On Monday, April 8, Lees-McRae will roll up its sleeves and celebrate its 9th annual Mountain Day of Service beginning with a 8:30 a.m. welcome session in Evans Auditorium. Throughout the day groups of students, staff, faculty and volunteers will spend time throughout campus working on projects such as painting, planting flowers and cleaning up debris and destruction from the recent flooding.
At the end of the evening, after all the hard work is complete, the college will welcome Relentless Flood, a contemporary rock band featuring Lees-McRae College Alumnus Marshall Huffman, who will perform live in Evans Auditorium.
In the past, the campus and all its volunteers have contributed more than 2, 200 hours of service each year on Mountain Day. The tradition of Mountain Day at Lees-McRae goes back to the school’s founder, the Rev. Edgar Tufts. Each fall, 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 the 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 during the early years of the 21st century; more than 100 years after Tufts founded the school. It became a semiannual tradition, though the hike was limited to Wildcat Lake via the Hemlock Trail.
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, interim 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 Mitch Marlowe, interim dean of students, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828.898.3311.