July 14, 2011
Educator, novelist and children's author Gloria Houston is second installment of Stephenson Lecture Series on Appalachia July 20

Lees-McRae College is proud to welcome well-known educator, novelist and children's author Gloria Houston to campus. She will present a program as part of the Stephenson Lecture Series on Wednesday, July 20, in Evans Auditorium of the Cannon Student Center at 7:00 p.m.

Borrowing from the 1960′s hit Broadway musical, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Houston's theme will be "The Unsinkable Gloria H: I Ain't Down Yet." Although greatly fictionalized, the musical portrays the struggles of the real Molly Brown to have her charitable work accepted in her hometown, Denver, CO. after she and her silver baron husband, J J, became the toasts of Europe.

The song, "I Ain't Down Yet," is sung early in the play and typifies Brown's determination to rise above her struggles. Brown is best remembered as a passenger on the Titanic when it sank. She is credited with saving the lives of several passengers. An enthusiastic lifelong fan of musicals, Houston says that she chose this particular play as her theme because she identifies with Brown.

"Gloria Houston is one of the Toe River Valley's great treasures. Her writing captures and preserves much of what is best about our heritage," said Dr. Michael Joslin, director of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia at Lees-McRae College. "We look forward to her presentation, and invite everyone to share the evening with us."

Her recently published book, Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile, reveals an interesting part of this Mitchell County native's roots and has received excellent reviews. Her many books have played an important role in revealing the rich cultural heritage of our region. For her presentation Gloria Houston will discuss her literary career and her personal struggles to succeed.

The Stephenson Lectures are free and open to the public. For information call Meghan Wright at 898-8729.

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