2016 News

December 22, 2016
More than half of the total student body landed on either the Dean’s List or President’s List. Of the 991 total enrolled students for the fall 2016 semester, 568 landed on either list. The number also includes students receiving their degree online.
December 22, 2016
Entries were submitted from across the country, but now the results are in. On Dec. 21, the NCAA announced Lees-McRae’s ‘Lunch Buddy Program’ as the Conference Carolinas representative and finalist for the 2017 Division II Award of Excellence.
December 16, 2016
Over the last several weeks, students, faculty and staff have collected approximately 1,025 items and $200 in money donations as part of the annual food drive held on campus. Boxes of cans, soups and other miscellaneous dry goods were taken to the Feeding Avery Families location in Newland, North Carolina, on December 13.
December 16, 2016
Earlier this fall during the Woolly Worm Festival, a popular, ever-growing downtown Banner Elk festival dedicated to the larvae of the tiger moth and its abilities to predict the severity of the coming winter, students from the Business Statistics course (BUS 265) collected exactly 305 surveys.
December 15, 2016
Earlier this month, Hickory Young Professionals announced its 2016 Top 10 Under 40 Awards, earning Lees-McRae Vice President of Online Learning Bo Bennett a spot on its list.
December 02, 2016
Several dozen students sat on the curb outside Banner Elk Elementary School Thursday afternoon waiting for the arrival of the Lees-McRae cycling team with books stuffed in their backpacks.
November 29, 2016
Today, the League of American Bicyclists recognized Lees-McRae with a Silver Bicycle Friendly University (BFUSM) award, joining more than 150 visionary colleges and universities from across the country.
November 22, 2016
You may have heard about Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but have you heard about Giving Tuesday? On Tuesday, November 29, hundreds of colleges, universities, organizations, companies and even individuals will participate in Giving Tuesday—a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide.
November 21, 2016
Alongside fellow colleagues, Brad Skinner spends each day tending to birds of prey at the American Eagle Foundation in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. On Thursday, November 10, Skinner—a May 2015 Lees-McRae Wildlife Rehabilitation Program graduate—spent the day with students, talking about his experiences since graduating and helpful tips for those looking to pursue a career in wildlife rehabilitation.
November 21, 2016
Eurydice, the performing arts’ most recent play, is a relatively small production. But even with only seven cast members to dress, hours of hard work and attention to detail is still paid in order to get the costumes as close to perfect as possible.
November 14, 2016
On Saturday, November 5, 13 honors students traveled to the Carolina Renaissance Festival in Huntersville, North Carolina.
November 11, 2016
If you are interested in learning about the complexities of Reconstruction in Southern Appalachia, come to the Stephenson Center for Appalachia’s lecture on November 16, at 7 p.m. in Evans Auditorium on the Lees-McRae College campus. Dr. Steven Nash will present a program based on his recently released book Reconstruction’s Ragged Edge: The Politics of Postwar Life in the Southern Mountains.
November 10, 2016
Meet Eurydice (pronounced: Ear-reh-da-see): daughter of the Greek god Apollo and wife of Orpheus, and you could say she is in-between a rock and a hard place.
November 08, 2016
How did this happen? When did it happen? Who did this? Are you certain of that? Those were just a few of the questions about 25 students in Instructor of Criminal Justice Tracy Hoilman’s Criminal Investigation and Interrogation class asked both of themselves, and of each other.
November 07, 2016
BackgroundChecks.org released its annual "Safest Colleges in North Carolina" report for 2016 in early October—landing Lees-McRae 27 on the list.
November 04, 2016
Competing—and winning—is in the blood of the cycling team and in its athletes. During the Mountain Bike National Championships in Snowshoe, West Virginia, on October 21 through the 23, USA Cycling officials crowned a pair of Lees-McRae National Champions.
November 02, 2016
In a recent ranking study released by Affordable Colleges Online—a resource for online learning and college affordability information—Lees-McRae online programs ranked among the top in North Carolina for the years 2016 through 2017.
