Dedication of Tickle Classroom at the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center held July 10

July 13, 2015

On Friday, July 10, more than 90 faculty, staff, students, alumni, community members and friends of the College celebrated the dedication of the Ann and John Tickle Classroom at the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. The 950 square foot classroom space allows for larger classes and community educational programs to be held.

Due to an increase in student interest, the wildlife rehabilitation program has quickly grown to be one of the most enrolled programs at Lees-McRae. Thanks to generous donations from a few key wildlife supporters, including Ann and John Tickle, the Center can accommodate larger and more productive classes for wildlife biology and wildlife rehabilitation students along with providing a surgical suite for on-site veterinarian, Dr. Amber McNamara.

“This is another historic day in the evolution of Lees-McRae’s wildlife rehabilitation program,” stated President Barry M. Buxton. “We are proud to play a small part in helping animals in need and we are grateful to the May family and to Ann and John Tickle for being champions of wildlife.”

The Dan and Dianne May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, which opened its doors in 2012, is licensed by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The Center annually cares for more than 1,400 injured or orphaned wild animals. These include animals attacked by cats, hit by cars, gunshot, caught in fences and a myriad of other human-induced causes. This vital wildlife rehabilitation work includes medical assistance, feeding, housing and supportive care. Fully recovered animals are released in appropriate wild habitats.

Lees-McRae College offers two unique academic programs, wildlife biology and wildlife rehabilitation, for students interested in wildlife with an intense, experiential component, either through field or clinical study, or a combination of both. The wildlife biology program has a strong focus on the wildlife and ecology of the Southern Appalachian region and offers numerous courses, such as Mammalogy, Ornithology, Conservation Biology and Appalachian Ecology that are not commonly available to undergraduates. 

Both wildlife studies programs at Lees-McRae prepare students for a wide variety of careers in the wildlife and animal care fields, including veterinary science, parks and recreation, forestry, zoos and aquaria, fish hatcheries, natural resources and additional graduate work in wildlife and related disciplines. Students have opportunities for numerous internships with nature centers, fish hatcheries, wildlife rehabilitators and area veterinarians while in school.

For more information about the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, visit

Media Contact:

Nina Mastandrea  |  Content Manager
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Ann and John Tickle
Wildlife presentations before the ceremony
Wildlife presentations before the ceremony