On Thursday, April 10, Lees-McRae rolled up its sleeves and celebrated its 10th annual Mountain Day of Service. The day began with a kick-off in Evans Auditorium where participants received T-shirts and supplies. Throughout the day, groups spent time throughout campus working on projects such as painting, planting flowers, collecting recycling and giving the campus a good spring cleaning.
The day resulted in an incredible 1,014 hours of service completed by 338 students, faculty, staff and volunteers. Altogether there were 29 projects, five of which were off campus and 24 of which were on campus. At the end of the evening, after all the hard work was complete, nearly one hundred participants gathered on Nebel Green to enjoy an outdoor movie – the 2014 comedy, Ride Along – and the beautiful weather.
The tradition of Mountain Day at Lees-McRae goes back to the school’s founder, the Rev. Edgar Tufts. Each fall, Rev. Tufts would surprise the school during chapel by announcing, “It is a good day to climb Beech.” Following the proclamation, the entire school would set off up Beech Mountain. When they reached the end of the five-mile climb, a feast of potatoes, corn and sandwiches would be waiting on the group.
Mountain Day was renewed as a semiannual tradition during the early years of the 21st century; more than 100 years after Tufts founded the school. Beginning in 2005, the spring Mountain Day was dedicated to community service, leaving the fall celebration as a day of rest and fun.
“The legacy of Lees-McRae is one of service to all things and all people of these great Appalachian Mountains,” said Mitch Marlowe, associate dean of students. “Our continued faith in the power of Mountain Day is a tribute to Edgar Tufts and his life of dedicated service. We honor his legacy and the legacy of this institution each year by taking time to serve these mountains and all the beings that live here. It is a time to be selfless and give back for all the good we see happen on this campus each day.”
For more information about Mountain Day of Service at Lees-McRae College, please contact Jon Driggers, dean of students, at 828.898.8797 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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