October 27, 2016
With the help of faculty and students from Lees-McRae, young students across Avery County on Friday, October 21, got a hands-on experience with the rich heritage of the Appalachian high country.
October 27, 2016
May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Director, Nina Fischesser, made an appearance on two local television stations last week with students and feathered-friends closely by her side.
October 26, 2016
Starting in the fall 2017 semester, five incoming Lees-McRae students will be chosen to receive a $500 scholarship for their participation in eSports. An abbreviation for “electronic sports”, the genre includes any and all games played mostly on a computer, but for the incoming freshman class, the scholarships will be for League of Legends or Hearthstone.
October 21, 2016
Currently serving as senior policies advisor for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Monica Young received her undergraduate degree in history from Lees-McRae in 2012 and subsequently graduated from Marquette University's School of Law in 2015.
October 19, 2016
The May School of Nursing and Health Sciences held its first mock disaster simulation Wednesday, October 12. The simulation took place in the rear parking lot of the May School of Nursing and Health Sciences building. Both nursing and emergency medical services and management students were made aware of the situation only moments before being asked to spring into action.
October 18, 2016
Are you looking for spooky fun to celebrate Halloween? Come to Lees-McRae College on October 27, at 7 p.m. to hear an original play, The Devil’s Stairs, written by Boone novelist Joshua Simcox. A graduate of the college’s creative writing program, he will direct a radio broadcast reading of his play with Lees-McRae students in Evans Auditorium.
October 14, 2016
Just one look at Monica Young’s resume can certainly indicate her passions. She’s a current senior policies advisor for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former intern within the Iowa House of Representatives. When Walker ran for President of the United States in 2016, she was—unsurprisingly— a part of that, too.
October 14, 2016
Members of the campus community joined President Buxton Thursday, October 13 for a community bike ride. The ride was part of an effort to promote both Lees-McRae and the Town of Banner Elk as a “Bicycle Friendly Community”—a label presented by The League of American Bicyclists.
October 10, 2016
The campus of Lees-McRae is both a mixture of the new and old. Boulders stacked atop of one another like mosaic tiles in a church window are juxtaposed by sleek white floors and trendy furniture.
October 07, 2016
Ireland is coming to Lees-McRae! The Belfast Boys, traditional Irish music duo, will visit campus on Thursday, October 13. As part of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia Lecture Series, poet and musician Adrian Rice and classically-trained musician Alyn Mearns will appear at 7 p.m. in Evans Auditorium in the Cannon Student Center.
October 06, 2016
Students, faculty and staff will gather Friday afternoon to celebrate the completion of the Dotti M. Shelton Learning Commons. The Learning Commons— formerly James H. Carson Library—received about $2.5 million for renovations and began work in May 2016.
September 29, 2016
Lees-McRae students, faculty, staff and several college leaders met Wednesday afternoon for the Daniel May Woodworking Shop Dedication Ceremony. The space-- made possible by donations from the May family-- will now feature state-of-the-art wood working equipment housed within its new walls.
September 26, 2016
Lees-McRae President Barry Buxton was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine from North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory Friday morning. Created in 1963, the award is one of several civilian-focused honors the governor of North Carolina can bestow.
September 22, 2016
Just as the hands on the clock approached the tenth hour Wednesday, an email spread throughout campus. It read: “Today is Mountain Day.” Almost instantaneously, students, faculty and staff tied on their sneakers, locked their doors and headed towards Tufts Bell Tower.
September 19, 2016
They’re ooky and they’re spooky—and they’ll be appearing in the Lees-McRae College Performing Arts fall musical. The Addams Family will make its debut from Thursday, Sept. 29 until Sunday, Oct. 2.
September 13, 2016
Lees-McRae College was named the No. 23 best regional college in the South, in a new evaluation released by U.S. News & World Report. Defined by the news site, regional colleges focus on the undergraduate experience and offer a broad range of programs in the liberal arts and professional fields such as nursing, education and business.
September 08, 2016
Lees-McRae College will host a showing of the 11th annual REEL ROCK Film Tour on Friday, September 16 on historic Tate Lawn. An opening reception complete with information booths and vendors will start at 7 p.m. with the film to begin at 8 p.m.
