December 17, 2009
Other news and notes from Campus

Faculty and Staff Accomplishments

Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Warren Doyle was selected recently as the 2009 Outdoor Person of the Year by Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine. This free publication will be available at outfitting stores right before Christmas. Doyle, who has thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail a record number of times, also just concluded directing a four-day preparation session for the Appalachian Trail Institute for 15 people from 10 states including California and Texas. They are all planning their own thru-hikes this upcoming summer.

Distinguished Professor of Performing Arts and Virginia McKenzie Reeves Endowed Chair of Performing Arts Dr. Janet Barton Speer recently received the honor of being named Distinguished Alumni of the Year from her high school in San Marcos, Texas, and was presented with the key to the city from the mayor.

Board of Visitors News

The board of visitors met November 5, 2009, attended classes all day and hosted a reception that evening. More than 50 members, spouses and guests were in attendance. The Highlanders sang, and President Scott Colley presented the state of the college. Board of Visitors' chair, David Carter and vice chair, Tricia Argabrite presented former chair, Parker Grubbs '95 with gifts of appreciation. Professor Ken Craig brought greetings from faculty and stated that faculty really appreciated having members of the board in their classes. The next meeting is May 6th, 2010.

Events and Highlights from the Arthur Student Recreation Complex and Campus Recreation

The popular program Kidz Zone will resume in January on Mondays and Fridays from 3-5 p.m. Children from the community are invited to attend Kidz Zone where they play games and participate in activities with children of similar ages. Kidz Zone is a great way for children to stay active during the winter months.

Kidz Climbing Team will begin in February on Mondays and Thursdays from 3:30-5:30 p.m.

The Lil Bobcats Cheer Clinic will be held January 30-31 and February 3. More information is available by calling 828.898.8858.

Eat Smart, Move More, a weight loss and healthy living program will be available to all members of the community. Meetings will be Mondays from 3:30 -4:30 p.m. in the Williams Gymnasium classroom. For more information, call 828.898.8858.

Fitness classes offered by Campus Recreation include:

  • Beginners Tai Chi Class: Tues./Wed./Thurs. beginning January 26 from 10-11 a.m.
  • Pilates: Mon./Wed. 12-12:45 p.m. (Bring your own mat. Start date TBA)
  • Zumba: Mondays 3:30-4:30 p.m. beginning February 1
  • Bums and Tums: Tues./Thurs. at 3:30 p.m. (Start date TBA)
  • Other classes to be added soon! Call 828.898.8858 for more information.

News from Campus Recreation

The Turkey Trot 5k that took place Saturday, November 21 was a great success. With over 30 runners and a fantastic day, 13-year-old Michael Holland from Beech Mountain, crossed the finish line first with long-time runner and Hickory resident Mike Lawson close behind. More than $700 was raised for the Alonzo Clark Memorial fund.

Winners of the Indoor Soccer Tournament won a trip for the team from Vacations Plus Travel in Banner Elk. Big thanks go out to owner Shawn Banks who has done so much Lees-McRae College Campus Recreation this year!

Campus Recreation extends a special thank you to Kendall Jillings, a Lees-McRae alumna cheerleader, for helping the Bobcat Cheerleaders with tumbling and stunting in November. Jillings invited the team of 15 students to travel to her tumbling gym, Tumblemania Gymnastics, in Morganton, NC, where the team practiced. The cheerleaders enjoyed it so much, they have scheduled future visits to the gym in the spring.

Competition Climbing Team competes at regional competitions

In the spring of 2007, Lees-McRae Outdoor Programs and student rock climbers came up with the idea to form a Competition Climbing Club. The club was created as a way to introduce students to the sport of rock climbing on an indoor climbing wall and to provide opportunities for students to attend climbing competitions hosted at local climbing facilities and area universities.

Lees-McRae had not yet built the climbing wall that now stands in the Carol and Glenn Arthur Student Recreation Complex. However, the students participated in several climbing competitions that spring and had the opportunity to meet other college students who enjoyed climbing and were members of climbing teams at their colleges and universities.

In the fall of 2008, the climbing wall was completed in the Student Recreation Complex. In addition to the wall being used for Outdoor Programs' rock climbing classes, the wall was opened on Thursday and Sunday nights for Lees-McRae students and the community to enjoy. A group of about 20 students were excited to have the climbing wall open on Tuesday nights specifically for them to train for area climbing competitions.

Dee Thomas, Director of Outdoor Programs, assisted with the training and helped to schedule and transport students to local competitions. In the fall of 2009, Jessa Goebel was hired as the coach of the Lees-McRae Competition Climbing Team Club, and the club took on a whole new energy and focus. Jessa is an excellent climber and has a strong background in competing in climbing competitions herself, as well as training climbers. She has a company called Climb Fit and also sets the routes for many of the local climbing competitions. Jessa has been hosting trainings for climbing team students each Tuesday night at the climbing wall.

 Students have competed in two climbing competitions this fall. Appalachian State University's Southern Comfort Bouldering Competition was held on Saturday, November 14. Valerie Jones finished first in the Women's Recreational Division. East Tennessee State University's Top Rope Climbing Competition was held on Saturday, November 21. Karissa Sampson finished second in the Women's Recreational Division and Valerie Jones finished second in the Women's Intermediate Division. Jon Bernal finished first in the Men's Recreational Division and Jonathan Honchul finished third in the Men's Recreational Division.

Other Lees-McRae Competition Climbing Team Club members who competed in at least one of the two competitions included Walter Ford, Liz McElroy, Ashley Smith, Eric Rayfield, Andrew Wolford, Aaron Linville, Josh Kline, Aaron Mahaley, and Jose Tinoco.

In September, Lees-McRae Outdoor Programs along with club leaders and members of the Competition Climbing Team Club and the Rock Climbing Club worked together to host "The Reel Rock Film Tour" at Lees-McRae College as a fund raiser for the Carolina Climbers Coalition and the two campus climbing clubs. The event was a huge success thanks to their efforts and a grant from the Town of Banner Elk Tourism Development Authority. More than $700 was raised. The members of the Competition Climbing Team Club are excited to continue training in February 2010 for the spring climbing competitions.

Media Contact:

Blaine Hansen  |  Vice President of Strategic Planning and Effectiveness
Tel: 828.898.8838  |  Email: