John B. Stephenson Center for AppalachiaJohn B. Stephenson Center for Appalachia

John B. Stephenson Center for Appalachia

The John B. Stephenson Center for Appalachian and Comparative Highland Studies was founded in July 2001 in order to further understanding of Appalachia. Our main purpose is to encourage students and faculty to experience and study the rich culture and history of our mountains. 

But the need for leadership and vision and the ability to think ahead is real. The changing mix of population brought about by immigration (to the mountains) only serves to heighten the importance of the need for sharper native vision. It is not only nature that abhors a vacuum. Where there is no vision the people may not perish as individuals, but they may well perish as a people.
-John B. Stephenson

The Stephenson Center celebrates a man who dared, dreamed and achieved. We strive to inspire and encourage students, faculty and community members to emulate this outstanding Appalachian scholar and leader.


The mission of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia is to promote understanding and appreciation of the Southern Appalachian region through education, outreach, scholarship, and artistic activities.


  • To provide community programming focusing on the preservation and promotion of Appalachian culture
  • To provide academic opportunities to LMC students and community members
  • To serve the local community as a visible and vital resource for the study of Appalachia
  • To collaborate with the greater Appalachian Community to further respect and appreciation of the region and its history and culture

Contact Information

Dr. Michael Joslin
Stephenson Center for Appalachia
191 Main Street
Banner Elk, NC 28604
Phone: 1.828.898.8758
Fax: 1.828.898.8814