September 07, 2016
To open the academic year and introduce newcomers to the area, the Stephenson Center for Appalachia at Lees-McRae College will present So You Say You Have Nothing To Do?: Plunging Waterfalls, Invigorating Hikes, Entertaining Beasts and Entrancing Sights on Thursday, September 15 at 7 p.m. in Evans Auditorium.
August 29, 2016
School is back in session. This fall, Lees-McRae students and faculty return to classes with a new academic structure in place. Starting this fall, the College will be comprised of four academic units: the School of Arts, Humanities and Education (AHE); the School of Business (BUS); the May School of Nursing and Health Sciences (NUR); and the School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences (NBS).
August 29, 2016
UNC-TV recently featured Lees-McRae Summer Theatre in a special episode of the North Carolina Now program which provided a behind the scenes look at the acclaimed theatre program with a special focus on Summer Theatre Artistic Director Dr. Janet Barton Speer.
August 19, 2016
Lees-McRae College is pleased to announce the appointment of Erin Healey as Vice President of Enrollment Management. Healey most recently served as Senior Associate Director of Admissions at Ross University School of Medicine and School of Veterinary Medicine.
August 17, 2016
On Wednesday, August 31, the Lees-McRae Performing Arts department will partner with dancers Sandi Solomon and Tony Luis to present “The Joys of Partner Dancing,” a lecture, dance exhibit and opportunity to learn. The event will be held from 4 – 5:20 p.m. in the dance studio located in the Performing Arts Building.
August 12, 2016
Lees-McRae College will hold its Convocation ceremony on Thursday, August 18 at 4 p.m. in Hayes Auditorium. Convocation is an important part of the academic tradition at Lees-McRae. Literally a 'coming together' of the College community, Convocation celebrates the beginning of the academic year and welcomes new and returning students to campus. Lees-McRae alumnus Hakim Bellamy ’02 will give the keynote address, “4000 Feet Above Average.” Bellamy will also be a poet in residence on campus August 17-18.
August 01, 2016
A Lees-McRae graduate will be among the elite athletes at the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio on Friday, August 5. Cyclist Brent Bookwalter will ride for Team USA with the U.S. men’s road team. “This has been a firm and ambitious goal of mine for the past couple of years,” says Bookwalter, who will compete in two events: the Road Race and the Time Trial.
August 01, 2016
As the 2016-2017 academic year quickly approaches, Lees-McRae Provost Dr. Todd Lidh spoke with WLTX of Columbia, SC about the college freshman experience. His advice included to make connections with peers, prepare for the semester using class syllabi, be financially smart, take a walk around campus and finally, stay in touch with family.
July 29, 2016
To wrap up the 2016 season, the cast and crew of Lees-McRae Summer Theater will present The Pajama Game. Based on the novel “7½ cents” by Richard Bissell, the production will be performed August 2 and 4–5 at 7 p.m. and August 3–4 and 6–7 at 2 p.m.
July 11, 2016
Lees-McRae continues the 31st Summer Theatre season with the musical Always… Patsy Cline. The production will be performed on July 14-16 and 19 at 7 p.m. and July 16, 17 and 20 at 2 p.m.
July 01, 2016
This summer, taking a stroll around Banner Elk will have an added pleasure — fully operational pianos situated throughout town, ready for players.
June 22, 2016
Lees-McRae College was named no. 1 on a list of Best Online Colleges in North Carolina by OnlineColleges.net. With the distribution of a generous gift aid package to all online students, the institution was also recognized as the no. 4 most affordable online college in the state.
June 20, 2016
Lees-McRae is kicking off the 31st Summer Theatre season with Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins, which runs from June 26-July 3. Based on the books by P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney film, the show delighted Broadway audiences for more than 2,500 performances and received nominations for nine Olivier and seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The shows will take place in the Hayes Auditorium of Broyhill Theatre.
