and alumni relations at [email protected]

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 950 students hailing from 31 states and more than 8 countries, Lees-McRae’s broad core curriculum is enhanced by field-specific career preparation and experiential learning. For more information, please visit www.lmc.edu or call 828.898.5241.