July 1, 2014. If you are looking to gain insight into Appalachian culture or seeking to enrich your summer experience, reserve three Wednesdays in July to participate in the John B. Stephenson Lecture Series at Lees-McRae College. The Stephenson Lecture Series is free and open to the public.
Beginning at 7 p.m. on July 9, 16 and 23 and Evans Auditorium within Lees-McRae’s Cannon Student Center, the College will present a diverse set of programs: Dr. Michael Joslin, director of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia; Dr. Ron Roach, Chair of the Department of Appalachian Studies at East Tennessee State University; and John Goad and his Bluegrass Band will share their expertise with the public in presentations that promise to be both entertaining and enlightening.
To start the summer series, on July 9, Dr. Michael Joslin will lead a discussion on life in the Toe River Valley with his slide presentation Our Living Heritage. An award-winning author, he has published six books on Appalachia: Mountain People, Places and Ways; More Mountain People, Places and Ways; Appalachian Bounty; Our Living Heritage; Highland Handcrafters and Mountain Spring.
Living in the Toe River Valley since 1983, Joslin has written about and photographed the area to document both the present life of the valley and the traditions that are slipping into the past. He has interviewed hundreds of mountain folks who preserve their heritage in both their memories and their ways of life, and has hiked many mountain trails and woodlands documenting the natural wonders of the area.
“Our mountain community has a distinctive culture and spirit,” said Joslin. “We must recognize and support the richness of our life and environment. What we have is unique and valuable. I invite everyone interested in Appalachia to join us at our program.”
The following week, July 16, Ron Roach will tell the story of the fascinating, versatile mountain author Manley Wade Wellman, whose Kingdom of Madison presents the history of Blood Madison County and whose science fiction novels and Silver John tales of a wandering mountain minstrel’s adventures show an imagination gone wild.
To finish the series, on July 23, John Goad, a student in ETSU’s Bluegrass graduate program, will lead a group of his fellows in a musical presentation. Goad writes for Bluegrass Today magazine and is a graduate assistant in the bluegrass program.
Scholar, teacher, humanist and supporter of Southern Appalachia, John B. Stephenson began his career at Lees-McRae College and rose to be the president of Berea College. He left an enduring legacy of devoted stewardship of the mountains. This series of programs honors his memory and carries forward his devotion to our Southern mountains.
The Stephenson Lecture Series is free and open to the public. Each program begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays, July 9, 16 and 23, in Evans Auditorium within the Cannon Student Center at Lees-McRae College. For more information, please contact Megan Hall, director of communications, at 828-898-8729.
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 900 students hailing from 35 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 800-280-4562