June 10, 2016
Lees-McRae College was represented by Vice President of Athletics and Club Sports Craig McPhail at the 2016 NCAA Career in Sports Forum in Indianapolis, Ind. last weekend. McPhail served as a panelist at the Forum, which consisted of over 200 current student-athletes and NCAA postgraduate scholarship recipients with an interest in working within the sports industry.
June 09, 2016
NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas selected Dr. Barry M. Buxton as President at the organization’s spring meeting in Clemson, South Carolina. Conference Carolinas has 12 member colleges and universities in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The athletics conference promotes student-athletes and sportsmanship with a focus on academic rigor and performance.
June 01, 2016
Lees-McRae Summer Theatre is excited to announce the 2016 Summer Theatre schedule. The 31st season, which includes Mary Poppins, Always… Patsy Cline and The Pajama Game, is packed with family-friendly comedy, laughs and good memories.
May 27, 2016
If you are looking to gain insight into Appalachian culture or seeking to enrich your summer experience, reserve the first three Wednesdays in June to participate in the John B. Stephenson Lecture Series at Lees-McRae College. The Wednesday lectures on June 1, 8, and 15 are free and open to the public.
May 26, 2016
There are so many amazing memories I had while I was at Lees-McRae College. If I had to pick one, I would probably say the time I went on the overnight backpacking trip with Dee Thomas and several other students. We had the opportunity to spend the night in the Linville Gorge, cook our food over fire, hike down to this beautiful waterfall, and most importantly, just escape all of the technology and worries of our everyday lives. I had been camping several times before, but the knowledge that Dee shared with all of us about proper backpacking and safe camping techniques is something that will stick with me forever. I remember we all worked together to try and hang our food from a tree before the sun went down, and although it took us a while to get it done, it brought all of us closer during the trip.
May 12, 2016
33 Lees-McRae student-athletes were inducted into the Chi Alpha Sigma North Carolina Beta Chapter, the organization announced Wednesday. “We’re extremely proud of the hard work and dedication these young men and women have put into earning this honor of being inducted into the Chi Alpha Sigma, National College Athlete Honor Society,” said director of athletic compliance Jeffrey Merrill.
May 10, 2016
Lees-McRae College awarded 251 degrees, the largest number in College history, during commencement exercises Saturday, May 7. Among the graduates, 23 graduated with honors, 58 graduated summa cum laude (3.90-4.0 GPA), 63 graduated magna cum laude (3.70-3.89 GPA) and 33 graduated cum laude (3.50-3.69 GPA).
May 05, 2016
The Lees-McRae College Chi chapter of Alpha Chi National College Honor Society is pleased to announce its spring 2016 class of members. Founded in 1922, Alpha Chi was established to recognize academic achievement. Today, Alpha Chi has chapters at 300 college campuses across the United States.
May 02, 2016
Learning Management Coordinator Melissa Mercer has published her first chapbook of poetry with Dancing Girl Press. Storm Was Her Voice wrestles with gender, identity and voice: the fraught process of speaking and being heard. It features strong ancestral women, myth and communal movement through a beautiful, brutal earth.
April 26, 2016
Peggy E. Wasmund of Charlotte, NC, received a $2,704 scholarship from Wells Fargo for the current academic year. The scholarship was one of 25 awarded to students enrolled at independent colleges and universities in North Carolina.
April 20, 2016
Lees-McRae College is proud to announce that Dianne L. May has been chosen to receive an honorary Doctor of Humanities at this year’s commencement ceremony on May 7, 2016.
April 19, 2016
On Wednesday, April 13, Lees-McRae celebrated the 12th annual Mountain Day of Service. This annual day of service resulted in an incredible 1,029 hours of service completed by 343 students, faculty, staff and volunteers. Altogether the campus community participated in 22 projects, two off campus and 20 on campus. After all the hard work was complete, participants gathered on Tate Lawn to enjoy a cookout, fellowship with one another and the beautiful spring weather.
