Top 10 Most Memorable Moments of 2018

Join us as we look back at our favorite memories of the year

The end of a year is the perfect time not only for goal setting and making future plans, but also for reflection. A whole lot can happen in a years’ time! Maybe you accomplished some personal goals, took on a new challenge, made a few lifelong connections, or, hey, even a few mistakes.

2018 was jam-packed with exciting events, news, and changes at the college. So as you reflect on your own year, let’s go back and take a look at this year's Top 10 Most Memorable Moments of 2018.

Dr. Herbert L. King Jr. announced as president-elect

On January 19, the college Board of Trustees elected Dr. Herbert L. King Jr. as the 16th president in the 118-year history of Lees-McRae. This announcement followed the retirement of 15th president, Dr. Barry M. Buxton. Since his election as president, King has had fun and worked hard to lead the college into a new chapter.

Read more

Conference Champions

Men's basketball team named Conference Carolinas Champions

Who can forget when the men’s basketball team took on Belmont Abbey College in the Conference Carolinas Championship game on our home court and won! Ending the game with a nail-biting score of 75-72, the Bobcats then went on to compete in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the program’s history.

Read more

Lees-McRae takes gold as the Top Adventure College

When news broke that Lees-McRae took gold in the annual, and highly-competitive, Blue Ridge Outdoor Magazine’s Top Adventure College competition, everyone thought: well of course! We proved that even though we are small (in fact we became the first “small school” to win the overall title) we are mighty! Over the course of several weeks, we showed that Lees-McRae and its incredible surroundings are the best in the region.

Read more

266 members of the Class of 2018 received their diplomas during Commencement

From 18 states and five countries, the Class of 2018 was an eclectic mix of main campus and distance learning students ranging in age from 19 to 64. With smiles from ear-to-ear, each one crossed the stage as they closed one major chapter in their lives and opened another. It wasn’t only a memorable day for the students, but also their families, friends, professors, and the list goes on. Sure, a few tears were shed, but the day will live on as one of the happiest on campus.

Read more

Dr. King began his tenure as 16th president

It was the moment we were all eagerly awaiting: Dr. King’s start as 16th president of Lees-McRae. On June 1, King carried in his personal belongings and quickly began working. He shared his excitement in starting a new chapter by saying, “I enter this role with a strong sense of peace and excitement that I am in the right place at the right time. I was drawn to Lees-McRae and am very excited about being here because I see a true diversity in this institution that gives us a unique niche in the higher education marketplace that will enable us to thrive. There is nothing ordinary about Lees-McRae and that should excite everyone who is associated with this wonderful place.”

Read more

More than 200 student, faculty, and staff volunteers welcomed our new Bobcats home on move-in day

We all counted down the days to move-in. For freshmen, it’s the start of a long-awaited and highly-anticipated chapter. For faculty and staff, it is a new, fresh beginning. The entire campus burst with energy as volunteers worked with incoming Bobcats and their families to get them settled into their new home. It was a day of hard work, laughs, and new friendships for all.

Academic offerings expanded with college’s first master’s program

The addition of the Master of Arts in Teaching in Secondary Education (MAT) at Lees-McRae was a historical move for the 118-year-old institution. Now students can earn a graduate degree that qualifies them to teach in three new concentrations: social studies and history, biology, or English.

Read more

Campus gives back for the Mountain Day of Service

In the Mountains, Of the Mountains, For the Mountains! On Oct. 3, campus converged on Nebel Green before heading out into the community to make a big difference. 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. Afterwards, volunteers returned to campus for the Mountain Day celebration.

Read more

Campus and community came together for Founder’s Day Ceremony, Family Picnic and Concert, and the Inauguration of Lee King as 16th president

After months of preparation, it was time to come together and celebrate the inauguration of Dr. King. On the eve of inauguration, both the High Country and Lees-McRae communities gathered in Tate-Evans Park for the Founder’s Day Ceremony and the Family Picnic and Concert. Food trucks, fun games, and inflatables lined the perimeter of the park as the concert unfolded. The following day, the campus community including King’s family, other college delegates, as well as students, faculty, and staff, once again came together to celebrate the inauguration of Lee King.

Read more

Our Mountain Home celebrated during Homecoming 2018

After the excitement of Founder’s Day, the Family Picnic and Concert, and Inauguration came Homecoming. We welcomed alumni back to campus to celebrate with current students, faculty, and staff. The weekend incorporated the classic homecoming traditions (alumni games, tailgaiting on Bobcat Bank, and Homecoming Court) to the events that makes a Lees-McRae Homecoming unlike any other— theatre arts performances, ice cream socials, and the long-awaited tent party. We can’t hardly wait for Homecoming next year!

See more photos

Wait, one more! A historic snow on Dec. 9

I know we said we would choose our top 10 moments, but who could wrap up the year without talking about that historic snow storm?! Winter storm Diego brought with it more than 20 inches of snow—a near-record for the High Country this time of year.


So there you have it! Our top, err, 11, moments of 2018! We hope you enjoyed this past year as much as we did, and we look forward to the unforgettable memories to come in the New Year!


By Nina MastandreaDecember 19, 2018
AthleticsCampus LifeOnline LearningAcademicsAlumniCommunityFamilies