June 24, 2013. 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. Scholar, teacher, humanist and caretaker 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.
Beginning at 7 p.m. in the Stafford Room of Lees-McRae’s Carson Library on July 10, 17 and 24, Lees-McRae College will present a diverse set of programs: Joseph Bathanti, Poet Laureate of North Carolina; Dr. Lloyd Bailey, a religion professor and local historian; and Dr. Marie Tedesco, director of Liberal Studies at East Tennessee State University. These speakers will share their expertise with the public in presentations that promise to be both entertaining and enlightening.
On July 10, North Carolina’s Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti will present a program of his poetry. Bathanti, a professor of creative writing at Appalachian State University, is the Director of Writing in the Field and Writer-in-Residence in the University’s Watauga Global Community.
“I can’t imagine a better place in the United States to be a writer than North Carolina,” Bathanti said. “There is no place richer in literature and no place that has celebrated writers in quite the same way as our state does.”
On July 17, Dr. Loyd Bailey, retired from Duke University’s Divinity School and presently teaching at Methodist College and Mount Olive College, will present a lecture: “Old Yancey (The Present Avery-Mitchell-Yancey Counties), the County that Almost Wasn’t and the Character of its Inhabitants.”
Bailey’s multi-volume studies of the history and heritage of the Toe River Valley is unmatched in the country. He has spent years collecting, studying, writing and editing these masterpieces of local history.
On July 24, Dr. Marie Tedesco, history professor and director of the Master of Liberal Studies program at ETSU, will present a lecture on women and labor history in Appalachia.
“Lees-McRae College welcomes everyone to share these Wednesday evenings with us,” said Dr. Michael Joslin, director of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia. “We encourage you to experience these accomplished writers, teachers and sages of Appalachian Culture.”
The Stephenson Lecture Series is free and open to the public. Each program begins at 7 p.m. in the Stafford Room of the Carson Library at Lees-McRae College. For information contact Megan Hall, director of communications, at 828-898-5241.