April 13, 2016
Wildlife biology major Destini Petitt and biology major Hailey Sarausky participated in the 23rd annual Blue Ridge Undergraduate Research Conference this month at King University in Bristol, TN. Undergraduate students from throughout the region submitted brief abstracts and were selected to present their scholarly work in either oral or poster presentations. Institutions represented at this year’s conference included Davis & Elkins College, King University, Lees-McRae College, Lincoln Memorial University, Milligan College, Ohio Valley University, Tusculum College, Union College, and the University of Virginia - Wise.
April 11, 2016
Dr. Michael Joslin, English professor and director of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia at Lees-McRae, was featured on WLOS in Asheville along with Lee Rankin of Apple Hill Farm. Check it out and learn more about Appalachian Heritage Week!
April 08, 2016
Lees-McRae College and the Honors Program are proud to announce three new scholarship recipients for the entering class of fall 2016. The Shelton Scholarship, the highest honor awarded every four years and covers one student’s full tuition plus room and board, has been awarded to Quinn Reeves of Tyler, Texas. Christine Turk of Cooper City, FL and Isaiah Addair of Rural Retreat, VA have been awarded the prestigious full-tuition Elizabeth McRae Scholarship.
April 06, 2016
Join Lees-McRae College in celebrating spring’s return to the mountains. During the 6th annual Appalachian Heritage Week, April 7-15, the College will highlight beloved American novelist Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, who spent a creative autumn in one of the College’s cottages. Other unique aspects of mountain heritage will enlighten and entertain students and community members. Lees-McRae invites everyone to participate in the activities sponsored by the Stephenson Center for Appalachia.
April 05, 2016
Meg Quinn believes she would never be where she is today without her experience at the New Opportunity School for Women at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk. When she arrived at NOSW in July 2010, she had low self-esteem and no idea what the program would entail. What she found in the three week intensive session was life-changing.
March 30, 2016
The Lees-McRae College performing arts program is excited to announce the renovation of the program’s dance studio. The renovations were completed in March and made possible by generous donors Dana and Vicki McKittrick and support from Lees-McRae Summer Theatre.
March 23, 2016
My favorite memory pertaining to my scholastic experience at Lees-McRae would have to be working with Bradley Huff, an ATC (Athletic Trainer Certified) on and off the field, but especially with one of the soccer players who had a knee surgery and was undergoing rehabilitation. It ties in directly with the second question because it was during those few days that I learned how to be confident with what I was doing.
March 14, 2016
Continuing its exploration of Appalachian history and culture, the Stephenson Center for Appalachia at Lees-McRae College will host Dr. Billy Carver on Thursday, March 17. His lecture, titled “Mountain Air: Tuberculosis in Appalachia,” will cover the fascinating facts behind the mountains’ place in medical history. The program will begin at 7 p.m. in Evans Auditorium in the Cannon Student Center and is free and open to the public.
March 14, 2016
Dr. Barry Buxton, president of Lees-McRae College, spoke with Charlotte Today and discussed myths about college costs. He discussed the difference between sticker price and actual price, the significance of having a college degree in the job market and the importance of growth during a student's college experience.
March 10, 2016
Lees-McRae senior Austin Anderson was named Conference Carolinas Men’s Basketball Player of the Year Saturday morning, the league office announced.
March 04, 2016
The New Opportunity School for Women (NOSW) at Lees-McRae College is accepting applications for its three-week residential summer program that helps low-income women gain the skills and confidence to turn their lives around. This summer’s session will be held from May 29 – June 18.
March 04, 2016
Ivanna Knox, a freshman at Lees-McRae College, received a $2,425 UPS Scholarship provided through North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) for the current academic year.
March 02, 2016
Lees-McRae College will host a selection of artwork by Michael Polomik beginning February 28, with the opening reception and artist talk scheduled for March 28 from 5-6 p.m. in King-Shivell Gallery. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.
February 23, 2016
Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor of History Dr. Scott Huffard will attend the Business History Conference in Portland, OR March 31-April 3. The annual meeting is a chance for scholars to meet, share and discuss current research in the field.
February 22, 2016
The May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center was recently featured on WDBJ7 out of Roanoke, Virginia. Director Nina Fischesser spoke about the types of animals the Center takes in and the wildlife rehabilitation program.
