On Founder’s day, Tuesday, September 26, 2006, Lees-McRae College honored Mariam Cannon Hayes by presenting her with the Rev. Edgar Tufts Founder’s Medal. This award is the most prestigious non-academic award given by Lees-McRae College. Individuals selected to receive this honor reflect the highest values of mankind and have made extraordinary contributions of time, talent and treasure to the College.
Mariam Cannon Hayes and her family have been helping carry out the Rev. Edgar Tufts’ vision for nearly seventy years. The Charles A. Cannon, Jr., Memorial Hospital, the same hospital founded by the Rev. Tufts originally on the campus of Lees-McRae, is named in honor of her brother, Charles, who was killed in action in World War II. Her husband, Robert G. Hayes, served as president of the Edgar Tufts Memorial Association from 1961-1968, and president of Grandfather Home for Children from 1966-1968. Her son, Robin, served as a member of the Board of Trustees for Lees-McRae College in the early 1990’s.
The Cannon Foundation and the Charles A. Cannon Charitable Trusts are the largest benefactors of Lees-McRae College. They have supported the renovation of numerous campus facilities, including the Bowman Science Building, the Chaffee Administration Building and several residence halls, including Avery, Tennessee, Virginia and Tate.
In 1974, the Hayes Auditorium was dedicated to honor Robert and Mariam Hayes. This facility has long served as a place of quality performing arts programs and educational activity in the High Country.
Most recently, Charles A. Cannon Charitable Trusts provided for the renovation of the James W. Cannon, Jr., Honors Cottage, which houses 17 sophomore, junior and senior honors students.