In, Of, For the Mountains, volunteers celebrate Mountain Day of Service

In the cool early hours of Wednesday, Oct. 3, the campus community converged on Nebel Green in the center of campus. In a long-standing Lees-McRae tradition, students, faculty, and staff were preparing to head off campus to serve the community.

Mountain Day of Service perfectly embodies the college motto, “In the Mountains, Of the Mountains, For the Mountains.” The day was part of a week-long schedule of events celebrating our mountain home and the inauguration of President King.

Decked out in t-shirts sporting the event theme, “together we move mountains,” more than 400 participants cleaned parks and playgrounds, painted walls and fences, and organized food pantries and other spaces across both Avery and Watauga counties.

After a combined 1,600 hours of work across the High Country, volunteers returned to campus for the highly anticipated Mountain Day Celebration—a time to be outside and enjoy life in the mountains.

Experience Mountain Day of Service first-hand and see the many projects students, faculty, and staff were involved in throughout the day.



Students, faculty, and staff check in at Nebel Green before heading out into the community. Volunteers worked at more than 30 volunteer sites across the High Country including, Beech Mountain, Newland, Banner Elk, Boone, and many others.

Who said volunteering has to be all work and no play? Several volunteers headed to nearby Newland, North Carolina, to the Avery County Humane Society. Volunteers were tasked with cleaning cages and kennels, but most important of all, comforting adoptable furry friends.


President King helps students load rocks into wheelbarrows at a local Habitat for Humanity build site. Working together as a team was key in making the biggest impact possible in the community.


One student organizes cans of paint at the Avery County Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Funds from the retail store go towards funding many other service projects and home constructions in the High Country.

Two students take on the task of repainting one of the storage sheds in nearby Valle Crucis Park.

Students and faculty work together to organize clothing at Children’s Hope Alliance on the campus of the Grandfather Home for Children. Over the course of the year, Children’s Hope Alliance collects clothing, toys, and other essentials for the children they house. Volunteers worked to sort and organize piles of shirts, pants, and other items of clothing.

At Avery County Missional Network in nearby Newland, North Carolina, students stuff and load red backpacks filled with food into cars to be taken to one of a few local schools.

 The fence surrounding the historic Banner House Museum in Banner Elk receives a fresh coat of paint.

After a good day of work, volunteers return to campus and head for Williams Gymnasium to participate in the Mountain Day Celebration. Students, faculty, and staff cheered on the men’s and women’s soccer teams as they enjoyed pizza, played games, and savored the final warm days before winter’s arrival.

 Photos courtesy of Justin Reich, Patricia Umbricht, Molly Aguilera, and Nina Mastandrea.

By Nina MastandreaOctober 03, 2018
Campus LifeCommunity