February 19, 2016
Join us on Thursday, February 25 as we celebrate Black History Month with Dr. Kristen Baldwin Deathridge’s lecture “Public History and the History of an African-American Appalachian Community.” The program, part of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia Lecture Series, will begin at 7 p.m. in Evans Auditorium in the Cannon Student Center. The event is free and open to the public.
February 12, 2016
One of the main reasons I chose to go to Lees-McRae College was because of the unique beautiful elevated location in the mountains, the small college experience, the small student to teacher ratio curriculum, and sports. When I visited North Carolina from Florida I instantly feel in love the mountains and the campus.
February 05, 2016
He’s been hailed as one of the most significant figures in modern musical theatre, and Lees-McRae College’s Performing Arts program will present some of Stephen Sondheim’s best music in Sondheim on Sondheim February 25‒28 at Hayes Auditorium.
February 05, 2016
Director of the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Nina Fischesser attended and presented two lectures at the Wildlife Rehabilitators of North Carolina Symposium (WRNC) in Raleigh, NC January 30-31. Her lectures were titled Working with Veterinarians in Wildlife Rehabilitation, which focused on helping new rehabilitators build relationships with veterinarians in their communities, and Wildlife Rehabilitation in Higher Education, which covered the educational aspect of working with wildlife.
February 04, 2016
Students in the first cohort of the Lees-McRae Emergency Medical Services and Management Program (EMSM) have reason to celebrate this spring. The program has received a Letter of Review from the leading specialized accreditation agency focusing on Emergency Medical Services education, which means that these students will be eligible to take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians credentialing exam upon graduation.
February 03, 2016
Best Master of Science in Nursing has ranked the May School of Nursing and Health Sciences as one of the top up and coming nursing schools in the south. The schools were ranked based on innovative teaching methods, cutting-edge technological resources, facilities and student organizations.
January 29, 2016
Professional cyclo-cross racer Ally Stacher knows what it takes to fuel a body for the pounding, punishing, calorie-sucking energy needed to ride at the highest levels in the sport.
January 28, 2016
Lees-McRae welcomes Dr. Conrad Ostwalt, Professor of Religious Studies at Appalachian State University, as the spring 2016 Staley Distinguished Lecturer. Dr. Ostwalt will present a series of three public lectures following the theme of Millennial Dawn in America: The Evolution of Spirituality, the Church and God.
January 26, 2016
On Jan. 11, Lees-McRae’s Avery Wallis, making his second career collegiate start, scored a career-high 13 points in a home win against Piedmont International.
January 25, 2016
145 Lees-McRae student-athletes were named to the Conference Carolinas Fall 2015 Presidential Honor Roll, the league office announced. Each semester recognition is given to student-athletes who achieve a grade-point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4-point scale. All student-athletes, including underclassmen, transfers, and those who play non-conference sponsored sports, are eligible for the recognition as long as they participated during the semester in question.
January 21, 2016
Due to Winter Storm Jonas, the Lees-McRae athletic schedules has been altered, announced Director of Athletics and Club Sports Craig McPhail Thursday morning.
January 19, 2016
Lees-McRae College student Melissa Hooper shares a campus house with five other women, along with two dogs and a gecko. Even as universities relax many housing rules — gender-neutral dorms are mainstream — animals remain largely a no-go. N.C. State University (above) only allows fish and registered service animals. UNC Chapel Hill allows service and support animals.
January 14, 2016
The USCSA event hosted an event this past weekend at Beech Mountain Resort in Beech Mountain, N.C.
January 14, 2016
If the novelty of winter has ebbed, come warm up with poet Adrian Rice’s reading at Lees-McRae College on Thursday, January 28 from 7 to 8 p.m. Rice will present his poems in Evans Auditorium of the Cannon Student Center as the first of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia’s 2016 Lecture Series.
January 06, 2016
Dr. Barry Buxton, president of Lees-McRae, offered advice to high school students on selecting a college that is the best fit for them. He brought along his dog, Ah Shux, to discuss our pet-friendly campus!